Cascade Falls is a relatively unknown part of Lake Tahoe’s backcountry and well worth the short twenty minute hike from the Bay View Campground at Emerald Bay. The views are breathtaking and the sound of the water is overpowering.
The trail is easy and somewhat flat.
When you reach the top of the falls, granite dominates and the views are fabulous.
During early spring, the falls are flowing beyond the banks and difficult to cross.
A link to a YouTube video is below. If you have a moment, take a peek and listen to the sound of the water cascading over the granite into the lake. Eventually, this water rests in Lake Tahoe, travels down the Truckee River out of Tahoe City, and ends the journey at Pyramid Lake just outside of Reno.
This clip was taken from the West Shore of Tahoe. The reflection Heavenly Valley on the lake was beautiful. What caught my eye was the lack of activity on the lake, empty buoys and one lone sailboat.
Cascade Lake sits beside Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay.
Trailheads leave from Emerald Bay and lead to Cascade Falls and three high country lakes, Snow Lake, Azure, and Kalmia. Good fishing. Trails are not well worn or marked and you can usually count on making camp by early afternoon. A topo is highly recommended even if you’ve been there before.
After more snow melts and the streams and waterfalls subside, I will post more. This is one of my favorite hikes around Tahoe but it’s just a little early. We’re still skiing!
While either snowshoeing along the lake’s edge, skiing off the ridge tops, or hiking into the back country, I reflect upon the wisdom of those who walked these lands before us. Their love of nature and its wealth of resources has preserved an environment that is truly precious.
Native American tribes, the Martis, Washo, Shoshone, and Piute, have lived in the Sierras for 6,000 years. They honored the land and used only the resources they needed for survival, believing that earth and man was one. To destroy the land would bring destruction to its people. They lived in concert with the environment.
John Muir, one of my Scottish heroes, referred to the high sierra crest as “The Range of Light”. Like many of us, he was dazzled by the symphony of color and ever changing tones of the Sierras. The vistas contiually change, giving us moments of reflection on nature’s majesty and unspoiled beauty. Muir first visited Lake Tahoe in the Fall of 1873 stating Lake Tahoe was the “queen of lakes” and devoted his life to preserving the Sierras. He believed destruction of the environment would bring destruction to man’s very soul.
Like Muir, I am continually amazed at the constant change of color and quiet peacefullness the land transfers. Like our Native Americans, I believe man and the land are connected, and feel fortunate Da-ow-a-ga is home. Rugged mountain peaks rise above mirrored lakes as spectacular granite sculptures, encompassing acres upon acres of wilderness. Let’s continue preserving this place we love so much!
Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like Autumn leaves” (John Muir).