To the northwest of South Lake Tahoe is Emerald Bay State Park. Emerald Bay State Park provides various hiking trails in varying degrees of difficulty, but all have incredible views of the lake. While in California, especially at Lake Tahoe, I was continuously overwhelmed by the stunning landscapes.
When my partner and I arrived first arrived to the state park, we took advantage of the free street parking, which seemed limited. But we were in luck since we went early in the morning and during the week.
Based upon some light research beforehand, we decided to do the trail for Lower Eagle Falls. It’s a cyclical trail that is shy of 2 miles. The trail is a mixture of steps carved from the natural stone, which were slick from melting slush. The steps progress into a dirt path, but due to it being spring, we experienced a mixture of watery mud and persistent snow.
The trail was easy and enjoyable because it felt as though we were being swallowed into the woods, until you reach a higher height with additional stone steps. Once at the top of a large rock, we were able to admire the lake and the nearby thundering falls.
On our way back, we briefly strayed from the Lower Eagle Falls trail to visit the bridge that crosses the falls.
We couldn’t go any further than the bridge because the path ahead was still covered in previously accumulated snow. According to the map that we had studied, not far beyond the bridge was the entrance to the Desolation Wilderness, which required any interested hiker to acquire a permit.
While it didn’t take us long to complete the short trail, we took our time to stop and absorb the views.
Since we were close to the main parking lot for Emerald Bay State Park, which has a parking fee, we walked from Eagle Falls. We didn’t do the popular Rubicon Trail that leads to Vikingsholm, but instead wandered around the park’s main area and enjoyed the sunny, albeit cool weather. We knew some the views would be similar to the ones we had already experienced on our lake cruise from the previous day.