Hiking to Eagle Lake in Emerald Bay

Hiking to Eagle Lake in Emerald Bay

The day after I got back from my mini business trip to the city, Brandon and I were off to Truckee to spend the weekend with his side of the family! This was the second year we got to head up to the Tahoe area with them and I like it more each time we go.

View of the mountains surrounding Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

Our first full day there was a Saturday. We always hike with Brandon’s family and this year was no different. We set out toward Tahoe’s Emerald Bay in the search for the easy going hiking trail at Fallen Leaf Lake. We never made it to Fallen Leaf, though. In a weird turn of events, we ended up at Eagle Lake.

We discovered that parking in the Eagle Lake lot and nearby roadsides fills up quick. We got there in the late morning and had to park far away because there were no spaces. I’d recommend going earlier if you want to find closer parking.


Not a drone, just a vista of the hike down to the hike. #hoodlumsroam #latergram

A photo posted by A l e x H o o d (@tinted_green) on

Though you might miss out on this stunning view!

View of Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

Surprisingly, the trail didn't feel incredibly crowded despite the lack of parking. We came across more folks than usual, sure, but during a solid part of the hike it still felt like we were the only ones there.

I’m not an athletic person so I own very few athletic clothes. I also grew up with a stylish mom who passed on her need to look put together at all times so you better believe I planned my hiking outfits as if they were any other travel outfit. I wore vintage jean shorts that I got from my mom-in-law (similar ones here...they're even called "mom shorts," how perfect is that?!), an old Gap tank top that's from their loungewear line but I totally wear everywhere (this year's slouchy, muscle version) and Teva sandals.

I didn’t have my swimsuit on this hike but that didn’t stop me from plunging my toes into the water to give my feet a rest from my sandals that I was breaking in.

The highlight of the hike was getting to watch a mama duck fish for food with her ducklings in tow. I'm a huge nature show watcher and always wish I could be there when the show was filmed so even this small thing was a very cool thing to witness.

A few recommendations for this hike:

  • Get there early to avoid crowds both on the hike and when parking.
  • There's not a lot of shade on the trail so I'd definitely recommend wearing a hat or cap if you're sun-sensitive.
  • Bring extra water and eat a decent meal before you go.
    • That's like hiking 101, I know, but even between my S'well bottle and extra water pouch wasn't enough to keep me from getting thirsty. And we were ravenously hungry by the time we made it back to the car, even with our hiking snacks.

Thirst aside, it was a good hike! It’s for sure a lot of uphill hiking on stone steps which makes taking in the scenery on the way up a bit tougher. But the lake at the end of the trail is serene and clear and not that cold considering it's probably snow melt.

We rewarded ourselves with Moe's Original BBQ sandwiches for a hike well done. Brandon and I stumbled on this place last year when we were in a similar state of MUST.EAT.FOOD after biking from Squaw Valley to Tahoe City (about 8 miles one way). 

If you're ever there, make sure you try their homemade potato chips! They're great. My dad-in-law also really enjoyed the beans. The mac and cheese however is inconsistent. In the two times I've had it, it's been undersalted and oversalted, so order it at your own risk haha.

Eagle Lake

We finished the night off by watching Ghostbusters (which I thoroughly enjoyed) before heading back to our home away from home.

I can't wait to show you the rest of my photos from the trip! Until then, have a great weekend! I'll be glued to my couch watching the Olympics, what about you?