Happy First Day of Fall! Considered by many people to be the best time of year in Lake Tahoe, the next few weeks are full of events celebrating the magic of autumn in the Sierra Nevada. Follow us on Instagram to learn about upcoming events in and around Lake Tahoe.
Enthusiastic leaf-peepers will find a bonanza of colorful fall foliage throughout the Lake Tahoe area as temperatures begin to cool. Late September to mid-October are the peak weeks for color so if you’re planning a trip, keep those dates in mind.
Here are our top recommendations for finding incredible fall foliage:
Located in Alpine County, just a 30-minute drive from South Lake Tahoe, Hope Valley is well worth a day trip. The roads wind past grove after grove of Alpine’s favorite fall flora – aspen trees! This road trip has become an annual tradition for many people, as you could spend an entire day exploring the area. Pack a picnic lunch for this one, and fill up at the gas station.
Taylor Creek/Fallen Leaf Lake
Fallen Leaf Lake is one of the most astounding locations to see fall colors in South Lake Tahoe. This aptly named alpine lake on the South Shore near Mount Tallac stuns with its combination of exquisite colors and crystal-clear waters. Rent a boat or kayak at the General Store at Fallen Leaf Lake to get a 360 degree view out on the water. For a full afternoon experience, follow Taylor Creek trail 2.5 miles down to Lake Tahoe for even more spectacular scenery.
Mount Rose Meadows
Mount Rose Meadows are located just off SR 431 summit between Incline Village and Reno. With spectacular lake views and a range of hiking trails in all directions, Mount Rose Meadows is the perfect place for leaf-peepers of all ages. Colorful foliage is scattered across a tranquil meadow with wooden walkways that make for an easy stroll before heading to Incline Village for lunch (or a warm drink at local coffee house, Drink Coffee Do Stuff).
Located at the East Shore intersection of Highways 28 and 50, Spooner Lake is a popular multi-use trail year-round. A gentle path with little to no elevation change, this is a beautiful spot for a quick loop hike, or a jumping off point to the trek to Marlette Lake. Take North Canyon Road trail for a stunning display of aspen trees alight with red and gold leaves. Time your visit for mid-October, and don’t delay – the color change is brilliant but brief.
Before you head out on any of these excursions, make sure to bring:
- Picnic lunch
- Sunscreen (yes, even in fall)
- Warm layers
- Sturdy walking shoes
It’s Officially Pumpkin Spice Season!
If you are looking for the perfect autumn beverage to warm up in the chilly mornings, check out locally owned and operated coffee shop Drink Coffee Do Stuff (locations in Incline Village and downtown Truckee). Their menu rotates seasonally, and is a popular spot for locals looking for a caffeine fix.