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South Lake Tahoe, CA: Cascade Creek Falls

It’s an easy 0.75-miles through the El Dorado National Forest to a sweeping view of Lake Tahoe and this hike’s payoff–perfect toe-dipping pools atop Cascade Creek Falls.

Rating

An easy out-and-back from the Bayview Campground, this 1.5-miler begins by cruising a recently thinned stretch of spruce and ponderosa forest. A sweeping right turn and a small climb lead to a rugged, exposed, granite-lined section of trail (best hiked in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is less harsh).
Just a few hundred feet from Cascade Creek, this route follows a trail marker downhill to the left for a close-up of the falls. Watch your step near the sheer rock face, but take advantage of small wading pools and sticky granite that make exploring the fall’s upper reaches easy and fun.
From the top of the falls, this route turns west and climbs alongside the creek for a spectacular view of the sloping face of Mount Tallac. You could spend lots of time exploring the basin on the creek’s west side, but this route turns east back to the trail marker and backtracks toward the trailhead.
-Mapped by Kristy Holland

To Trailhead

From South Lake Tahoe, drive 2 miles south on US 50 to CA 89. Turn right onto CA 89 and drive 7.6 miles. Turn left into the Bay View Campground. Drive 200 yards to the trailhead at the top of the campground.

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