Hiking Project Logo

gem icon Lower Glen Alpine Falls [Suggest Edits]

3 votes
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

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.

Family Friendly: Huge waterfall to entertain kids. Flat areas and makeshift benches for food. Nearby Lily Lake and 1-mile hike to Upper Glen Alpine Falls. Popular among visitors with active atmosphere in afternoon.

Gem Type: Waterfall

Shared by:
Dylan Taylor

0 Comments

You & This Gem


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Share This Gem

Check In

Check-Ins

Apr 27, 2019
Scott Grindle
Roaring cascades, all thunder and flash. Come for the spring melt.
Mar 7, 2019
Jessica Mutschler
Jun 4, 2018
Michael Robb
May 26, 2018
Claire Hiles
May 22, 2018
Rita O.
Jul 26, 2016
K&A Best

Nearby Trails

9.9 mi 16.0 km Mount Tallac
South Lake Tahoe, CA
9.9 mi 16.0 km South Lake Tahoe, CA
Unknown
Update
42 
12.3 mi 19.8 km Rubicon Trail Out and Back
Tahoma, CA
12.3 mi 19.8 km Tahoma, CA
All Clear
Update
Dry
4 days ago
26 
12.8 mi 20.7 km Echo Lakes to Lake Aloha
South Lake Tahoe, CA
12.8 mi 20.7 km South Lake Tahoe, CA
Unknown
Update
25 
6.5 mi 10.5 km Pyramid Peak - Rocky Canyon Trail
South Lake Tahoe, CA
6.5 mi 10.5 km South Lake Tahoe, CA
All Clear
Update
Snowy - Crampons after about 1/2 mile.
44 days ago
19 
65.2 mi 104.9 km PCT: Echo Lake to Highway 80 (Donner Summit)
South Lake Tahoe, CA
65.2 mi 104.9 km South Lake Tahoe, CA
Unknown
Update
3.3 mi 5.4 km Horsetail Falls
South Lake Tahoe, CA
3.3 mi 5.4 km South Lake Tahoe, CA
Unknown
Update
19 
3.6 mi 5.9 km Rubicon Peak
Tahoma, CA
3.6 mi 5.9 km Tahoma, CA
Unknown
Update
5.8 mi 9.3 km Ralston Peak
South Lake Tahoe, CA
5.8 mi 9.3 km South Lake Tahoe, CA
All Clear
Update
Snowy - Crampons after about 1/2 mile.
44 days ago
14 
2.5 mi 4.0 km Eagle Falls Trail
South Lake Tahoe, CA
2.5 mi 4.0 km South Lake Tahoe, CA
Unknown
Update
16 
7.9 mi 12.8 km Thunder Mountain
South Lake Tahoe, CA
7.9 mi 12.8 km South Lake Tahoe, CA
Unknown
Update
Shared by Dylan Taylor on Apr 9, 2018. All Page Views: 1,756. Last Month: 232.