Fallen Leaf Lake Trail, South Lake Tahoe

4.6
#3 of 6 in Trails in South Lake Tahoe
Hiking Trail · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Fallen Leaf Lake is a mountain lake located in El Dorado County, California, near the California-Nevada state border, about one mile south of the much larger Lake Tahoe. It is approximately aligned north-to-south and oval in shape, measuring approximately 2.9 miles (4.6 km) on the long axis and 0.9 miles (1.4 km) on the short axis. The lake was created by at least two glaciers that traveled northward down the Glen Alpine Valley. If the glacier had continued instead of stopping, Fallen Leaf Lake would be a bay of Lake Tahoe, similar to nearby Emerald Bay. A terminal moraine is visible at the north end of the lake on the northeast edge.
Fallen Leaf Lake is located within the National Forest System lands managed by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, adjacent to El Dorado County. The land surrounding the lake is privately owned, leased from the U.S. Forest Service, and part of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Like some areas where the Forest Service has leased land intermingled with private land, the two land types appear in a mosaic or checkerboard pattern. Plan to visit Fallen Leaf Lake Trail and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended South Lake Tahoe attractions using our South Lake Tahoe day trip site.
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Fallen Leaf Lake Trail reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
64 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Not worth the hassle it is to try to get there. I would warn people to go to EMerald Bay instead. That was worth it. 
    Not worth the hassle it is to try to get there. I would warn people to go to EMerald Bay instead. That was worth it.  more »
  • Beautiful small lake, worth a visit, if you have an hour or so. Very serene. Recommended by the hotel and glad they did! 
    Beautiful small lake, worth a visit, if you have an hour or so. Very serene. Recommended by the hotel and glad they did!  more »
Google
  • We went for a few hours and used the day parking area. It’s $10 per car and only about 20 spots available. It’s a camping area so it’s populated with people camping. We went on a Wednesday around noon and there was no one at the lake where we walked to. It’s about 10 min from the parking area and a very easy walk. The water is crystal clear and beautiful!!!
  • Really a hidden gem. Nice view in all seasons. Need pay $10 parking fee,if not camping there. Update: The first set of pictures I took then in May 2022. I come back again in June 25,2022. The snow is almost gone, and it is very crowded now. The good side is that the water is much warmer and I can stand in the water and watch those tiny fishes come to bit my toes.

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