Spring has sprung, at least on our clocks, and the days are getting longer. In South Lake Tahoe that means snowmelt, which makes March and April prime times for waterfall viewing in the Basin. South Shore has some accessible spots to enjoy spring’s rushing waters and some that are worth the hike. Here is a list of Tahoe’s Top 5 Waterfalls, and a few extras.
- Eagle Falls, set against the world’s wonder that is Emerald Bay includes upper and lower falls. Lower Eagle Falls is about a mile walk down with drops in two large cascades of 60 and 90 feet. It’s an easy to moderate hike and takes about 20-30 minutes. Pack your water bottles and lunch for a quick bite at the picnic area. From the picnic area, continue a quarter of a mile up to see the Upper Eagle Falls.
- Glen Alpine Falls, 65 feet of stairstep falls set near the historic site of Glen Alpine Springs, a natural spring turned resort in 1884. It was one of the earliest resorts in the Tahoe Basin with buildings designed by famous architect Bernard Maybeck, designer of the San Francisco Palace of Fine Art. Trailhead parking is across from Lily Lake. A wilderness permit is required. Day hikers, pick up your permit at the self-serve area at the trailhead.
- Horsetail Falls, is in the American River Canyon off U.S. Highway 50, near Twin Bridges. It falls in stages for nearly 500 feet as Pyramid Creek tumbles out of Desolation Wilderness. The best access in the Pyramid Creek Trailhead.
- Fontanillis Lake Falls descends 150 feet in Upper Velma Lake in Desolation Wilderness.
- Cascade Falls the trailhead to view these falls is off Highway 89 at Emerald Bay from the Bayview Campground, across from Inspiration Point. It is a 1.4 mile, out and back trail. It is a 200-foot waterfall from Cascade Creek draining into Cascade Lake.
Smaller waterfalls can be found in several locations around the South Shore in Spring, including the end of South Upper Truckee Road as snowmelt swells the North Upper Truckee River at its source. Van Sickle Bi-State Park also offers smaller waterfall surprises in the spring and is located right in the heart of South Shore.
Living in South Lake Tahoe offers year-round outdoor adventures including waterfall chasing in the spring. If you want to learn more about living in Tahoe we can help. Contact us at www.beautifultahoe.com