Fallen Leaf Lake Road

MODERATE 70 reviews

Fallen Leaf Lake Road is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 7.8 miles Elevation Gain: 400 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

nature trips



bird watching







wild flowers




1 day ago

This is not a loop. It ends at private property. If you follow the trail to the end you end up on a narrow paved road for a couple miles that is heavily trafficked with cars and tough with a dog. The bonus is that if you keep going there’s a nice marina, store and cafe that’s dog friendly. You can’t continue around the lake this direction as you end up in more private property and even if you did get through traversing the sharp rocks isn’t possible with a dog or kids. We backtracked and took a few different trails through a meadow. This is the second time we’ve hiked around this lake. Next time we’ll stick to the trail going clockwise. This is also the second time we’ve spotted bears near the water edge so stay alert has keep dogs and kids close.

2 days ago

Disclaimer: this is not a “trail” and it’s not a “loop”. It’s a paved road (with lots of car traffic) that goes out and back (hence the one star rating). But there is hope: there are some really amazing trails surrounding that can make this a very fun hike. Start by following the dirt trail that runs parallel to the road; this ends at Tahoe Mountain Road. Take a left, walk up the road for a ways, then take a right on the Angora Ridge Trail. This is a BEAUTIFUL hike with some great vistas. Walk approximately 1.8 Miles until the trail meets up with Angora Ridge Road. Take a right on the dirt road, then shortly after another right on Clark Trail. This gets you to the same ends point. You can walk the road back at that point (if you so wish). Now THAT’S a great hike.

Beautiful trail. Today was the best I’ve seen with calm waters, especially at the east end of the lake where the mountains were reflecting off the lake. Didn’t follow the road - we took a very leisurely 4 mile stroll towards each end of the lake and then back through the meadow. Gorgeous.

9 months ago

a good portion of the trail is paved road on the one side, but otherwise it was a lovely, not terribly trafficked trail on the 4th of July weekend.

9 months ago


9 months ago

Our dog really enjoyed this trail and the easy access to the lake water. Parking was a bit crowded but once we were on the trail it was great.

10 months ago

Gorgeous lake, easy trail at campground. Great birdwatching area, I saw Western Tanagers. Can be crowded at times.

11 months ago

I would only recommend doing half the lake. After that you have to walk through Stanford Camp and are on a one lane road the 2nd half of the hike. The road is one lane and not safe to walk on with children. The cars are not looking out for walkers. Beautiful lake just don’t go past the lodge. I would get lunch and go back same direction not on the road.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A large portion of this is paved road. It was good exercise walking around the lake but that's about it.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

hiked with my dog june 21 18. weather was perfect, lake was beautiful.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

I went around the lake on 1/28/18. I was hopeful about the snow from a couple days prior but had to take my snowshoes off after about 10 minutes. There’s not enough snow for them to be necessary. This lake is a gem, you don’t have to hike long before seeing amazing views! Definitely recommend!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Beautiful hike but as others have said below - the trail is not marked. Starting at the trailhead and going counter clockwise, we made it all the way around the lake in 3 hours, but we were going pretty fast as the sun was going down. A little icy in some parts but once you get to the road past the rock gullies/creek it's all a road. Would be a better hike in summer.

trail running
Sunday, November 26, 2017

Grand views, especially now when the mountains are just crusted with snow. The trail really isn’t that hard to follow - you follow the blue markings on the trees. There are some forks in the trail but as long as you stay close to the lake you won’t get lost. I only went 2.5 miles in (5 miles round-trip) because the trail was blocked by private property. Apparently if you go right (near the fire house) the trail picks up again, but really it’s fine just turning around there.

Friday, November 03, 2017

The trial is easy. You walk around the beautiful lake with peace and harmony.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Great views, but poorly marked trail.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Easy trail ! Beautiful, end of October 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

We took the loop starting from the right where we passed an old ruin house with a chimney still standing which was very pretty. Going ahead about 1/4 the way it was hard to find the path. you are walking on a road with houses. if you take both forks on the road to the right you'll dead end to the last house on the road, walk as far down to the end and look right. there's a questionable over growing path, go up just a little ways (a yard or two maybe) and hidden to the left the trail continues just over 2 tree logs on the ground. the path is tight but visible which leads to a rocky well recognized path. there must be another way onto it because we T onto the path. we made it half way around the lake in 3 hrs. the path crossed a small downhill creek crossing and fallen but working power line. it wasn't strenuous. we ended up coming across a private large camp property near 1/2 way. we took to the road and came across a cafe we had lunch at. I suggest eating and having a drink there. we did not make the time we wanted and found someone awesome enough to boat us back across. we weren't sure how to find the path on the other side either so we probably would have just walked the road. no one seemed to know about where to find the paths or kept saying there wasn't one. though, I bet there's one on the other side too but we just didn't have the time to find it. great and pretty lake.

trail running
Saturday, July 29, 2017

Managed to get around the lake, but lost the trail a few times. Some good scenery. The rock cliff near the waterfall make a good dive when the water levels are high.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trail was great and longer than 8 miles - poorly marked - missed the trail entrance of the last 3 miles and walked back on the road.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Very hard to stay on trail- not well marked.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The trail near the campground is downright beautiful and a nice place to stretch your legs for an hour or two. But this is not a good hike. Just after the dam, on north end, your choice is either a road not too close or a difficult trail to keep. Most of the southeast end is actually hiking along a road, which is interesting to see the residential water-side homes. But there is also a ton of aggressive mosquitos due to many resting water holes.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Great hike , our dogs did it with ease. Great views, lots of wild animals, birds and enjoyed every minute .

Sunday, June 11, 2017

We stayed at the campground. I would not recommend hiking around the whole lake. After crossing the dam, it's not well marked. Hard to get lost if you stay by the shoreline!

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Varied trail, across waterfalls, rocky sections, shrubbery and paved sections. The marsh crossing near the end was not the best. Shrubbery was overgrown and scratched our legs quite a bit. Insect repellent is a good idea as mosquitoes were quite bad on the side of the lake where the waterfalls were. Signage would have been a good idea, as the trail was not very well marked, and we deviated a few times as the way forward was not always easy to see.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

It should get five stars just for the gorgeous scenery. It's a magical place to see. We went there 27May17 and tried to go toward the right at the trail head but couldn't see a defined trail after the bridge. If we didn't have a 4month old strapped to us we would have poked around a bit more. We doubled back to start going left from the start of the trail head and it was a little more clear and had great views--but again didn't go very far due to carrying a babe. We'll definitely go back to continue exploring later. (To be clear we weren't trying to have an amazing all out hike hike, just a little walk with nice things to look at. I agree with some of the other reviews that if there were signage and clearer trail/upkeep then it would be awesome for a great workout.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Beautiful lakeside and hillside scenery but the trail is not well marked so hard to find the way in places. We hiked May 22. Bushes on trail were very overgrown and we got lots of surface cuts trying to bushwhack through. On south side of the lake, due to heavy runoff the westernmost waterfall was very difficult to cross. We had to bushwhack uphill and make a dangerous crossing before slicing up our legs on the heavy brush to get back down to the trail. Overall this trail needs signage and extensive clearing of brush and will then be a wonderful hike.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Made the entire 8 mile loop around the lake. Things got a little hairy on the southwest corner, but was so worth it!

Friday, April 28, 2017

I planned to be here for a morning start to the day, pulled in at 9:00am in late April and it was closed, I thought about parking and walking in any how but they were conducting prescribed burns. Chose to try a different route as forest maintenance is so important. Will try it again later in the season.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Great snowshoeing, however I can not find crossing OD cathedral creek

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