Do you feel that? It’s the crisp Autumn breeze swirling around the Lake Tahoe basin indicating Fall has arrived with shorter days and colder nights. With a plethora of deciduous pine trees, it’s quite special to explore the locations where colorful autumn foliage is on display. Grab your cameras to capture the changing leaves and don’t miss the perfect opportunity for some great social media posts!
Fall in Tahoe offers a different perspective on the Jewel of the Sierra. Courtesy: Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
With a name like that, you know this location will renew your spirit and senses with a rolling landscape of lush colors. Aspen groves and the flowing Carson River cutting through the valley makes for a prime photography location, as well as a great fishing spot. A recommended time to visit this area is during the Alpine Alpen Festival, Oct. 8-9. Tip: Stop into Sorensen’s for a bite to eat before returning to Lake Tahoe.
Directions: Drive on Highway 50 west and turn left at Highway 89 south. Continue over Luther Pass to Pickett’s Junction approximately 10 miles.
Fallen Leaf Lake/Fredrick’s Meadow
Fallen Leaf Lake is a Sierra dream – especially during the autumn when the water is sparkling, the crowds have dissipated and the leaves have gone golden. Not only is the Lake a treat, but the walk to Fallen Leaf is plentiful of seasonal colors in Frederick’s Meadow. Aspens and conifers surround this open meadow whose tall grasses also turn a golden hue when the weather changes.
Directions: Take Highway 89 south and turn left on Fallen Leaf Lake Road. Continue past the campground entrance approximately 1 ½ miles.
Mt. Tallac as viewed from Fallen Leaf Lake. Credit: Rachid Dahnoun
Lam Watah Trail/Rabe Meadow
Fall colors abound while strolling through the Rabe Meadow on the Lam Watah Trail. The trail rambles through the meadow before landing at Nevada Beach, which makes for a great setting for an autumnal sunset.
Directions: Take Highway 50 towards Stateline and turn left on Kahle drive. Park in the lot on the right.
Taylor Creek Visitor Center
Home to the Kokanee Salmon Festival the first week of October, Taylor Creek offers an easy, enjoyable stroll in a variety of landscapes including forest, meadow and swamp. Aspens engulf the trail at times when then opens up to Taylor Creek where legions of Kokanee salmon spawn during the autumn. Taylor Creek offers seating areas to take in the flora and fauna, as well as a visitors center for those eager to learn more about the visiting fish.
Directions: Drive on Highway 89 south and go past the Tallac Historic Site to turn right at the Visitor Center.
Kokanee salmon as they spawn at Taylor Creek. Credit: Brad Scott
Lake Tahoe Community College Demonstration Garden
Located on College Drive, there is a large display of Aspen trees in the Demonstration Garden. The Demonstration Garden offers tranquility in the heart of South Lake Tahoe. Centrally located, it’s perfect for a quick connection to nature!