Enjoy Lake Tahoe’s Beautiful Shoulder Season
- Family Time
- Photo Ops
Autumn’s vibrant colors are a great reason to visit Lake Tahoe during the shoulder season when the summer crowds have diminished, and the snow hasn’t yet arrived for ski season.
Near South Lake Tahoe, the Hope Valley area and its aspen groves put on a show every October. Drive on Highway 89 until you reach the junction with Highway 88. Turn right to see the scene near Red Lake and Woods Lake in the Carson Pass, and then turn around and drive to Sorensen’s Cafe for a snack or drink.
Another option near South Lake Tahoe for fall colors is to drive Fallen Leaf Lake Road to the Glen Alpine trailhead. Park and hike the two-mile (round trip) Glen Alpine Springs Resort Trail to a waterfall.
The drive to the Mount Rose Highway Summit via Highway 431 provides the fall fireworks in North Lake Tahoe. Along the way, there are scenic pullovers near Incline Village for you to enjoy the view.
Drive to South Lake Tahoe on Friday. Then, on Saturday, do the drive and hike near Fallen Leaf Lake, followed by the drive to Hope Valley on Sunday. Or, do both on Saturday and drive north on Sunday to catch the Mount Rose Highway Summit views.
Things to Do
- Check the California Fall Colors map to plan your visit.
- Near South Lake Tahoe, Hope Valley and the Fallen Leaf Lake areas are excellent places to see the leaves turn.
- Hike to Glen Alpine Springs.
- From North Lake Tahoe, drive to the Mount Rose Highway Summit.
- Take lots of pictures and enjoy the drive.
When to Go
October is the best time to see the fall foliage. The weather will be pleasant, and the colors will be vibrant.
Driving to see the fall colors doesn’t cost anything except for gas.