Sometimes hiking isn’t about the hike itself. Sometimes it’s about the amazing photos you bring back to share with friends, fans, and followers. If you’re in it for the Instagram likes, check out these El Dorado County hikes for vistas, wildflowers, waterfalls, and more.

Wildflowers along the PCT near Carson Pass, El Dorado County

 

PCT: Carson Pass to Showers Lake

This section of the Pacific Crest Trail is a photographer’s dream. Expansive views, wildflowers galore, and even an old cabin make for creative photos. Reward yourself with a dip in Showers Lake before retracing your steps – and getting a whole different perspective!
Approximately 10 miles roundtrip
Trailhead: Carson Pass West PCT ($5 day use fee)

What a beautiful planet we get to explore 🌎🌸🏔

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Mt. Tallac

If you’re going to climb a mountain for a photo, make it Tallac. The highest peak within the Tahoe basin tops out at just under 10,000 feet, but it feels like you’re on top of the world. The most scenic trail to the top takes you through Desolation Wilderness via Gilmore Lake, boasting forests, wildflowers, and the stark granite that gives the wilderness its name. The 360-degree views of the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe have to be seen to be believed.
Approximately 12 miles roundtrip
Trailhead: Glen Alpine (behind Fallen Leaf Lake)

Happy Monday from Lover’s Leap// /

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Lovers Leap

This romantic sounding hike is known as a climbing spot, but it’s also a fabulous location to snap an easily-accessed summit photo. You’ll only have 600 feet of climbing to get to your IG-worthy panoramas that include Horsetail Falls and Ralston Peak.
Approximately 3 miles roundtrip
Trailhead: Camp Sacramento

Rubicon Trail

Enjoy views of Lake Tahoe at every step on this undulating trail that contours along the lake between D.L. Bliss State Park and Emerald Bay State Park. With secluded coves, shoreline cliffs, and an old lighthouse along the way, it provides ample photo opps for even the most jaded Instagrammer.
Approximately 8.3 miles roundtrip
Trailhead: D.L. Bliss State Park

Cascade Falls

This short hike near Emerald Bay is at its peak in the spring, when the waterfall is running high. The trail takes you above Cascade Lake, giving you a birds-eye view. Cascade Falls faces Lake Tahoe, so you can imagine the photo possibilities. Adventurous hikers can continue past the falls up to Snow and Azure lakes.
Approximately 2 miles roundtrip
Trailhead: Bayview day use area (Bayview Campground)