I have to admit this probably wasn’t my most fun hike. I honestly had no idea what this hike was going to be like, at least after passing Cascade Falls. I had read a few articles stating there’s not much of a trail and you’ll need to do some bush-whacking, which I’m okay with. However, my initial plan was to go to Azure Lake just past Snow Lake. I didn’t seem to make it that far.
Either way, Snow Lake is a pretty lake that sits at an elevation of 7,300 feet above sea level. Hiking to Snow Lake, you won’t gain too much elevation at about 500-600 feet and it’s about 3 miles out, give or take depending on if you can find the trail.
So, my dog Jillian and I woke up pretty early to go on this hike. The hike starts from Bayview Trailhead which in the summer can get extremely crowded, especially hiking towards Cascade Falls. We were off hiking towards Cascade. As we passed the falls, we had to cross Cascade stream. Not a problem for us, so then we were off to try and find the trail. Without luck, as there’s really not much of a trail at this point. However, you can follow the stream between the two peaks with Maggie’s Peaks South on your right. After crossing the stream again, you will climb some flat rock; turn around when you get to the top and you’ll see some beautiful shots of Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe. This is where you want to make sure you catch the trail as Jill and I did. Below are some pictures.
You’ll go through what seems like a jungle here, although there is actually a trail. It’s tight and feels like you’re hiking back on the East Coast with the trees, leaves and high grass. Once out you will climb more rock until you hit the trail again. After this, the trail pretty much ends and you need to scramble through a forest of fallen logs and trees. This is where Jill and I took an unforeseen swim. We both fell in crossing a log over the stream. Fully submerged, not exactly what I was expecting. I was able to salvage my phone and dry my stuff, but was debating about just heading back. We weren’t far from Snow Lake so I decided to continue and finally we made it to the lake. Slightly bitter at this point, I took a few pictures and Jill and I started back to the trailhead. There are a few more pictures below. Hope you enjoy!
I’m actually typing this right now struggling not to scratch the heck out of my mosquito bitten arms. So, Jill and I fell in the water, I forgot my bug spray and was eaten alive by mosquitoes and was bush-whacking halfway through the hike with scratches and cuts all over. All of that said and done, we did reach Snow Lake, which was a new hike for me, I did salvage my phone and now I know what the hike to Azure Lake will be like! Here is my MyTracks until I fell in the water and my GPS stopped working…
To get to Bayview Trailhead, travel towards the “Y” in South Lake Tahoe. You’ll want to make a right at the “Y” and follow Highway 89 or Emerald Bay Road. Follow the road past Camp Richardson until just pass Cascade Lake on your left. You will see Bayview Campground and you can park outside the campground next to the road for free or drive into the campground and park near the trailhead for free.
Unless you know exactly where you’re going, I wouldn’t suggest taking your dog on this hike. However, Snow Lake is very cool and from what I hear, Azure Lake is even prettier. There are also some spectacular views of Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe on the trek. Have you hiked to Snow or Azure Lake? Leave a comment below! Also, follow me on twitter @sberei!