Connecting the communities of Sonora and Bridgeport, Sonora Pass (el. 9,624 ft. / 2,933 m.) is the second-highest highway pass in the Sierra Nevada.
Place Category: Trailheads
Located at Emerald Bay, the Eagle Falls trailhead is a popular starting point for hiking, backpacking, and camping in the summer months, and challenging snowshoe hikes during the winter. There is a fee-based parking lot, as well as parking alongside the highway.
This is a very popular spot during busy times such as summer weekends; plan accordingly. The trail is fairly easy to moderate to the waterfall, however, as the trail continues into Desolation Wilderness it becomes a more intermediate to expert trail.
Due to the popularity and fragile ecosystem of Desolation Wilderness, permits are required year-around for both day and overnight use. Day hikers may issue themselves a permit at the trailhead, or in advance from local offices. Overnight visitors must secure a permit from Recreation.gov, and there are limits on the locations and quantity of permits issued.
Distances to favorite lakes:
- Eagle Lake 1 mile
- Dicks Lake, Upper and Middle Velma Lakes 4.5 miles
- Fontanillis Lake 5.5 miles