Northern California September 08, 2018
This Natural Staircase In Northern California Leads You To The Most Magical Hidden Lake
Nothing beats a hike with a reward at the end, especially when that reward happens to be one of the most beautiful mountain lakes that Northern California has to offer. This hike is seriously a dream come true. Not only does it lead you to a hidden lake but you’ll also come across an epic waterfall, stunning views of Lake Tahoe, charming footbridges, and even a natural staircase made of stone. Adventurers young and old will be totally mesmerized by this breathtaking trail from start to finish. Go ahead and add this trail to your bucket list. This is something that everyone should experience!
Hiding out within a rugged little basin in the mountains near Lake Tahoe, Eagle Lake is one of our state's best-kept secrets. The beautiful alpine setting makes it look like something out of a dream. The best part is that it's only a short hike away, making it a family-friendly destination that everybody can experience.
To reach the majestic hidden lake, you'll have to complete the short and sweet Eagle Lake trail. The trailhead can be found within the Desolation Wilderness along Highway 89, just north of South Lake Tahoe. A wilderness permit is required so be sure to pick up your permit at the self-serve area near the trailhead.
You'll notice right away that one of the most unique features of this trail is the natural staircase that leads you straight into the wilderness. The stone stairs, although slightly strenuous, are extremely photogenic amid the beautiful forest scenery.
Don't let the staircase intimidate you. The trail is generally regarded as moderate and it's great for children and amateur hikers. The trail is merely one mile to the lake and one mile back, making it easily accomplishable in a short amount of time.
Although Eagle Lake is the "final destination" you are headed toward, you'll notice that the entire trail is made up of the most beautiful scenery and natural wonders. One of the very first things you'll come across is the magnificent Eagle Falls.
After Eagle Falls, you'll come across a quaint footbridge that crosses over a stream. Again, the scenery is like something out of a nature magazine. You'll want to pinch yourself to make sure you're not dreaming.
After the bridge, you'll continue onto even
more stairs. Yes, the hike to the lake is all uphill but it's rarely very steep. Instead, you'll traverse a steady incline as you slowly gain elevation.
At last, you'll reach Eagle Lake. This beautiful alpine lake is simply awe-inspiring. Surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Desolation Wilderness, it feels like a little oasis. The trail is popular and therefore can be quite crowded, but it isn't hard to stake out your own private slice of the lake (a lot of hikers turn back at the waterfall).
On a hot day, a quick dip into the cold waters of the lake is sweet relief. However, it also makes for a great place to just sit and gaze in awe! Eagle Lake should be on everybody's radar so be sure to complete this delightful hike soon.
Have you completed this hidden lake hike? There’s truly a little bit of everything on this trail! Be sure to take a look at our list of
8 Marvelous Trails You Have To Hike In Northern California Before You Die for more must-do hiking trails.