This mellow trail winds through an alpine forest and deposits hikers at the base of White Cloud Falls. Along the way expect views of Cascade Lake. Trailhead: From South Lake Tahoe, head north on CA-89 for 9.4 miles until you reach Bayview Campground. Follow the campground 0.3 miles until you find the trailhead.

  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: Less than an hour
  • Elevation Gain: Minimal
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: Out and back

Hiking and Backpacking White Cloud Falls

White Cloud Falls is as simple as Rubicon Trail is complicated, making it perfect for families with young children or for people who may not be as physically fit as they would like. The views along the way are just as stunning as the ones on our more complicated hikes.

Serene Bliss

The trail to White Cloud Falls is meant to be experienced to the fullest, not to just get through as fast as you can. Take your time and examine the periwinkle blue of the columbine flowers that grow freely in the area, take a selfie with Cascade Lake in the background, or simply pull up the nearest rock for an extended water break as you watch your fellow hikers meander by. People watching can be a full time hobby on this trail, and since it’s only a short 2 miles round trip, you have all the time in the world.

No elevation rises means that family members with breathing issues won’t have difficulties; why can’t all hiking trails be this easy? The mist from White Cloud Falls can make the path slippery, so if the younger children in your party like to run everywhere, chances are there will be slips, falls, and boo boos that need to be kissed, but other than making sure the little scallions stay out of the water, there are no true dangers on this hiking trail.

On weekends, the White Cloud Falls trail will be extra crowded, so if you can fit it in to your busy vacation schedule, set aside a couple of hours on a Monday or Tuesday and enjoy the blissful silence that is a hallmark of the Tahoe wilderness-except for the roar of the falls, of course!

Hikers interested in the history of the area will be fascinated to learn that John Steinbeck was once hired as a chauffeur and tutor for one of the early families that lived on Cascade Lake, and even wrote his first book while doing so. We think that novel, A Cup of Gold, is his finest work; can you blame us?

As Your Children Sleep Peacefully

As the day ends with the sun setting over the waters of North Lake Tahoe and you find yourself sitting on the patio with a glass of wine enjoying the sounds of your children snoring peacefully, exhausted from their day’s adventures, you can pat yourself on the back for making the right choice in vacation accommodations. Reserve your Tahoe Signature Properties home away from home today!