Crag Lake, California is a popular destination in Desolation Wilderness and for good reason: it is absolutely stunning. The 5.5-mile hike to reach Crag Lake is wonderful as well and rated generally as moderately difficult. First, park at the Meeks Bay Trailhead on the southwestern shore of Lake Tahoe, California. The trail to Crag Lake leads to a string of lakes including Lake Genevieve, Hidden Lake, Shadow Lake, Cliff Lake and Stony Ridge Lake.

Crag Lake is on the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail section that is part of the Pacific Coast Trail, so expect to see plenty of backpackers if you hike here, especially during the summer months. Overnight stays (which we HIGHLY recommend) require a permit which can be obtained from, the go-to place for federal government regulated public spaces website. Although you will likely see plenty of people day hiking the trail, you'll probably have the place to yourself if you do stay overnight.

If you do end up having unwanted neighbors at Crag Lake, just keep on hiking. There's also great scenic camping at Hidden, Cliff, or Stony Ridge Lakes, and Lake Genevieve. You can't really go wrong in this great series of alpine lakes in the Sierra Nevada's.


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