Fallen Leaf Lake Trail

MODERATE 107 reviews
#7 of 78 trails in

Fallen Leaf Lake Trail is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked loop 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
8.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
606 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

private property

Wasn't able to do entire walk due to hail storm but locals told me last winter kinda ruined the trail so we double backed on the road. Bummed we didn't do the entire hike but had 6yr old with me so overall awesome day. was able to eat ice cream, rent a kayak and play on the beach before the storm. Tried to wait out storm but was getting late. People at the store gave us trash bags to start our hike back and offered to find us a ride. On our way back a gentleman from public works dept gave us a ride back in. Little crazy but overall awesome day and made some great memories with my little one.

trail running
21 days ago

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.

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

Great views, but poorly marked trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy trail ! Beautiful, end of October 2017

hiking
2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

Very poorly marked trail, easily get lost I could not i a way to go all the way around the lake. Talking to locals got the same answer, the trail does not go all the way around the lake.

hiking
3 months ago

hiked counter-clockwise from the campground with my dog -- ended the hike with a dip in the lake! varied terrain, fair amount of shade and beautiful views of the lake. as others have noted, this particular path isn't always the most obvious trail. had to keep checking my phone to stay on the red line and got off-course a few times. on the south side I walked through sierra camp (refilled my water), passed the fire station (check out the little chapel), then a lot of road which had a fair amount of traffic with narrow margins but got to see various lake homes. re-joined the trail going down what looks like a private drive. no mosquitos in late august.

3 months ago

I tried to do this loop today- unsuccessfully. This trail was moderately well maintained- but incredibly poorly marked. Once I got away from the camp Ground I had to just trust my gut in determining which forks of the trail to take.

I started from just east of the camp ground trail head. I headed west around the lake. About two and a half miles around the lake. the trail just ends at the Fallen Leaf fire department. After walking through a few private lots trying trying to pick the trail up again, I was redirected to road. Again, there were no markers so I just had to guess where to go. About half a mile down Cathedral Road I took the fork closest to the shore line on to Roatini (sp?). The trail looked like it picks up again, unfortunately I was quickly met with a sign that said "trail not maintained for public use." So I just turned around.

I would totally do this hike again- it was so pretty and there was a lot of shade. I wouldn't do it again alone, and would first stop by a ranger station to talk about how best to navigate the trail.

hiking
3 months ago

This is was an amazing hike. I couldn't have done it without referring to the downloaded map, as some sections were hard to follow. But I referred to the map often & it kept me on track. The hike was beautiful. Got my heart rate up in spots but overall was not too strenuous. Realize a couple of miles in that I forgot snacks, so I was very happy when I walked through stanford's sierra camp & got ice cream. Also saw lots of good birds - ospreys, chickadees, warblers, grouse, robins, jays, common mergansers. I recommend doing it counterclockwise from the start point. It was nice to be in the wilderness first and then on the roads. The only tricky spot is where it shows you to go on a road that is marked private. Do it - you are on a trail again soon. The last mile is hard to follow, just follow the line and stick close to the water and you will see a primitive trail. It's there! Hope to come back and do this again sometime.

Note to Elyse (above): next time follow the map exactly. Follow the red line. You can keep going when you see the "trail not maintained for public use." It's still okay to go, you will just have a couple rough spots on the trail. It's doable!

hiking
4 months ago

I didn't hike , we literally walked to the water fall which is beautiful but too easy.

4 months ago

Loved the views of this trail. Not a ton of elevation change. Half the hike was along a road with lake houses. Cool to see the homes but took away from the trail.

trail running
4 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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.

hiking
5 months ago

Very hard to stay on trail- not well marked.

hiking
5 months ago

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.

6 months ago

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

hiking
6 months ago

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!

hiking
6 months ago

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.

walking
6 months ago

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.)

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