Swim in a gorgeous alpine lake with fantastic views of Lake Tahoe and the Desolation Wilderness.

Granite Lake is a pristine alpine lake near Lake Tahoe just off the Highway 89 above Emerald Bay.

To get there park at the Bayview Campground Trailhead, which can be pretty crowded in peak season so get there early. The trail begins with an split: right takes you into the Desolation Wilderness (and Granite Lake) and left goes to Cascade Falls. Go right and before do be sure to grab a day pass for the wilderness area.

The trail begins an immediate and steep climb up an absolutely fantastic overlook above Emerald Bay. Press on for another quarter-mile to reach the lake. There are numerous rocks you can jump off of and, depending on the time of the year, a pretty large waterfall on the SW end of the lake.

Pack List

  • Food
  • Water
  • Wilderness Permit
  • Sunscreen
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RT Distance 1.25 Miles
Elevation Gain 900 Feet
Activities Photography, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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