There are so many amazing hikes around South Lake Tahoe – some steep, some short, some with wildflowers, some with lake views. One of my favorite easy-moderate hikes is Cascade Falls near Emerald Bay. I’m about five months pregnant, and this is a hike I can easily pull off with a BIG payout.
To start, you’ll find the Bayview Trailhead one mile before Emerald Bay on the opposite side of the road of Lake Tahoe. Pull into the small camp area and keep your eyes peeled for a coveted parking spot. If there aren’t any, you can find parking a short walk away on the road.
The trail itself is about one mile long and has only a slight elevation change. You’ll start on the path through tall, fragrant pine trees before arriving at the more narrow path that hugs the side of Cascade Lake. Although the scenery on this part is amazing, with views of Lake Tahoe, Heavenly Mountain and Cascade Lake, you’ll want to keep your eye on the trail as there can be some slippery, rocky areas.
At the end of this part of the trail, you’ll come to larger rocks and platforms you can walk down bit by bit. This is another part to keep your focus during as there are areas you can lose your footing. Once you’re past this section, your reward at the end is almost upon you.
You’ll arrive at what looks like a small trickling stream. Don’t get discouraged, just beyond the smattering of trees are some of the most magnificent waterfalls in the area. The watermelt from the surrounding mountains rushes down the rocks to form several waterfalls and pools ranging in size.
Hopefully you’re wearing your bathing suit so you can go explore the area without worrying about getting wet. There are many nooks and crannys to enjoy the peaceful sounds of the water rushing. This is a family-friendly spot, so bring the kids and let them enjoy mother nature’s version of a sprinkler.
Here are some photos from a hike to Cascade Falls I did last summer with my husband, Luke.
As you can see Cascade Falls is a very unique and beautiful experience! If you have any questions about this hike, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer.