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Eagle Lake

Desolation Wilderness

Desolation Wilderness Links:

August 21st, 1999

2.0 miles
435 vertical feet
Total Time: 1:20

Rating: 7/10

Directions:   View Driving Map


Jean, Jennie, Leslie, Nancy, Reza, and I hiked in the Desolation Wilderness.

After a day of kayaking, jet-skiing, and lying on the beach, we drove up Highway 89 to Eagle Falls at Emerald Bay. There's "another" Eagle Falls which falls off the lake side of 89. But we were hiking the one in the Desolation Wilderness.

There's a parking lot which costs $3 per vehicle, but we parked at the free roadside parking adjacent to it. It can be very crowded during the summer, and this was no exception.

It was after 6pm by the time we signed into the panel and started the hike up toward the falls. The very well-maintained trail up to the falls consists of a series of stone steps. Since the falls are so close to the parking area, many people make it this far. The falls themselves are nice enough, but it's hard to get a good angle to look at it all at once.

A footbridge crosses over the falls. After that, the trail is less-maintained, as it's in the Desolation Wilderness itself. It continues to climb over large rocks and dirt. It's very clearly marked. On top of one particularly large rock outcropping, we could see out toward Lake Tahoe, Cave Rock clearly visible on the opposite shore.

Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake is just a mile from the parking lot, but provides a peaceful, beautiful setting -- seemingly many miles from the crowded parking lot. The lake is relatively small, smaller than Elizabeth Lake in Yosemite. It's framed by steep mountainside on most sides, with a crack in the mountains on the southwestern side letting in a few rays of sunlight.

The Rockettes -- now performing at Eagle Lake

We stayed for a bit enjoying the scenery and taking pictures, then headed back down the way we came.

All of us in front of Eagle Lake

Return to Lake Tahoe trip report.


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