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Fallen Leaf Lake, California

4.3
#139 of 383 in Nature in California
Water Body Nature / Park
Fallen Leaf Lake is a mountain lake located in El Dorado County, California, near the California-Nevada state border, about one mile south of the much larger Lake Tahoe. It is approximately aligned north-to-south and oval in shape, measuring approximately 2.9 miles (4.6 km) on the long axis and 0.9 miles (1.4 km) on the short axis. The lake was created by at least two glaciers that traveled northward down the Glen Alpine Valley. If the glacier had continued instead of stopping, Fallen Leaf Lake would be a bay of Lake Tahoe, similar to nearby Emerald Bay. A terminal moraine is visible at the north end of the lake on the northeast edge.Surrounding landFallen Leaf Lake is located within the National Forest System lands managed by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, adjacent to El Dorado County. The land surrounding the lake is privately owned, leased from the U.S. Forest Service, and part of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Like some areas where the Forest Service has leased land intermingled with private land, the two land types appear in a mosaic or checkerboard pattern.
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Where to stay in Fallen Leaf

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
119 reviews
Google
4.7
  • The road up to the lake is absolutely horrible! Mostly one lane with 2 way traffic. It's paved but is patched with patches on top of patches. I skipped the lake itself and drove up to the waterfall ab...  more »
  • Beautiful hidden place, single lane and very narrow road may not be liked by all. But, very isolated and beautiful place. There are many springs, waterfalls worth visit. If you can try to take walk fr...  more »
  • Seriously? I do not know how anyone can complain about this lake. Clear water, beautiful views. We chose to visit the waterfall which requires zero hiking. If you have a problem with the one lane road...  more »
Google
  • Easy hike with big rewards in views. Beach was moderately crowded but it was the Sunday of Memorial Day long weekend. Still managed to find a nice log to sit on.
  • Gorgeous lake with nice trails around it. Be aware of bear living around the lake though.
  • Great lake with beautiful view of Mt. Tallac. Can get crowded with tourist though.