• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Point-to-Point

  • RT Distance:

    13 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1500 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

This is an amazing hike filled with challenging switchbacks, alpine lakes, scenic waterfalls and massive granite peaks! The hikes are easily accessible from HWY 89, near Emerald Bay. This hike is great as a 2-3 night backpacking trip.

Get ready to get your lake on! This backpacking trip will take you 13+ miles through awesome scenery to several alpine lakes.

Starting at the Bayview Campground, off of HWY 89, this hike follows the Granite Lake Trail along a difficult climb. Don't let the climb discourage you! As you climb, the views keep getting better & better. After 1 mile of climbing, you will reach a nice place to rest. The views from here of Emerald Bay & Lake Tahoe are incredible! Be sure to take a breather here as you will continue to climb for another mile.

After the first 2 miles you will reach the top of the climbing section and be rewarded with an amazing view with Eagle Lake below and to the right. At the junction in the trail, turn right to follow the trail down to Eagle Lake. This will be your first night of camp!

After your first night at Eagle Lake, you'll hike back up and out (the ascent is difficult) and make your way to the trail junction for Velma Lakes. Here, you will follow the sign to Dick's Lake. It's a pretty serious climb to Dick's Lake so be sure to fuel up! You will hike through scenic meadows, towering granite cliffs and tiny alpine lakes. This is probably the prettiest part of the hike so be sure to stop and enjoy it! Once you reach Dick's Lake, choose a campsite on the east side of the lake. The sunsets are great and there are less bugs. Enjoy a quick swim in the freezing waters of Dick's Lake, explore the shoreline and chill.

After a relaxing night, retrace your steps back to the Velma Lakes Trail junction, then finally to the Granite Lake trailhead. The hike out is about 5 miles and mostly downhill.

Pack List

  • Permits required for overnight camping
  • Campfires not allowed
  • Bear Canisters recommended
  • Dog friendly
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag/mat
  • Biolite camp stove
  • Hiking boots
  • Fleece
  • Bathing suit
  • Camping towel
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Nalgenes (x2)
  • Steripen
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Reviews

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This hike is steep and can be very crowded during the summer but Dick's Lake is worth the work. Once at Dick's Lake it feels like you are in the High Sierras because of the way Dick's Peak towers over the lake. Take some time to also go explore Fontanilis Lake not too far from Dick's Lake and loop back to the trailhead by passing by the Velmas on your way back.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Most of the hike is lined with rocks assembled as stairs, which makes it a reasonable hike for anyone! The beautifully-blue Eagle lake is a great spot for photos and even a quick swim if you don't mind the cold water!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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