The day after our sixteen hour drive from Seattle to South Lake Tahoe, we were rather eager to get out and stretch our legs but not eager enough to get up early in the morning. So we did our best to find a short nearby hike which we hoped would be suitable for both our pup and our friend's english bulldog. We settled on a two mile round trip hike to Cascade Falls leading out of the Bayview Campground, directly across the highway from scenic Emerald Bay.
With winter conditions and enough snow on the ground - parking at the entrance to the campground was very limited even on a weekday. Impacting the parking situation further is the Inspiration Point lookout just across the highway and the use of hill in the Campground as a sledding hill. Be persistent and you'll find a spot, just make sure you park your car fully off the roadway.
The other thing to note about this hike is when done in the winter with enough snow on the ground, there are several sections were it's easy to loose the trail. Wandering west through the campground, you'll eventually find a nondescript sign for a trailhead - follow the path to the southwest towards the tree line.
Eventually you'll find yourself out on a trail that's so skinny it's hard to miss - with a steep drop on one side and steep hill on the other. While we hiked this portion the trail was a combination of slushy snow and ice - make sure to wear appropriate foot ware for that reason. There are a few rocks to step over and climb down but nothing too technical.
Once you reach the high point of the edge trail, the views of Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe in the background are stunning.
As we wandered around the rock and snow covered landscape without any sense as to where the official trail might lead, we eventually discovered we were literally walking on top of the streams leading to the falls. The streams were covered with a thick layer of ice, but the water flowing underneath was still both audible and visible and the falls fully iced over - but rather challenging to get a look at with all the snow.
Overall, the pups seemed to have a great time with plenty of new things to explore and the humans were quite pleased with the views and varied terrain. Oh and Roundabout, the english bulldog, totally rocked the trail!