“A beautiful trail encompassing lakes, views, and an entrance to the Desolation Wilderness.”
— Nick Wilder
Lake · Swimming · Views
The flat-ish upper part of this trail is particularly good running. The mellow terrain is quite a joy after the lower switchbacks.
Many short options and loops are possible with this trail. Consider heading to Maggie's Peak
or create a loop with Eagle Falls Trail
, or head higher into the wilderness and Velma Lake, near the PCT.
From the trailhead, take a right (left is Cascade Falls Trail
) and start up steep switchbacks. Before long - about a mile - you'll reach the wilderness boundary and then a ridge with big views of Lake Tahoe. You'll soon hit Granite Lake. The trail stays above it, but you can trivially hop down to the lake for a swim or this could be your destination if you're looking for a short run.
Continuing on the far side of the lake, more switchbacks take you up. Consider taking the short Maggie's Peak
Summit spur trail for great views.
Past this point, the trail becomes a very nice and easy run on mostly level ground with views into the Desolation Wilderness.
Once you reach an intersection with the Tahoe Rim Trail
and PCT, your outing on this trail will be over, as the trail dead ends. Take you pick of looped routes, or simply return the way that you came.