According to legend, in the 1800s Maggie was a well endowed barmaid at the Tahoe Tavern. In contrast to the apparent origin of their name, Maggies Peaks are a pair of relatively small and undramatic peaks compared to other mountains at Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada. However, the views from the summits and on the short steep approach trail are some of the finest in Desolation Wilderness, an area known for its spectacular scenery.
Maggies Peaks, located at the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe, immediately west of Emerald Bay, are featured prominently in the background during the introductory credits to the old Bonanza tv show. They are the backdrop, shot with a telephoto view from across the lake as the main characters are introduced while riding horses in the foreground meadow.
The Bayview Trailhead is located on Highway 89 about 6 miles north of the town of South Lake Tahoe and about 16 miles south of Tahoe City. There are several parking spots at the trailhead in the Bayview Campground. There is additional parking along 89 at the entrance to the campground. The steep trail climbs about 1,900 ft in 2 miles to the southern peak (elevation 8,700 ft.). Half a mile up trail from the Bayview Trailhead on Highway 89, the trail passes a dramatic overlook of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe. After another half mile of climb the trail passes Granite Lake, a small glacial lake at the base of Maggies Peaks. From here the trail ascends the cleavage between the peaks and reaches the pass in another half mile. From the pass, the slightly lower north peak is a short class 2 scramble along the ridge and the south peak is an easy uphill hike through the forest.
For a 6 mile loop, continue on the trail which traverses the gentle northwest slope of the south peak then descends slightly before it ends at a junction with the Eagle Falls Trail. Turn right (east) on this trail and descend 2.6 miles past Eagle Lake to the Eagle Falls Trailhead. A very scenic half mile hike along Highway 89 returns you to the Bayview Trailhead.