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By: Tim Hauserman
Memorial Day weekend weather was a bit tricky. Snowing one minute, sunny the next. I woke up Sunday morning with a fresh dusting of snow on the lawn. Shortly after the sun came out and the snow melted, I decided I better get on it and get some exercise before the next expected snow shower arrived. I asked myself, “Where can I hike to a beautiful view in a short enough time to get up and down before the snow flies again?” Eagle Rock!
About two and a half miles south of Sunnyside Lodge, just above Highway 89, sits two hundred foot tall Eagle Rock. It’s located just a short distance from Blackwood Creek at the the base of Blackwood Canyon. It’s a steep-sided dormant volcano that provides perhaps the most view bang for your hiking buck of any trail in the Tahoe region. It’s only about 20 minutes or less to the top, and the views once you get there are sublime.
The trail begins next to a small parking lot on the west side of the highway. It begins climbing immediately, making its way around the backside of Eagle Rock. While I started my hike in the sunshine, by the time I’d hiked about 10 minutes, a snow shower had made its way down Blackwood Canyon, and it started snowing heavily.
This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the crowd of folks at the top of the rock quickly made their way down the trail. By the time I got to the top, the shower had dissipated and just a few hearty souls were still taking in the view. There was a dusting of fresh white snow on the trees, the sky was crystal clear and the lake was the deepest of blues.
At the top of Eagle Rock, you can move around to various spots to enjoy the 360 degree panorama. To the west, all of Blackwood Canyon majestically unfolds before you topped by Twin Peaks. To the south, the view is of the shoreline towards Homewood and Desolation Wilderness. To the north and east, you gaze over the rest of Lake Tahoe with Mt. Rose in the distance.
While the hike is short, allow yourself plenty of time to hang out once you get there. It’s a view to be savored in every direction and from every angle. Enjoy!