Take a hike: 6 spots to enjoy autumn colors around Lake Tahoe
Fall is a fantastic time to take a hike and enjoy the sites of changing seasons at Lake Tahoe. Temperatures have dipped, but so have the number of hikers on the trail — making the season between sand and snow ideal for an autumn jaunt into the wilderness.
Though Tahoe is most associated with blues and greens, fall colors can be easily found. Layer up, grab a warm beverage — even if it isn’t spiked with pumpkin — and enjoy the area’s autumn offerings with these South Shore hikes:
A VARIETY OF COLORS AT HOPE VALLEY
Many autumn colors burst out of the green pines in Hope Valley, and are visible via many trails south of Meyers off Highway 88 — most notably via the trailhead that shares the valley’s name. The Hope Valley trail spans four miles with slight elevation gain, and offers picturesque fall scenery along the way.
GO FOR THE GOLD AT RABE MEADOWS
Adjacent to Stateline on the South Shore, this easily accessible hike’s fall colors are visible from Highway 50. Aspen pops of yellow and gold are the main shades on this paved trail, which can be taken for a quick walk or a longer trek to the shore on a warmer day more suited for the beach.
FALLING LEAVES AT FALLEN LEAF LAKE
Pockets of the shoreline of this expansive South Shore lake offer fall foliage to complement the numerous pine trees surrounding the water. The size of Fallen Leaf allows for many different viewpoints to see fall foliage “falling” on the water with mirror-like reflection.
SEE THE SPLENDOR AT SPOONER LAKE
Aspen groves abound at this lake located near the junction of Highways 50 and 28 on the South Shore. Take the two-mile loop around the water and take in the autumn sights along the way, and bring a fishing pole for some late-season angling.
TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE OF MARLETTE LAKE
For those that want a longer trek to fall scenery, Marlette Lake on the East Shore is accessible via two different routes. Hiking from Spooner Lake to Marlette is almost 10 miles round trip, but passes through meadows and aspen groves on the way to the destination — which has aspens aplenty lining its shore.
HAVE A PICINIC AT REGAN BEACH
While Regan Beach isn’t technically a hike — the beach and park are steps from a parking lot — it has stunning fall colors close to the lake. Giant yellow aspens tower over the grass and sand, and provide a nice backdrop for a picnic or quiet moment.