Bayview Trail – Lake Tahoe Hiking Trails
Bayview Trail is a partial loop trip through Desolation Wilderness, and leads to Granite Lake, and then up Maggie’s Peak. This 4 to 5 mile long strenuous trail should only be attempted by experienced climbers, although you could always turn back once you make it up the gentle climb 1 mile to the cirque-bound Granite Lake. This trail is also great for horseback riding if you have the option, and there is a corral and watering facilities available for horses at the trailhead. The way up offers heart-stopping views of serene Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe. Desolation’s backcountry is home to gorgeous wildflowers showing up in pretty bursts of orange and yellow hues. Nestled between Maggie’s Peaks, Granite Lake is a picturesque area providing swimming, fishing, a great picnic spot, and excellent views of high Sierra peaks.
If you’re planning on continuing on after the lake, the trail continues steeply up the side of Maggie’s Peak via switchbacks for about a mile, then up a sparsely forested slope until you reach the summit boulders. About 2.7 miles along, the trail intersects with the Eagle Falls Trail. Although the route up South Maggie’s is straightforward, it is still a good idea to have a compass and map with you, and to know how to use them.
At the top of Maggie’s Peak, the views are absolutely stunning; definitely among the finest you’ll find in the entire Tahoe region, and it surely makes the climb 100% worth it. On the summit, you can see for miles – Lake Tahoe and Cascade Lake to the east, Mt. Tallac looming in the south, and the Crystal Range in the west. You can also see beautiful rounded Cascade Canyon, showing the effects that glacial action had on forming the Sierra landscape. Take it all in (be sure to bring a camera, as this view should be bragged about properly) and then head back down, looking forward to the long downhill.
To get to the Bayview Trailhead, take Highway 89 north from South Lake Tahoe approximately 8 miles to the Bayview Campground across from Inspiration Point, where parking is located at the far end of the campground.
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