Emigrant Lake Trail

Eldorado National Forest, California

Distance0.0mi
Elevation Gain15ft
Trailhead Elevation7,788ft
Top7,803ft
Elevation Min/Max7788/7803ft
Elevation Start/End7788/7788ft

Emigrant Lake Trail

Emigrant Lake Trail is a hiking trail in Alpine County, California. It is within Eldorado National Forest. It is 133 feet long and begins at 7,788 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 15 feet. The Emigrant Lake Trailhead information is near the trailhead. There are also restrooms.

Emigrant Lake Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Two lakes, one large and one small, provide hikers with two distinctly different portraits of the Carson Pass environs. More than half the journey follows the shoreline of Caples Lake, a 600-acre, human-made reservoir, where scads of recreationists boat, swim, and fish.

The 4-mile trail ends at Emigrant Lake, a diminutive, natural lake filling the basin of a steep cirque rimmed by 9500-foot-plus peaks. A brilliant floral display in the cirque usually lasts from late July through August."

"Let your eyes wander from lake to cliff to peak to sky. This trail offers an easy day hike or overnight trip that’s suitable for all. You’ll travel through small, flower-filled meadows and a mixed pine/ fir forest to deep Emigrant Lake, where tall mountain peaks tower high above. Backpackers must contact the Amador Ranger District to obtain a wilderness permit."

"Emigrant Lake lies on the dividing line between forest and high alpine meadows. At the north end of the lake, a few hardy trees provide sheltered campsites, while the remainder of the lake is surrounded by steep cliffs and flower-covered meadows. Easy access makes this a popular destination in midsummer, so plan to arrive early to secure a good campsite. Snow lingers on the forested hillsides below Emigrant Lake long after it has melted from the open slopes above. Early season visitors should be prepared with good footwear for crossing steep, icy snow slopes and for fording flooded creeks."

"Two lakes, one large and one small, provide hikers with two distinctly different portraits of the Carson Pass environs. More than half the journey follows the shoreline of Caples Lake, a 600-acre, humanmade reservoir, where scads of recreationists boat, swim, and fish. The 4-mile trail ends at Emigrant Lake, a diminutive, natural lake filling the basin of a steep cirque rimmed by 9500-foot-plus peaks."

Emigrant Lake Trail Reviews

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5/30/2010
Stunning, unmatched views of Lake Tahoe and the West Shore Peaks.... Wasnt even upset I didnt bag the Peak. Still.. a quick uphill jaunt will get you to Genoa Peak... Absolutely Amazing
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7/18/2009
An awesome hike and one of the most beautiful areas I have ever been to in some 35 years of hiking! It was +102 in the Central Valley today and so it was pretty warm here as well. The stroll along the lake was nice and the climb is steady and well marked. We had to cross over several rushing creeks and it was easy to do so. Once at the lake we were floored at the beauty of the place. The wild flowers were so beautiful and the meadow so lush. No question the hike up there was well worth it. We had a great lunch and saw a beaver slap his tail and swim by. The hike down has pretty easy but by the time we hit the lake again on the way back we were pretty tired. We forged on and made it back to the dam to end what was a prefect hike. We highly recommend this hike with the understanding it is a 8 mile hike. 6 miles would have been perfect for us but we made it and are very glad we went. We'll go again and stay the night next time.
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6/23/2006
Nice hike with beautiful views of Lake Tahoe from the 'bench' at the peak. Take your camera! The bench at the top is a great place to have lunch, but watch out for the biting bugs about 100 yards north. Don't linger there because they'll draw blood for sure! The bench is 'clean' though. Couldn't find any good views of the Carson Valley on the trail in spite of the trail guides claim - suppose I missed it. Got into some snow near the top, which made keeping on the trail a little tough. Another couple of weeks and that won't be a problem. Several deer sightings, and this is bear country, so be aware. Loved it - would do it again.
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7/30/2005
The streams were still running high, but there were no problems with stream crossings. The waterfalls and cataracts near the top of the trail were spectacular and well worth the trip. We took this as a day hike, but if camping, I would recommend the area near the falls about 1/4 -1/2 mile below the lake rather than the lake itself. There are signs not to camp close to the lake, but they were ignored by the campers who were there.
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Emigrant Lake Trail Photos

Trail Information

Eldorado National Forest
Nearby City
Eldorado National Forest
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Carson Pass Snopark
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Oct 2018