Lake Margaret Trail

#3 of 71 trails in Eldorado National Forest
Lake Margaret Trail is a 4.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kirkwood, CA that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, horses, and snowshoeing and is accessible from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

4.7 miles 738 feet Out & Back
dog friendly kid friendly camping fishing hiking snowshoeing horses forest lake river views wild flowers wildlife muddy rocky washed out
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Mike Higgins
1 month ago

8 Completed4 Reviews

Above average for those looking for a fairly short hike. With so many other trails available nearby, this didn't rock is. Lake Margaret itself is small by nearby standards.

Nico G-I
2 months ago

8 Completed4 Reviews

Great trail with different challenges along the way, but all are easily passable. The trail has some rocky areas that can be a bit steep. There are also some marshy so be prepared to get a little wet or muddy. Great little lake with excellent hammock spots! One of the best.

Linda Gage
2 months ago

7 Completed2 Reviews

This is a favorite of mine due to the variations in terrain, wildflowers and beautiful lake. A great hike!

Nancy S.
3 months ago

We take this trail every summer. Never get tired of the terrain or the views. It can be quite swampy too early in the season though.

Jackie Ahern
6 months ago

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.
7 months ago

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
7 months ago

15 Completed1 Reviews

Lisa French
7 months ago

8 Completed9 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
7 months ago

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
7 months ago

10 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
8 months ago

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
8 months ago

2 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
8 months ago

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
9 months ago

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.

ano n.
9 months ago

Nice trail. The creeks you have to cross have some pretty large logs that have fallen across. I was able to get across safely with no worry about the logs breaking because they're pretty thick. The trail is well marked but someone has stacked 3 stones throughout the trail if you need some guidance. There are a few forks in the trail...just look at the ground. Others and I have put sticks that block the wrong way. If you stop seeing the pile of 3 stacked stones, you know you've gone the wrong way. Towards the end of the trail it gets pretty bushy...don't worry, that means you're going the right way. Watch your footing in that bushy area though, I notice it's a decaying bank.

Bring bug spray. I should've brought some after reading reviews telling me to bring some but I decided that I didn't need any. Big mistake. Lots of mosquitos there!

Debbie Paul
10 months ago

33 Completed9 Reviews

Beautiful. You are going to cross some water, and this trail is a nice mix of meadows, rocky terrain, and being hidden by trees. Not really a beginners trail, depending on your activity level, but nice. No facilities in the parking lot, so be prepared.

Augie Hill
10 months ago

4 Completed2 Reviews

Beautiful!! Our little dog had the time of her life.

Julie Lindsay
11 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Family friendly hike with fun water crossings. Great lake and streams to picnic by.

Shassity murphy
1 year ago

21 Completed18 Reviews

Great hike! Lots of water had to navigate quite a few water crossings. It was super fun.

Karen Agurto
1 year ago

25 Completed10 Reviews

Follow the rock piles! My friend and I were stuck a few times searching for the trail because some parts are not obvious but we would just look for those little rock piles & that led us in the right direction. Make sure to wear bug spray as well. This was a great hike for my dog, he was tired out by the end.