With a combination of an alpine lake, swimming option, and the superb views from Maggie's Peak, this hike packs a lot of bang for your buck!
Features: Lake — Views
Family Friendly: Though somewhat steep, you get a lot of rewards for your efforts.
From the Bayview trailhead, take a right (left is Cascade Falls Trail
) and start up steep switchbacks. Before long - about a mile - you'll reach the wilderness boundary and then a ridge with big views of Lake Tahoe. You'll soon hit Granite Lake. The trail stays above the water, but you can trivially hop down to the lake for a swim, or this could be your destination if you're looking for a short hike. Continuing on the far side of the lake, more switchbacks take you up to a saddle.
From the saddle on the Granite Lake Trail, take a left on the Maggie's Peak Summit Spur
and wander through open forest and boulders to the summit. Enjoy huge views of Mt. Tallac, the Crystal Range, and of course Granite Lake, Emerald Bay, and Lake Tahoe.
Once you've taken your time to appreciate your gorgeous surroundings, turn around, and head back down the Granite Lake Trail to return to the trailhead and your vehicle.