Snowshoe at Fallen Leaf Lake in Tahoe

Snowshoe Fall Leaf Lake


From the issue South Lake Surprise

Fallen For It

Lake Tahoe may be the grand dame of lakes, but nearby Fallen Leaf Lake is no damsel in distress when it comes to winter wonders. To capture its beauty from atop a rugged ridge, strap on the snowshoes for a moderate 5.5-mile (round-trip) out-and-back along Angora Ridge Road, which is closed to vehicles during snow season. Start with a two-mile gradually ascending trek to the Angora Ridge Lookout, marked by a set of Forest Service cabins and views in all directions: Fallen Leaf Lake to the north, Mount Tallac to the west and Washoe Meadows State Park to the west. Half a mile beyond the lookout, the road curves to the left, but we recommend continuing straight (off-trail) along the ridgeline for the prime payoff: a YouTube-worthy "double-lake" view of Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake.

TIP: Rent snowshoes for $15 at Pyramid Peak Ski & Snowboard.

The snowshoe starts from the intersection of Angora Ridge Rd. and Tahoe Mountain Rd. in South Lake Tahoe. To access the trail from town, take Lake Tahoe Blvd. to Tahoe Mountain Rd. (past the Route 50/89 intersection). The start of the trail is marked with a gate. If fresh powder isn't blanketing the trail, you may not need snowshoes to reach the lookout, but it's best to have them for points beyond. The off-trail vista (turn-around point) is not marked but is easily accessible a quarter-mile beyond the point where the trail curves left.

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