“A nice trail with vistas of Lake Tahoe and the granite peaks, with a 200-foot waterfall at the end.”
— Paul Phelan
Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers
Dipping your feet in the creek above the waterfall (If not to dangerous, preferably summer months), views, and granite make for a fun trip.
I would say it is too dangerous to go in the snowy seasons (Late October-March), but not technically closed.
This is always our favorite outing at South Lake Tahoe, and there is a little of everything to keep everyone happy. It starts in the Bayview campground in Emerald Bay State Park, across the highway from Inspiration Point, and goes into a nice forested area, with lots of open space. The trail is easy here.
As you progress, you get to granite steps in the trail, and the start of the more difficult part of the route. The area becomes less and less wooded, offering terrific views of Cascade lake, Emerald bay, and lots of high sierra granite peaks. The trail becomes very spectacular near the end, as you make your way up granite slabs cut in a granite cliff with extensive views.
When the trail seems to end in a jumble of granite boulders, make your way down to the creek in the easiest way, and as there are many ways to do this, it isn't to difficult. When there, follow the creek downstream to get to the highlight, Cascade falls, which tumbles down a granite cliff 200 feet, with views of Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe as a backdrop.
If you want to, bring a lunch up to the waterfall, and sit down on a fine, flat granite slab to enjoy the scenery. If not, it still is well worth the experience.
Flora & Fauna
Mostly a jeffery pine forest, with spring wildflowers.