Lake Margaret Trail

#4 of 134 trails in Eldorado National Forest
Lake Margaret Trail is a 5 mile trail (RT) located near Kirkwood, California. The trail is primarily used for hiking. It also is a nice place for an easy overnight backpack trip. The Lake is a great place for an afternoon swim and picnic. Fishing is no good, beavers are in the area.

5.0 miles Out & Back 550 feet
Kid Friendly Dog Friendly
camping fishing hiking dogs forest lake
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Trail is marked very marked. There is one area across the granite which you have to follow the ducked trail markers. You hop across Caples Creek within a 1/2 mile. When you get to, what looks to be a junction, head to your right. When you get near the lake, find the easiest way across the washout then head left looking for the trail that you will scramble up the rock, that will be on your right, to get you into the lake basin.

Jackie Ahern

1 Completed1 Reviews

Took my brother and friend here for their first overnight backpacking trip this weekend. There was about a foot of snow on the ground so it was little difficult to find the trail, but we made it to the lake in about 2.5 hours. We're all 20 years old and in good shape, but were definitely challenged in the snowy conditions with our packs on. The scenery along the hike was absolutely beautiful and the lake was just breathtaking. If you climb the rock-hill on the northwest side of the lake, you can see the entire valley; an awesome spot for sunset.
Cant wait to come back in the spring and summer to check it out then.

Val P.

It was a great hike. Parts were pretty easy other parts were a bit more difficult. Averaged out to be a moderate hike!
The scenery was beautiful well worth the hike!

Lana Brooks

12 Completed1 Reviews

Lisa French

7 Completed8 Reviews

This is an amazing hike! You alternate between clambering over granite outcroppings and descending to forest floor thru meadows and by a stream. The lake is absolutely beautiful. I would not characterize this hike as "easy". As others have pointed out, you have to cross the stream by walking on a fallen log twice. It's not as easy as some have made it sound. I think it would be really hard with packs on; it was challenging carrying nothing. The second one has cut branches sticking up just waiting to trip you. You also have to climb up over rocks in a couple of places. The trail is well-marked in some areas but not so well in others. The piles of rocks and sticks blocking the wrong way are helpful. Do not miss this hike!

Everette Jefferson

2 Completed3 Reviews

An amazingly beautiful and no rush hike, meadows, granit slabs, dense pine/fir groves, beautiful Mtn scenery... A Great Trail!

Brian Baird

4 Completed2 Reviews

Great place, just finished it with a group of Boy Scouts. Although I do have exception with the "Overview", the fishing was great when we were there. In just the morning that we were there, even with day hikers' dogs disturbing the fish, we caught 8 trout in a few hours at the lake.

Jeff Powrozek

3 Completed3 Reviews

Day hike on the Sunday before Labor Day. Weather was low 80's, a slight wind, and slightly smokey from an upcountry fire. This could be considered easy-moderate for older hikers (or out-of-shape hikers like me and my wife and our 11 year old dog). There are two water crossings over fallen logs (easy for us, dog had to swim one) and one small rock climb. The lake water starts a little chill, but you get used to it quickly and was refreshing. There is also a lazy river (at least at this time) that you can meander back in for a little ways and was the coolest thing. With the beautiful rock formations and wonderful meadows, I will be back to see what Spring changes.

And kudos to the folks who marked the trail with stones and blocked fake trails with logs. Really helps!

Andrew Patterson

1 Completed1 Reviews

Stayed overnight during labor day weekend. Beautiful views of the cliffs all around. The water was a little too cold to swim in!

Eric Hebert

2 Completed2 Reviews

Great little hike for a weekend backpacking trip. My son and friends of our's went for an end of summer guy's trip. The trail isn't to rough. Though there are the two log bridges over the creek that were very interesting to get over with packs on. The lake is beautiful, with plenty of rocks to jump off of, but does get crowded on the weekends as this is a popular day hike trail. An all a round great trip to introduce my son to backpacking.

Victoria Gould

2 Completed2 Reviews

Great beginner backpacking trip for my 9-year-old son. Trail was not too difficult to follow, although we had some difficulties crossing the streams with our packs on. We ended up taking off our boots and wading across at the first stream, as trying to balance on a log 10 feet above the shallow water felt a little dangerous with packs on. I loved that the trail had a little bit of everything, and the lake was beautiful and not super cold. Lots of swimming, rocks to climb, and fallen logs to walk across to keep you busy once you get to the lake. We didn't have too many issues with bugs, although we did carry and use bug spray; I have been to places with WAY more mosquitos and ants. All in all this is a great little day hike or overnight trip.