Information: In the summer, this area is swarming with people
and cars and is best avoided, especially on weekends. However, in
the winter, you might have the entire lake to yourself! The beauty
of the Tahoe wilderness in winter is hard to overstate and Eagle
Lake has its fair share. The trail is a bit steep in some areas
pushing this ski tour into the intermediate range.
To Start: Emerald Bay is located a few miles north of South
Lake Tahoe on Highway 89. The Eagle Falls trail starts at the end
of the Eagle Falls parking area ($3.00 fee required). Depending
on the road and weather conditions, you may be able to park for
free on the road.
Description: From the parking area, the trail heads up the north side
of the creek until you cross a bridge over the falls. From there on, the
trail is on the south side of the drainage. The route proceeds higher
over a series of "benches" topping out after only three-fourths
of a mile. Eagle Lake is small but pristine, surrounded on two sides by
steep cliffs. It is possible to continue across the lake when it is frozen
but extreme caution is advised. When in doubt, stay off the ice. It is
also possible to continue on to Lower and Middle Velma Lakes by heading
southwest from Eagle Lake up the slope to a somewhat hard to find notch
and then west from there. It is unlikely ttracks thus gooo be tracked,
so good route finding ability is required. This should be attempted only
by experienced backcountry travelers. If you have the skills, however,
the effort is well rewarded with spectacular backcountry scenery.