Grass Lake

With numerous waterfalls and creeks all over the place, Grass Lake hiking trail is full of liquid scenery. Bring your family and dog on this wet and exciting hike, and prepare to be surrounded by pure, liquid excitement. Prepare for beautiful scenery and a nice, mellow hike. This trek is suitable for all, as it doesn’t require much energy, only the desire to experience nature at its finest. Grass Lake sits among granite slopes at 7,000 feet in the Desolation Wilderness. The hike to Grass Lake passes Lily Lake, crosses Glen Alpine Creek and includes several waterfalls and a swimming hole. Weather conditions can change rapidly.

To access the trailhead to Grass Lake take Highway 89 north approximately 3 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Lake Road. Watch for bicyclists and other cars on this narrow, one-lane road. Continue until you see the Glen Alpine trailhead sign and turn left. Trailhead parking is across from Lily Lake.

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Latitude: 38.8727257 Longitude: -120.1123238 Elevation: 7220 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Lauren Thomaselli

Recreational Opportunities

Hiking, Swimming, Fishing, Nature Loving. The hike to Grass Lake is approximately 4.5 miles round trip. It is considered moderate with a few short uphill stretches.

For the first time visitor, the network of trails may be a bit confusing. Grass Lake is easily found if you bare left at the junction marked "Grass Lake - Gilmore Lake". There are several stream crossings that can be tricky in the spring. Bring good trail shoes, a camera, wildflower guide, fishing pole and swim suit for this exceptional outdoor experience.

Seasons Accessible

After snow melts, June through October.

Be prepared with the proper clothing and equipment, no matter how short the hike.


Please fill out day pass at Trailhead-No Fee

Pet Friendly Notes

Dogs are allowed in Desolation Wilderness and on most other U.S. Forest trails. Pet owners please follow guideline: Keep pet on 6 ft leash at all times. Control excessive barking. Check paws often on rocky terrain, can cause cuts, consider protective dog pads. Pick up or bury canine waste. Keep your dog close by when encountering other people. Remember to bring enough water for you and your pet.



Hi. Just did this hike for the second time. Loved it as much as the first time! But, you bare left at the second junction marked "Grass Lake-Gilmore Lake" post (it will be after the first bit of up hill climb). A lovely way to spend a day!

Beth, 7/19/2012

My husband and I did the hike today. Wonderful rocky steady climb. We enjoyed going through the old glen alpine springs and buildings. We read it used to be a stagecoach pathway and a post office. Plus a Washoe matriarch lived there. The grass lake was quite small like a pond sitting amongst huge granite boulders. Next time we will do Susie Lake. A female forest ranger stopped several of us for our wilderness pass.... Needless to say we didn’t have one and she could have fined us, but we did it on the way out. Beautiful warm weather, but bring layers and water.

Drea, 9/29/2012

I love it

BOB, 5/16/2016

I’ve been going here since I was 5. Its a truely amazing place to be and fun for the entire family.

Hannah, 6/21/2017

Best hike I’ve done in such a long time! Beats several trails nearby.

Marissa A., 6/30/2018

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