Lake Margaret Trail, at El Dorado National Forest – Kirkwood CA

Great hike to beautiful little lake.

Near: Kirkwood, CA

Distance: 4.8 miles round trip

Elevation Gain: 450 ft

Hike Time: 2.5 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail Condition: OK, but a few difficult spots

Hike Type: Out and Back

Lake Margaret is one of the prettiest little lakes in the Sierra Nevada that you’ll ever see.

The trail is moderate, and difficult to follow in places. There are many spur trails taking off from the main trail. Try to stay on the main trail and look for signposts to guide you. Near the end, at a creek/log crossing, the trail becomes very indistinct, and you may need to search around to pick it up again.

This trail becomes quite busy on the weekends. Weekdays or early in the morning is the best time to visit.


From Highway 88/89 junction, drive 12.2 miles west on Hwy 88 to the marked Lake Margaret trailhead (0.2 miles past the Caples Lake dam). (Lat:38.72256 Lon:-120.0859)