Hike Caples Lake to Emigrant Lake

Lake Tahoe Caples Lake, California

  • Activities:

    Photography, Hiking, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Waterfall
Wildflowers

Distance: 8-9 miles roundtrip (out and back). Elevation gain: 915 ft. Fishing. Epic vistas.

This is an awesome out-and-back hike for the weekend warrior. The trail begins at the western-most point of Caples Lake, and takes you to Emigrant Lake.

The first 2/3 of the trail is rather flat and appropriate for all skill levels. The last mile up to the lake schleps up the hill, and has some uneven terrain that may not be suitable for people with limited mobility and/or small children. However, anyone else who can hike for 4-6 hours should be just fine. The first mile or so of the trail runs alongside the lake and is a great spot for swimming, fishing, kayaking or SUP. Caples Lake is also a great spot for fishing, and there are several campgrounds nearby.

Emigrant Lake is a small gem with many perfect spots for a lunch break. There is no camping within 300 feet of the lake itself. As for fishing, it doesn't seem that the lake is stocked, but there are a lot of brook trout in the lake.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Daypack
  • Appropriate hiking attire
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Reviews

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This is a great, easy hike since most of it is following along the shores of beautiful Caples Lake. The little bit of climbing you do is all forested and cool, especially in the late season. It also would make for a pretty easy day hike.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Lots a great scenery along the way with a gorgeous end at the lake perfectly surrounded by a mountain backdrop. Once you make it there it's a very chilly snowmelt lake perfect for cooling off your feet and having lunch before you descend!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Caples itself is beautiful, and the destination Emigrant Lake is stunning. Make sure to follow the side trail briefly to see the waterfall!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Emigrant Lake is so awesome. Hard to leave Caples Lake and its sapphire blue water, the climb up to emigrant along the creek is one of my favorite. The shimmering clear water hidden in that bowl of a mountain is so peaceful. Bringing my hammock on next trip up.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Valerie Cauhape

Cowgirl. Lover of the outdoors. Runner, hiker, beginning cyclist and avid daydreamer.

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