For anyone who lives in Tahoe we all really know there are only two seasons, summer and winter. With that said, excluding next week where it looks like snow is in the forecast, summer is on its way. That means hiking, camping, swimming, mountain biking and so many more fun outdoor summer activities. A great one to experience is Granite Lake Hike. The hike is short and has some spectacular views which I’ll discuss in more detail later. It requires quite a bit of vertical on the way up, but once you hit the lake and hang for some time, the hike down is a breeze. The trailhead elevation is 6,800 feet above sea level and Granite Lake is 7,650 feet above sea level. Within 0.9 miles one way, that makes for a pretty short and steep vertical elevation just under 1,000 feet.
I’ve done this hike several times. It’s actually a great workout. I’ve seen people running the trail, but haven’t done this myself. My goal however this summer is to conquer that task. While short, it would make for a great uphill run with a fresh lake to cool off in at the top and a nice comfortable run back down to your car. Possibly even bring the pup with you.
Granite Lake has some amazing views of Lake Tahoe and more specifically Emerald Bay. As mentioned on my Lake Tahoe page, Emerald Bay is the most photographed island in a freshwater lake in North America. Some of my favorite photos from Tahoe are taken on this hike, shown below!
To start the hike, you want to drive to the Bayview Trailhead which if going towards North Lake is on the left side of Highway 89 just prior to Emerald Bay. At the trailhead, you want to head right up some pretty steep switchbacks. You’ll continue to more of an open area and then to a rocky point. At this point, you’ll see some great views of the lake and Emerald Bay. The trail cuts left where you proceed to reach Granite Lake. The lake is pretty small and tucked between Maggies Peaks. It is a great place to cool off and have some lunch. If you feel up to it, you can continue to North or South Maggies Peaks.
If you don’t have much time and want to get some quick exercise, Granite Lake Hike is the way to go. Or, if you’re just looking for something short to do the job, why not spend a few hours on the trail? If you’ve been to Granite Lake or have continued further to Maggies Peaks make a comment below. Also, follow me on twitter @sberei and/or facebook! I look forward to the summer and posting more about hikes and trails in the Tahoe area!