Eagle Falls - South Lake Tahoe


Destination: Eagle Falls - South Lake Tahoe
Distance from Point of Origin: 448 miles.
Estimated (One Way) Travel Time: 8-1/2 hours.
Directions: From the Stratosphere Casino head northeast on Las Vegas Blvd about 3 miles and turn left onto US-93/95, keeping on the left for 95 North towards Reno.Stay on US 95 for 345 miles and turn left onto Alt US 95 N (Yerington Cutoff) and follow for 24 miles. Turn Left onto NV 339 S which turns into NV 208 and follow for 24 miles. Turn right onto US 395 N for 16 miles. Turn left onto Riverview Dr. for .6 miles. Continue onto Dresslerville Rd. for 1.5 miles. Continue onto NV-756 W/Centerville Ln. for .6 miles. Turn right onto Centerville Ln. for 4.1 miles. Turn right onto NV-206 N/Foothill Rd for 1.3 miles. Turn left onto NV-207 W/Kingsbury Grade Rd. and follow over the mountain for 11.1 miles. Turn left onto US-50 W (Entering California) for 4 miles.

General Description: Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada range of the United States. The general area surrounding the lake is also referred to as Lake Tahoe, or simply Tahoe. With a surface elevation of 6,225 feet, it is located along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. Its depth is 1,645 feet, making it the USA's second-deepest (the deepest is Crater Lake in Oregon, being 300 ft deeper, at 1,945 feet) Additionally, Lake Tahoe is listed as the 26th largest lake by volume in the world with 122,160,280 acre·feet of water. The lake was formed about 2 million years ago and is a part of the Lake Tahoe Basin with the modern lake being shaped during the ice ages. It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides. A major tourist attraction, the South Shore is dotted with casinos, skiing resorts, golf courses and summer outdoor recreation.
Special Attraction or Points of Interest: There are numerous attractions, hiking and photography moments in and around the south shore area. The Heavenly Gondola ride, Cave Rock, Emerald Bay and the GonVikingsholm Castle,  Eagle Falls hike, Falling Leaf Falls hike, the Eagle Lake Hike, the Tallac Historic Site, and the Lake Tahoe Cruises, just to name a few.
Primary Activity: Photography
Secondary Activities: Hiking, Biking and Boating

Elevation: Roughly 6,300 feet.
Best Time To Visit: Year-round, depending upon your interests e.g. skiing, biking, hiking, etc.
Difficulty: Depends upon your chosen activity. Here is a description of the Eagle Falls Hike: Eagle Falls has two different waterfalls to choose from. There is the Lower Eagle falls, and Upper Eagle Falls. Both are beautiful and worth the short hike. Lower Eagle Falls is about 1 mile hike down to the lake. The waterfall is spectacular, falling in two large cascades, the first about 60 ft. the second about 90 ft. It’s an easy to moderate hike and takes about 20-30 minutes. This is a great waterfall, and worth seeing. This is one of the most popular hikes in the area, but for good reason. There is a trail leading to the falls from the parking lot at Emerald Bay State Park located along highway 89. No dogs are allowed on the trail. The Upper Eagle Falls is a bit less spectacular but still beautiful and a short fun hike. The waterfall itself is about 20 ft. tall and it’s a short quarter of a mile up from the Eagle Falls picnic area. You can also continue on to Eagle Lake in the Desolation Wilderness from there. It will cost you $5 dollars to park.
Facilities: Everywhere.
Estimated Round-trip Time: 17 hours. Definitely a two-day travel plus whatever time you want to spend site-seeing and taking pictures.

05/06/2001 Trip Notes: While on a “Mother’s Day” visit to South Lake Tahoe, we took a drive out on Highway 89 with the intent visiting Fallen Leaf Falls. Unfortunately, the snow at this upper elevation was still so deep that the area was still closed. Not to be disappointed we drove back to the highway and headed north toward Emerald Bay and Eagle Falls. Of course we realize it is impossible to be disappointed driving anywhere around Lake Tahoe as every turn brings just one more stupendous view after another. On the way we passed this beautiful Incense-Cedar. These old trees, often veterans of centuries of fires and storm damage, are stunning specimens to behold. Their massive, buttressed trunks, their spired crowns often broken and forked, and their flattened sprays of foliage give the tree a delicate, lacy appearance in beautiful contrast to its grizzled, gnarled bark.
Indeed, even in death these trees can stand out for their stark beauty. Click here for more info on this great specimen … Incense Cedar - Calocedrus decurrens.

This is a view of Upper Eagle Falls from the turnoff just past the upper falls on Highway 89, also known as Emerald Bay Road. This beautiful waterfall, falls in two large cascades, the upper falls being about 60 feet and the lower falls about 90 feet. Though we did not take it, taking the fairly steep 2½ miles round trip down to the lower falls provides a more spectacular close up view and ends at a sandy white beach on the shore of Lake Tahoe in Emerald Bay just past the world-famous Vikingsholm Castle, a replica of a Scandinavian castle. Hiking up from the upper falls provides some beautiful scenery and takes you to Eagle Lake. The picture on the right shows both the upper and lower falls. P1050311
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The above view was taken while standing on the top edge of upper Eagle Falls as it looks eastward, out across Emerald Bay and across Lake Tahoe. It was amazing that at this elevation, just a few hundred feet above lake level, that there was no snow cover what-so-ever, however, just a mile down the road if you turned around and looked upward at the higher elevations, everything was still deeply covered in snow. They had so much snow this year that the “spring melt” is already causing serious problems, and there is a long way to go.

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Thanks for the beautiful afternoon Bro, we really enjoyed it!