A Scenic Journey: Exploring Fallen Leaf Lake to Angora Lakes

Imagine embarking on a picturesque hike that unveils the breathtaking beauty of lakes nestled amidst the Southwestern fringes of the Lake Tahoe basin. In this adventure, we venture into the heart of nature, discovering the wonders of Fallen Leaf Lake and Angora Lakes. With each step, we’ll be captivated by awe-inspiring landscapes and enticing trails that beckon us to explore further.

The Trail Begins

Our journey kicks off at a hidden gem, where tranquility reigns – Fallen Leaf Lake. This expansive lake area serves as our gateway to the Desolation Wilderness backcountry. As we set foot on the trail, a sense of exhilaration fills the air. We are immediately greeted by a steep uphill climb, invigorating our senses and awakening our adventurous spirit. As we ascend, the mesmerizing vistas of Mount Tallac and Fallen Leaf Lake unfold before our eyes, offering a glimpse of the wonders that await us.

Enchanting Angora Lakes

Our path winds its way through a majestic pine forest, leading us to the enchanting Angora Lakes. Perched at the base of Angora Peak, these small lakes exude serenity and charm. Amidst the natural splendor, a summer resort awaits us at the upper lake, complete with a quaint market bustling with visitors savoring refreshing lemonade drinks throughout the summer season.

Choose Your Adventure

As hikers, we are presented with choices: either venture to Angora Lakes as an out-and-back journey along the trail, covering a round trip distance of approximately 3.5 miles, or embark on a thrilling loop hike that takes us back to Fallen Leaf Lake via alternative trails, spanning a total distance of 5 miles.

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A Loop of Surprises

For those seeking a loop adventure, our quest continues. Leaving the small Angora Lakes visitor parking area behind, we follow a closed dirt road that stretches for about 3/4 of a mile, ultimately leading us to Upper Angora Lake. During the summer months, these lakes transform into an idyllic swimming destination, boasting a small sand beach along their western shore. After immersing ourselves in the beauty of the surroundings, we face a decision: retrace our steps back to the trailhead, a distance of approximately 1.75 miles, or embark on an ever more enthralling journey.

Unveiling Hidden Gems

To embark on the loop adventure, we proceed through the parking area and discover the Angora Ridge Trail, a dirt single track path that parallels a narrow road. As we navigate this path, we must remain vigilant, for a small hidden trail awaits us – a trail that ascends a bushy slope toward the Angora Lookout. This lookout, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the past, stands as a testament to history. Though uninhabited since the 70s, it offers a glimpse into the past with its picnic tables and awe-inspiring panoramic views along the ridge.

Descending to Fallen Leaf Lake

From the base of the lookout towers, our journey continues on a trail named the Clark Trail on maps. This trail gracefully descends towards Fallen Leaf Lake, eventually leading us back to the Fallen Leaf community via a side road situated just opposite the Fallen Leaf Marina. As we tread along this path, our senses are delighted by the mesmerizing surroundings and the subtle symphony of nature.

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Plan Your Journey

As you prepare for this remarkable adventure, take note that parking near the fire station is limited. To reach the Fallen Leaf community, you will navigate a narrow road where cars must yield to one another on the shoulder. While this road accommodates vehicles of all types, it’s wise to allow extra time for travel to and from the small community.

Amenities and More

At the trailhead, you won’t find any amenities, but fear not – Upper Angora Lake offers the convenience of bathrooms, water, and a market that remains open throughout the summer. However, during the winter season, the trail may be enveloped in a magical white blanket of snow. Nevertheless, Angora Lakes remain accessible through a different snowshoe trail, allowing nature enthusiasts to experience their captivating allure even during the colder months.

In the embrace of nature’s splendor, the Fallen Leaf Lake to Angora Lakes loop beckons us with its sheer beauty and boundless adventure. Lace up your boots, embrace the unknown, and embark on a journey that will leave a lasting impression in your heart and mind.

Angora Lakes

To plan your adventure and learn more about this captivating trail, visit the Ames Farm Center.