The hike to Cascade Creek Falls on the Bayview Trail near Lake Tahoe is a perfect hike for beginners or anyone looking to share an easygoing day enjoying beautiful scenery with their pup. With just a mile's hike over mostly flat terrain, you'll reach a gorgeous vista of a waterfall spilling into a high alpine lake. The lake feels hidden, encircled by a dense forest of rich green conifers. Mountains loom in every direction and the larger Lake Tahoe lies just beyond the small, private Cascade Lake. It's a unique and majestic sight. Standing at this vista point and looking out, you and your dog will feel like kings or queens of the mountain.
This hike begins at the Bayview Trailhead, which serves as an entry point to the Desolation Wilderness. A dedicated parking lot, toilets, and trail information are available at the trailhead. The Forest Service manages the number of hikers that travel through the Desolation Wilderness and requires that you apply for a permit before entering. However, no permit is required for this hike as it does not enter the wilderness area.
You'll start your hike in dense cover of Ponderosa pine and spruce, but will quickly reach parts of the trail fully exposed to the sun. Granite boulders, cliffs, and ledges add to the scenic beauty. Near the stream, rivulets trickle under tree roots and over rock ledges into small pools. Soon after you reach the main vista point for this hike, you'll be able to climb down some stacked rocks to the waterfall and the large pools that form underneath it. Wildflowers including lilies and purple lupine grow nearby and the air is filled with aromas of cedar and fern. You and your dog will both revel in the scents that surround you.
Due to its accessibility and beauty, this is a popular hike and not the best option for hikers seeking solitude. Early morning hikers can beat most of the crowds. What makes this trail popular also makes it a great choice for watching the sunrise or sunset. You'll be able to make it back to the trailhead and your car before the heat of the day sets in or before it gets dark.
This hike is a must for any nature lovers who visit Lake Tahoe. You'll never forget the day you spend in this beautiful place with your furry best friend.