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gem icon Lower Glen Alpine Falls [Suggest Edits]

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Description

This waterfall, often confused with the true Glen Alpine Falls, is a remarkable cascade of Glen Alpine Creek. With a width that nearly equals its height of 75 feet, this vast waterfall is among the most powerful in Tahoe. Flat surfaces and makeshift benches render this area a great family outing. Similarly, the nearby Glen Alpine Trail offers a complementary trek, leading to two waterfalls ("Upper" Glen Alpine Falls and Suzie Lake Cascade). Nearby Mount Tallac hangs over the landscape beautifully.

While popular, this area is quaint compared to bustling Emerald Bay and Eagle Falls. Aside from the remarkable Horsetail Falls, Lower Glen Alpine Falls is arguably the most beautiful in Tahoe. Tinted red rocks, powerfully white water, and aquamarine hues resemble a painter's dream. It's an underrated location nestled next to Fallen Leaf Lake with virtually no souls present in the early morning.

On the Road: Accessible via Fallen Leaf Road. From the east/west, locate Lake Tahoe Boulevard off of Highway 50 and follow the signs that say "Fallen Leaf Lake" with an arrow pointing in direction. From the north/south, locate Lake Tahoe Boulevard off of Highway 89, or (if from Emerald Bay) take Fallen Leaf Road directly from Highway 89.

Unofficial parking available directly off Fallen Leaf Road, while there's limited official parking at fire station or Glen Alpine Trail. Arriving in early morning essentially guarantees a parking spot. The area is unrestricted and accessible regardless of time, weather and road conditions permitting. Keep in mind, however, that the falls are near active residential areas, including inhabited cabins and summer homes. No fees or permits required.

Fallen Leaf Road is a relatively unmaintained road, higher in quality than gravel but rougher than your typical highway. Some potholes, water erosion, cracks, and gravel are present in the spring/summer. Subaru Forester type cars should have no issue, while old sedans may want to take special care. Cars of every type have been able to reach the falls.

IN THE WINTER: the road is not subject to continuous snow clearing. Conditions in the winter or early spring may render the road impassable without all wheel drive, snow tires, or chains, especially after precipitation. Ice may be present on the road due to its proximity to snow runoff and mountain streams.

Gem Type: Waterfall

Shared by:
Dylan Taylor

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Shared by Dylan Taylor on Apr 9, 2018. All Page Views: 690. Last Month: 295.