Eagle Lake Trail

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
3.1 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
140 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Eagle Lake Trail

Explore all that California’s high country has to offer along the Eagle Lake Trail. This scenic High Sierra adventure boasts breathtaking panoramas of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and Lake Tahoe from the charming glacial basin. This easy-going excursion is a must-add to your Tahoe itinerary.

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Route Description for Eagle Lake Trail

Hiking the Eagle Lake Trail is a wonderful experience that the whole family can enjoy. Wander up the granite steps to the cascading Upper Eagle Falls before reaching the shoreline of the crystalline alpine lake. Short and sweet, the terrain up to the basin is steep, proving taxing for children and those not yet acclimatized. Don’t worry; there are several places to sit and recharge along the way.

Additionally, the granite steps become very slippery when wet—so exercise caution. Don’t forget to check the weather and head out in the morning to mitigate the chances of getting caught in an afternoon storm. Note hikers are required to pick up a free permit from the trailhead prior to setting out.

Immerse yourself in the serene mountain scene along the Eagle Lake Trail. This wonderful adventure can be ventured year-round with the help of proper equipment—boasting a fresh perspective of the high country. Not only will you be rewarded with the dumbfounding sights of the glacial lake and looming granite peaks, but along the way, you will pass through picturesque sceneries, including the charming cascades and the lush vegetation. Short and easy, this trek boasts some of the best vistas of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe. Seeking a fresh air escape in South Tahoe? Venture the Eagle Lake Trail the next time you find yourself in the area.

Embark on your adventure along the Eagle Lake Trail from the Eagle Falls Trailhead. Setting out from here, you will likely be in the company of several other adventurers only hiking to Upper Eagle Falls. Follow the Eagle Lake Trail southwest along the rocky scree adorned with mixed pines to the Upper Eagle Falls. Marvel in the sights of the cascades from the footbridge and the views of Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay in the east. After admiring the vistas, continue your trek along the Eagle Lake Trail. This section of the path will climb along the ridges of Maggies Peaks and up to several granite stairs.

Wandering along the curves of Eagle Creek, you will eventually summit Eagle Lake. Marvel in the postcard-perfect panorama of the crystal-clear lake and the bounding granite bluffs. As you admire the grandeur of the craggy Sierra Nevada Peaks, rejuvenate your tired feet in the chilly alpine waters.
After exploring the shoreline of the shimmering glacial lake, begin your descent back to the trailhead. Carefully retrace your footing along the path back to the carpark, marking the end of your adventure.

Trail Highlights

Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake is an alpine lake in the desolation wilderness. Located high in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in South Tahoe, the shimmering lake sits over 1,829 m in elevation. Boasting awe-inspiring views of the high sierra and the famous Lake Tahoe.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Eagle Lake Hike?

The Eagle Lake Trail is a 3.2 km out-and-back hike in South Tahoe.

Can you swim in Eagle Lake?

Yes, though chilly, you can swim in Eagle Lake.

Is the Eagle Lake Trail difficult?

Though the answer to this question is subjective, the Eagle Lake Hike is pretty easy going compared to most high sierra trails in the area.

Insider Hints for Eagle Lake Trail

  • If you are visiting from sea level, be sure to acclimatize to the area’s elevation prior to hiking
  • Enjoy this hike in the winter months with a pair of snowshoes or microspikes
  • Charge your camera, the stunning scenes warrant plenty of photo opportunities
  • Cool yourself off in the chilly alpine waters of Eagle Lake
  • Pack a picnic and eat lunch overlooking the High Sierra panorama

Getting to the Eagle Lake Trail Trailhead

Access the Eagle Lake Trail from the Eagle Falls Trailhead and Carpark off Emerald Bay Road/Highway 89.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Eagle Lake Trail Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Eagle Lake Trail Reviews

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