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General Information: This is a pleasant stroll that leads to terriffic views of Fallen Leaf Lake and Mt. Tallac. Being almost flat and from 3/4 to 2 miles round trip, it is a perfect hike for small children or older adults. The trail is wide and easily navigated with virtually no chance of getting lost. After reaching Fallen Leaf Lake, it is possible to extend the hike by taking a trail that leads first to the dam and then along a scenic stretch of Taylor Creek where the Aspens in the fall will delight you with their ever-changing shades of yellow and green.

 

Where To Start: Pick up the trail at the entrance to the Fallen Leaf Lake Campground located on highway 89 just 3 miles north of the "Y" in South Lake Tahoe. Turn off 89 and onto Fallen Leaf Lake Rd and drive about a mile to the entrance of the campground. Park outside the campground and walk in.

Trail Description: The trail starts at the entrance to the campground. Either follow the road with the "Wrong Way" sign or find the trail that parallels the road for about 1/4 mile. The trail will leave the road and head over a small rise and then down to Fallen Leaf Lake. This rocky beach with incredible views of Mt. Tallac across Fallen Leaf, is a great place for a picnic, throwing rocks, or just sitting and enjoying the view. In the summer, the ease of the trail and the proximity to the Fallen Leaf Lake Campground makes this a popular destination, but off-season, or early in the morning, you can often find some solitude.

To extend this hike, you can follow the shore of Fallen Leaf (to the right) towards the dam which will shortly intersect a wide trail that continues through the forest to the dam. After crossing the dam, you can head either right on the trail back along the side of Taylor Creek or left along the shore of the lake.

The trail to the right passes through forest and along the creek on a pleasant path. At many places along the trail, you can stop and admire the fluid quietude of the creek. There are many fine picnic (not to mention fishing) spots along this stretch of trail as well. Continuing on this trail, you will eventually come to a paved road that will take you back to Highway 89. You could continue, turning right onto 89 back up to Fallen Leaf Lake Road, but it is more enjoyable to simply reverse the hike.

If you turn left, the trail passes again through pine, fir, and aspen forest up along the northern bank of the lake. It will eventually run into a housing development where the owners are very particular about their property rights! Signs warning the hiker that there is "No Lake Access" mean to say, "Stay Away".

Environmental Concerns: None especially, just the usual...keep Tahoe clean by packing out all your garbage (and that left by others if you are so inclined). There are toilets back at the campground that people should avail themselves of before heading out to the lake. If you have to go, be sure to stay a minimum of 100 yards away from the stream and lake.

Advisory: Be careful not to trespass in this area as property rights are often diligently guarded.

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