Glen Alpine Trail is a 5.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from South Lake Tahoe: Take Highway 89 north approximately 3 miles to Fallen Leaf Lake Road. Watch for bicyclists and other cars on this narrow, one-lane road. Continue until you see the Glen Alpine trailhead sign and turn left. Trailhead parking is across from Lily Lake.
Great trail into Desolation with many different option for hiking and camping.Very rocky trail so trail shoes are a huge benefit. We brought poles, but didn't use them. Moderate trail and easy to navigate. We hiked from the trailhead to Lake Aloha in an attempt to do Jack's Peak and Dick's Peak. Fairly easy hike and well maintained trail. Bagging the peaks from a clockwise approach isn't an option unless you have some serious climbing skills. We will try it again another time going around Gilmore and heading up to Dick's Peak first. Here's a full recap: http://hustzkergies.blogspot.com/2016/10/glen-alpine-trail-hike.html
We did both Grass Lake and Gilmore Lake. Beautiful hike.
Concur with others, your feet will appreciate good hiking shoes. Wore hiking boots and still the soles of my feet were a bit sore.
Trailhead parking is difficult on weekends. This is an entry point for Desolation. Lot was full at 1pm. Parked about a 1/4 mi down the road.
Worth the hike though.
Hiked all the way to Grass Lake, and it was moderately challenging especially with much of trail being large loose rocks that easily tip - be careful if you have weak ankles. Crossing Glen Alpine Creek was also a bit confusing as it wasn't obvious where you were supposed to cross. But you get gorgeous sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and Grass Lake itself is very pretty, especially with few to no people using it. Very calm and serene. The only thing I didn't like about getting to this hike was the 3 miles of narrow one-lane road for both directions of traffic, worse with bicyclists also on the road.
Beautiful mountain trails with waterfalls, meadows, springs (nasty), historical buildings, wildlife and the plague. The chipmunk and squirrels have the plague here so the sign says
This is a great trail - the only down side is the "ankle turning" rocks along most of the trail that slow you down a bit. Nice history lesson at Glen Alpine Springs. One waterfall between Fallen Leaf Lake and Lily Lake and then 2 waterfalls between Lily Lake and the Glen Alpine Springs. Will be going back when we have more time to hike up to the other lakes:)
Loved this trail even though we weren't able to make it to Grass Lake. The trail has a lot of water on it, snow in a few places and several rivers to cross. First river crossing was pretty easy. The second river crossing was not possible without getting wet at the trail. I hiked down stream and found a large tree that had fallen over the river and crossed on that. Third river crossing did not happen for us. If I was without my standard poodle I would have been able to make it across, but it was a little too difficult for my dog, so I turned back . I think I was pretty close to Grass Lake, but just couldn't get all the way there. Great adventure and I'm looking forward to returning and trying this again.
Really rocky trail- the fall is within the first .25 mile and beyond that there isn't too much to see. There's the old spring but all the old buildings are closed up.
Pretty exposed in some parts- I recommend a hat.
In general, the Sierra's are beautiful and everything around Tahoe is even more so. We took this route to Mt Tallac, recorded approx 14 miles, of course with wandering around the Glen Alpine Springs and old resort grounds and following the boy all over the awesome granite out croppings and formationd that were worthy of photo opportunities for the youngen. All though quite rocky trail, if wearing proper foot wear, boots, you'll be ok if you're an avid hiker or even a beginner with decent balance. Take the time to go up to peak, you'll never forget the awesome experience! Be prepared to burn up some film, wait, that dated me, digital moments!
We used this trail to descend Mt Tallac after going up The Mt Tallac trail. The section between Mt Tallac and Gilmore Lake is wonderful. The rest of the trail is horrible! Nothing but foot-crushing, ankle-twisting shale and stone. I'm talking fist-sized and larger; the whole trail is made up of it. The scenery is follows the same trend; pedestrian (for this area) lower on the trail becoming more impressive as you gain altitude and spectacular as you get up around Gilmore Lake. The little abandoned town (Glen Alpine Springs?) is a cool diversion.
very nice views. continue another 1.4 miles up to reach the top of Tallac. much easier than the Mt Tallac Trail route