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Maggies Peaks

Maggies Peaks overlook the rapturous blue waters of Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, Granite Lake and Desolation Wilderness.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 3 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours

Overview:  Maggies Peaks are gateway pillars to Desolation Wilderness overlooking Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe. There are two prominences: the north... more »

Tips:  All visitors to the Desolation Wilderness require a permit, including day hikers, which are provided at designated trailheads like... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Bayview Trailhead Campground

The Bayview trailhead offers campsites for $15 a night and is managed by the USDA. Toilets. No Showers. Potable water.

2. Junction Desolation and Cascade

This is the Bayview trailhead board. Go right toward Desolation.

3. View of Emerald Bay

After climbing about 400 feet in elevation, the first view of Emerald Bay from the trail rewards you with the satisfaction of being above all the tourists and drivers below on 89. There are large rocks to climb on for photo opportunities.

4. Granite Lake

In the summertime, people gather at Granite Lake to rest and sun themselves. A few dare to take a dip in the icey waters tucked away in the alpine forest. Beyond Granite Lake, there is a brief slog up Maggies Saddle. Sadly, many visitors don't venture beyond Granite, but a bit more effort will reveal infinitely more and a capstone view.

5. Maggies Peaks Saddle

Upon reaching this point, you'll be able to see deep into Desolation Wilderness. Take a detour off trail to either of Maggies Peaks. To reach the south peak, the higher of the two at 8,699', take a left off trail once you've plateaued on the saddle and continue climbing in elevation. There is little underlying vegetation or brush, so navigating... More

6. Maggies Peaks South 8,699'

Although there's no formal trail leading to the top, the view is spectacular and one of the finest in Lake Tahoe. It is unobstructed by trees, and is the perfect perch for a well deserved snack. You can backtrack the way you came, or return to the trail and continue deeper into Desolation Wilderness. A nice loop would be to take a right at the... More