Top hikes for waterfall viewing in Lake Tahoe

On the heels of an El Niño 450+ inch season, Lake Tahoe is full to the tip top, which means the roaring that you hear isn’t bears waking up after their winter hibernation. Nope. It’s the incredible waterfalls on full display. Everyone deserves a spring break and April/May is the perfect time to go chasing one of Tahoe’s best springtime shows. With Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel’s spring special you can book a two-room suite from as low as $89 a night, Sunday through Thursday through May 26. Use the code SPRING for the best rates.

Once you arrive, your closest waterfall is right behind the resort in nearby Van Sickle Bi-state Park. Here are five more of Tahoe’s can’t miss waterfalls:

Cascade Creek Falls

A must see, Cascade Creek Falls Trail offers a moderate mile-long path with lavish ferns and wildflowers along the way. The trailhead is off of Highway 89 at Emerald Bay from the Bayview Campground across from Inspiration Point.

Eagle Falls

This gorgeous waterfall is set against the backdrop of iconic Emerald Bay. There are the lower, or upper falls – both equally beautiful. Lower Eagle Falls is about a mile walk down with drops in two large cascades of 60 and 90 feet. It’s an easy to moderate hike and takes about 20-30 minutes. From the picnic area, continue a quarter of a mile up to see Upper Eagle Falls.

Glen Alpine Falls

With 65 feet of layered drops, the stair-step, snow-fed stream setting of Glen Alpine Falls above Fallen Leaf Lake is perfect for pictures. It’s easily accessible from Highway 89 north, approximately three miles from Highway 50. (Look for Fallen Leaf Lake Road.) Continue until you see the trailhead sign and turn left. Parking is across from Lily Lake. The best time to view is now through the end of May.

Fontanillis Lake Falls

For the more adventurous, the five-mile trek to reach the waterfall with a 150-foot cascade that drops from Fontanillis Lake to Upper Velma Lake is stunning. This is a must see in spring and early summer months. Obtain a wilderness permit at the Eagle Falls trailhead for this day-long hike.

Horsetail Falls

If you’ve ever taken Highway 50 to South Lake Tahoe, then chances are you’ve seen a magnificent crashing waterfall to the north just as you’re approaching Twin Bridges. This is Horsetail Falls, created by Pyramid Creek flowing down the steep glacier carved granite faces of Desolation Wilderness. Its 800-foot drop makes it the largest waterfall in the Tahoe area and a wonder to be witnessed. From South Lake Tahoe take Highway 50 west about seven miles from Echo Summit and park in the well-developed parking area near Twin Bridges and the Pyramid Creek Trail.

After your day of taking in spectacular scenery refuel with a stop at Echo Restaurant. Chef Sal’s Adventure Menu, with choices like build your own homemade pizza or burger, changes weekly to highlight fresh seasonal ingredients.

With Heavenly Mountain Resort extending their closing date to April 24, it’s also not too late to get some spring skiing and riding in. See you soon.