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Home - Beaches - Hiking - Camping - Fallen Leaf Lake

2241 Dundee

The Vitals

Locals Tips

Great place to start a Tallac hike and end it with cliff jumping into lake.

Dogs?

Yes, but it's a big lake so there are some areas where they must be leashed

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Fallen Leaf Lake

There are three glacially carved valleys pouring out of Desolation Wilderness into Tahoe's southwest shore. Two stopped short of Lake Tahoe and formed what are known today as Fallen Leaf Lake and Cascade Lake. The third pushed on a bit further and is now known as Emerald Bay. Fallen Leaf Lake, surrounded by the flanks of Mt. Tallac on the west and Angora Ridge on the east, is by far the largest of the three. It is also the most populated. There are developed areas on the south, east, and west shores and a large campground just north of the lake. The main road in is Fallen Leaf Lake Road which takes you past the campground and along the lakes eastern shore, which is the most developed area. This road is also the access to Glen Alpine Trailhead, Lily Lake, and Glen Alpine Falls. On the way you'll pass St. Francis of the Mountains, an Episcopalian Church. The road is not plowed during winter. Hiking to Fallen Leaf Lake is best found just past the Fallen Leaf Campground. There are a number of well maintained trails which all lead to the lake's north shore. These are particularly beautiful in the fall, when the numerous aspen groves turn yellow. The north beach of Fallen Leaf Lake is filled with small rocks and the water is shallow out a long way. If your heading in during the summer, bring some water shoes so they can play in the water. Just pick one of the turnouts after you pass the campground. There is also a beach on the south shore adjacent to the marina and general store. This makes a great stop to finish up any hikes starting here or at the Glen Alpine Trailhead.
Due to its beauty, the lake is a favorite of Hollywood producers and it has been featured in both The Bodyguard and City of Angels.

Fallen Leaf Lake Photos
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Directions- From the 'Y' in South Lake Tahoe head  north on Hwy 89. After passing Camp Richardson (specifically ater passing the stables on your left) it will be the next left turn. The campground will be the first thing you come to on your right. Then there will be several pullouts with trails that lead you to the north end of the lake. Or you can follow the narrow road around to the south end.


Disclaimer- Jumping into Alpine Lakes has inherent dangers regardless of water depth. People break bones every year jumping into Tahoe area lakes without ever hitting anything but water. Additionally, water depths can fluctuate greatly during periods of limited precipitation.

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