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General Information: This is a pleasant tour that leads to terriffic views of Fallen Leaf Lake and Mt. Tallac. Being almost flat and from 3/4 to 3 miles round trip, it is a perfect ski tour for small children or older adults. The trail is easy to follow with minimal chance of getting lost. After reaching Fallen Leaf Lake, it is possible to extend the tour by taking a trail that leads first to the dam and then along a scenic stretch of Taylor Creek.

 

Where To Start: Fallen Leaf Lake Road is located on highway 89 just 3 miles north of the "Y" in South Lake Tahoe. In the winter, the road may or may not be plowed. If it is plowed, turn onto Fallen Leaf Lake Road and drive 1/2 mile to Fallen Leaf Lake Campground and park off the road. If the road is not plowed park on highway 89 and ski up the road to the campground. During snow removal conditions, you'll need to park and start from the Sno-Park lot 1/2 mile further north on 89 (look for the sign, Sno-Park permit required).

Trail Description: The trail starts at the entrance to the campground. Follow the road west for about 1/4 mile. The trail will leave the road and head over a small rise to the left then down to Fallen Leaf Lake. This beach, with incredible views of Mt. Tallac across Fallen Leaf, is a great place to just sit and enjoy the view and serenity of Tahoe.

To extend this ski tour, you can follow the shore of Fallen Leaf (to the right) towards the dam. The trail passes fir and pine forest then heads across the dam. After crossing the dam, you can head either right on the trail back along the edge of Taylor Creek or left through a meadow and eventually back along the shore of the lake.

The trail to the right passes through forest and along the Taylor Creek on a nice trail that has just one short, steep section that beginner skiers find challenging. At many places along the trail, you can stop and admire the fluid quietude of the creek. There are many fine picnic spots along this stretch of trail as well. Continuing on this trail, you will eventually come to a paved road that will take you back to the Sno-Park lot and Highway 89. You could continue, by crossing 89, getting on the bike trail (unplowed), recrossing the creek and skiing back up to Fallen Leaf Lake Road, but it is more enjoyable to simply reverse the tour.

If you turn left, the trail passes again through pine, fir, and aspen forest up through a pleasant meadow area and then back along the northern bank of the lake. It will eventually run into a housing development where the owners are very particular about their property rights! Signs warning the hiker that there is "No Lake Access" mean to say, "Stay Away".

If snow removal conditions exist, or you cannot park completely off the road, park at the Sno-Park area just past the Taylor Creek Bridge. You'll need to have picked up a Sno-Park permit to use the lot (available at the Shell Station at the "Y" or in Meyers. From the parking lot, ski up the unplowed Cathedral Road. You can continue on this road for 3 miles or so on an out-and-back tour, or where the road bends sharply right, follow the trail that heads up along Taylor Creek. This is the reverse of the tour from Fallen Leaf Campground.

Environmental Concerns: Pack it in, pack it out!

Advisory: None.

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