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Cascade Falls Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.3 (14)

A nice trail with vistas of Lake Tahoe and the granite peaks, with a 200-foot waterfall at the end.


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Map Key

0.7

Miles

1.1

KM

89%

Runnable

6,917' 2,108 m

High

6,814' 2,077 m

Low

70' 21 m

Up

142' 43 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

11%

Max Grade (6°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

I would say it is too dangerous to go in the snowy seasons (Late October-March), but not technically closed.

Runner Notes

Rocks, and roots make very dangerous tripping hazards, the trail is narrow at times, and loose soil and smooth granite could cause a slip. I wouldn't recommend to run this trail, as the hazards make it to treacherous to enjoy on a run.

Description

This is always our favorite outing at South Lake Tahoe, and there is a little of everything to keep everyone happy. It starts in the Bayview campground in Emerald Bay State Park, across the highway from Inspiration Point, and goes into a nice forested area, with lots of open space. The trail is easy here.

As you progress, you get to granite steps in the trail, and the start of the more difficult part of the route. The area becomes less and less wooded, offering terrific views of Cascade lake, Emerald bay, and lots of high sierra granite peaks. The trail becomes very spectacular near the end, as you make your way up granite slabs cut in a granite cliff with extensive views.

When the trail seems to end in a jumble of granite boulders, make your way down to the creek in the easiest way, and as there are many ways to do this, it isn't to difficult. When there, follow the creek downstream to get to the highlight, Cascade falls, which tumbles down a granite cliff 200 feet, with views of Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe as a backdrop.

If you want to, bring a lunch up to the waterfall, and sit down on a fine, flat granite slab to enjoy the scenery. If not, it still is well worth the experience.

Flora & Fauna

Mostly a jeffery pine forest, with spring wildflowers.

Contacts

Shared By:

Paul Phelan

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 14 votes

#8

in Lake Tahoe

#5598

Overall
  4.3 from 14 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
36%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
7%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#8

in Lake Tahoe

#444

in California

#5,598

Overall
32 Views Last Month
3,798 Since Jan 22, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

6%
13%
44%
0%
38%
0%

Photos

Looking out at Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe shortly before sunset.
Apr 9, 2018 near South L…, CA
Top of Cascade Falls overlooking Cascade Lake shortly before sunset. Lake Tahoe and surrounding peaks in background.
Apr 9, 2018 near South L…, CA
Looking down on Cascade Lake.
Jan 25, 2016 near South L…, CA
Cascade Falls Trail, CA.
Sep 8, 2017 near South L…, CA
Cascade Falls
Jan 25, 2016 near South L…, CA
Climbing up out of Bayview.
Aug 18, 2016 near South L…, CA

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Jun 24, 2018
Kevan H.
A lot of fun run/scrambling over the river/boulders. 2.5mi