Fallen Leaf Lake is like a miniature Lake Tahoe sitting at approximately 6,370 feet elevation. The water is sparkling sapphire blue and mostly clear. Its deepest point is about 430 feet. Most of its southern shoreline is lined with gorgeous homes. The north shore, however, is free of homes, forming the densely forested backyard, so to speak, of Fallen Leaf campground. Numerous trails crisscross this small, wooded area and most of them are not marked. You really can’t get lost because the entire area is basically enclosed by obvious landmarks: the lake’s northern edge, Cathedral Road, Fallen Leaf Lake Road, and CA 89. The trails are aerobically easy thanks to its relative flatness. Other than a few semi-buried boulders, a storm-downed tree or two, and some tiny patches of sand, the trail is mostly mildly technical. The 5.4-mile clockwise loop described here is composed of 3.1 miles of easy singletracks and 2.3 miles of combined paved, quiet car roads, and bike path.
© 2000 Linda Austin/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.