Lake Margaret Trail

#3 of 135 trails in Eldorado National Forest

Join the largest community of outdoor enthusiasts.

Get Started

Upgrade to Pro

Unlimited access to National Geographic TOPO! & Trails Illustrated Maps

Learn More »

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.

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.

If you are coming from the west side of the Sierra Nevada's find your way to Jackson, California and head east on Hwy 88. If you are coming from the east find Minden, Nevada and head west on Hwy 88.
West - East, Trailhead & parking lot is located 3/4 mile east of Kirkwood Ski Resort on the north side of Hwy 88, 1/4 mile past the Kirkwood gas station/cafe. It will be on the left. If you reach the Caples Lake Dam parking lot on your right, you have gone 1/4 mile too far.
East - West, Hwy 88, go over Carson Pass, look for the parking lot sign 1/4 mile past the Caples Lake Dam parking lot on your right.

Room enough for 8 cars

Icon_


N/A:

7 Completed 7 Reviews

Excellent hike, a good full day hike with beautiful scenery, very green, lots of flowers still in midsummer.The trail winds through lush meadowland, over large granite slabs and around clear sparkling streams and stained alpine ponds.The trail gets faint in a few places- may have to search around a little to find it again.At the end of the trail is a natural lake, its pretty warm for a alpine lake, great to swim in! We explored the small islands on the lake and even camped overnight, there is about 3-4 places that will fit a tent or two at trails end.Be sure to pack water or a water filtration system of some sort, iodine tablets, anything,. seen way to many people going without proper hydration lately.This trail is mostly moderate and just difficult enough to make it strenuous in places.

Icon_


N/A:

13 Completed 17 Reviews

A nice hike for taking the dogs along!

Icon_


N/A:

13 Completed 17 Reviews

Another enjoyable hike! Happened upon it when expecting to do a different hike, and really loved it. We hope to go back for a back packing trip because the lake at the end has some perfect camping areas.

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

19 Completed 8 Reviews

Beautiful - busy, but sooooo beautiful. I normally don' t like to see little rock piles indicating that people have been there, but in this case, it was a great trail marker, so thanks folks! Clear hiking, beautiful weather, fantastic sights! Lots of wildflowers!

Icon_


N/A:

7 Completed 4 Reviews

Trail clear all the way to the lake Memorial Day weekend. Lots of snow melt causing some flooding and heavy mud in the first meadow but pretty easy to get around. Also created several very temporary small waterfalls and the river was running very strong and fast. Beautiful hike as always.

Icon_


N/A:

4 Completed 4 Reviews

Went May 17 2014 good little hike with the fam only could go back bout 1.5 mile do to the snow. I would wait till mid June to try again

Icon_


N/A:

7 Completed 4 Reviews

I live in the nearby area and this is my favorite hike. Made my way up there on May 3 and only got a little over 1/4 mile down the trail before I had to start finding ways around the snow. Stopped not much further in and enjoyed the awesome view. Snow melt was in full swing and there were several temporary creeks flowing through the first lower meadow. It was really beautiful but I didn't see a way to make it to the lake yet. We'll see how it's looking this weekend.

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

11 Completed 1 Reviews

Loved this hike. The trail markers are almost nonexistent, so the ducking was helpful. Great trail for dogs, super windy on the lake, but a great picnic spot. Just missed the Aspens fully lit by a few days.

Icon_


N/A:

42 Completed 42 Reviews

Being a NW hiker, this was my first hike in granite and meadows of the Sierras--it was stunning in the summer. This is just the perfect short hike: nIce ups and downs, a beautiful meadow and stream, and a fantastic lake. A lot of different looks/feels of the country to for such a short trail.

Note: I watched others in my party pull multiple fish out of this lake, so I'll politely disagree with the "fishing is no good" statement.

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

2 Completed 1 Reviews

Great hike with a lovely lake at the end. But this trail is heavily used with lots of trail traffic. We fished the lake without a single bite. But did catch fish in the river on tne way back. We hiked this with our two miniature dachshunds. They made the hike with only a few places that they needed help to get up and over. We would hike this again.

Support