Lake Margaret Trail

Eldorado National Forest, California

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
5 Reviews
4 out of 5
Lake Margaret Trail is a hiking trail in El Dorado County and Alpine County, California. It is within Eldorado National Forest. It is 2.3 miles long and begins at 7,735 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 734 feet. The Lake Margaret Trailhead information is near the trailhead. There is also parking. Along the trail there are meadows.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Lake Margaret Trail is a hiking trail in El Dorado County and Alpine County, California. It is within Eldorado National Forest. It is 2.3 miles long and begins at 7,735 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 734 feet. The Lake Margaret Trailhead information is near the trailhead. There is also parking. Along the trail there are meadows.
Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Eldorado National Forest
Distance: 2.3
Elevation Gain: 734 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 7,735 feet
Top Elevation: 7,735 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Driving Directions: Directions to Lake Margaret Trail
Parks: Eldorado National Forest
Elevation Min/Max: 7495/7735 ft
Elevation Start/End: 7735/7735 ft
PREMIUM FEATURE

For a more curated experience check out trail guides from our partner publishers.

Top Trails Sacramento

Top Trails Sacramento

Lake Margaret is tucked away in a heavily forested glaciated valley pocked with ponds and small lakes and studded with granite rock formations. Although a short hike from Hwy 88, this subalpine jewel offers surprising seclusion. The up-and-down topography of the country also requires a bit more effort than implied by the short trail length depicted on the maps. Surrounded by granite ramparts, Lake Margaret offers a great opportunity to base camp and explore a virtually untracked portion of the Caples Creek Proposed Wilderness.

View Guide

100 Classic Hikes in Northern California

100 Classic Hikes in Northern California

This hike’s gentle trail takes you near the lush green banks of Caples Creek and past huge slabs of granite to Lake Margaret, where you can picnic, swim, and enjoy the mountain scenery. It’s a good outing for those wanting a lot of nature for only a little effort. Backpackers must contact the Amador Ranger District to obtain a wilderness permit.

View Guide

Best Hikes With Dogs: San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond

Best Hikes With Dogs: San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond

For little effort, this hike offers a lot of nature: a cool, inviting granitebasined alpine lake, a great burbling stream, and killer views. This is a trail built for children, families, and those households with a new puppy. Here, you’ll get the chance to teach some leash lessons and get your new arrival used to hiking the trails of California and beyond.

View Guide

Afoot & Afield: Tahoe-Reno: 201 Spectacular Outings in the Lake Tahoe Region

Afoot & Afield: Tahoe-Reno: 201 Spectacular Outings in the Lake Tahoe Region

Lake Margaret is a picturesque lake tucked into the undulating terrain of the Caples Creek drainage. A short hike with minimal elevation gain leads hikers through forested terrain sprinkled with granite outcrops to the shore of the diminutive lake. Although somewhat small in stature, the lake seems to be deep enough to offer a refreshing swim and sustain a healthy population of brook trout.

View Guide

Best Hikes with Dogs: Bay Area & Beyond

Best Hikes with Dogs: Bay Area & Beyond

white fir toward a seasonal creek at just 0.2 mile. Here, the trail bends east; make sure to look straight ahead at the high mountain ridge just north of Caples Lake. The path parallels, then crosses, another seasonal stream and at a 0.5 mile you’ll reach Caples Creek, where a grassy meadow makes for a perfect stop for a snack (and a quick dip in the clear creek waters)

View Guide

Five-Star Trails: Lake Tahoe: 40 Unforgettable Hikes in the Central Sierra Nevada

Five-Star Trails: Lake Tahoe: 40 Unforgettable Hikes in the Central Sierra Nevada

Lake Margaret is nestled amid a sloped granite field north of Kirkwood Lake. On this 2.4-mile descending traverse, you’ll cross Caples Creek twice and will be able to enjoy the flowers that crowd these small, wet meadows.

No navigation skills are needed to follow this highly blazed trail, allowing you to concentrate on children’s questions along the way. The dirt-and-duff track mostly stays under the lodgepole, with a few short intervals on granite. Rockbound and dainty, Lake Margaret shines in the bright sun, inviting picnickers and swimmers.

View Guide

Recent Trail Reviews

8/30/2014
0

I am very much at a beginner level hiker. Although this was tough I was able to complete it.


8/27/2007
0

Nice short backpacking trip or day hike with the doggie. Swimming in the lake is fun, there are two little rock islands you can swim to. Some of the creeks were dry this weekend. Only about 4-5 campsites so get there early on the weekend!


5/24/2007
0

Great hike. Beautiful country with lots of granite. A serene lake that just begs for a swim. Relatively easy hike, except for the creek crossing. I had to carry my 9 year old across - the water was up to my thighs, but slow moving.


8/6/2006
0

Just got home from a jaunt to Lake Margaret. Kids ages 7&8 had a great time. We love this trail. Every kind of terrain...small meadows, pretty streams,scrambles over granite rock faces. Wildflowers were still going strong although last week prob. better. Our favorite part was a maze-like walk through a young aspen grove. The lake is smallish but has granite islands out in the middle you can swim out to and jump off. Wear a suit or bring a fishing pole. Think this trail would be best in late summer--flowers or fall--aspens. Early summer might be too boggy. This is a fairly friendly trail but it is easy to get off course at the very end when it starts up the granite....stay to the right. Also you do have to cross 2 fallen log bridges...we loved it but some might be scared.


9/24/2005
0

Nice trail meanders through variable terrain sometimes forested, sometimes over open rocky areas. Two streams were crossed by walking over fallen trees, the first was shaky and would have been a little trickier if the stream bed had not been dry. The lake was pretty and you can walk around it, although, the rocky side does not have an established trail.



Trail Photos

Activity Feed

May 2018