Fallen Leaf Lake California Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Fallen Leaf Lake

Fallen Leaf Lake, only a mile south of Lake Tahoe, is surrounded by scenic mountain vistas and is the perfect location for recreation and relaxation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

  • Find plenty of great recreation at Fallen Leaf Lake
  • Only a mile south of Lake Tahoe
  • Accessible year round
  • Sail the waters on a sunny Sierra day
  • Hike from Tahoe Mountain to the lake
  • Fish for mackinaw, lake trout and Kokanee salmon.
  • Camp out at the Fallen Leaf Lake campground

Overview

Fallen Leaf Lake CA is a miniature version of Lake Tahoe, with the same crystal waters and natural beauty, but with fewer crowds. Only a short drive from Lake Tahoe, it’s a great place to get away from it all and enjoy tons of outdoor recreation, like boating, fishing and camping.

Location & Information

Fallen Leaf Lake California is easily reached from Lake Tahoe. Simply take California Highway 89 north to Fallen Leaf Road. The lake lies close to the California/Nevada border.

The lake is accessible the year round, but the best time to come is from spring through autumn.

Contact information:
U.S. Forest Service
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Forest Supervisor's Office
35 College Drive
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
530-543-2600

Activities

  • Hiking
    Close to Fallen Leaf Lake you will discover trailheads taking you into the wilderness surrounding. Some trails make their way to Cathedral Peak, others to Mount Tallac. Many trails will take you to the north shore, and these are popular in the autumn when the aspen groves turn color. You can even hike from Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Lake on a 10-mile easy trail from Tahoe Mountain.
  • Fishing
    Fallen Leaf Lake fishing may not be tremendously productive, but you will find brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout in the lake as well as mackinaw and lake trout and Kokanee salmon.
  • Boating
    Despite the gusty winds and very cold water making capsizing unpopular, sailing is the favorite pastime on the lake. You’ll also find pontoon boats and kayaks make for a great day out on the water. The marina is on the south shore.
  • Camping
    Fallen Leaf Lake camping on the north shore of the lake offers great amenities, with swimming, kayaking and picnicking all within two miles of some fabulous beaches. The campground is only 3/4s of a mile from the south shore of Lake Tahoe. There are 205 sites to chose from, all situated in a lovely wooded setting.

Fun Facts

The oval-shaped Fallen Leaf Lake could have been a bay of Lake Tahoe, similar to Emerald Bay. However, the glacier that shaped this mountain lake, as it moved through Glen Alpine Valley, stopped on its course, making Fallen Leaf Lake a separate body of water.

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