As the warm summer days end, we can’t help but get excited for our favorite season. Fall in Tahoe means we can still enjoy most of our favorite warm weather activities, but without the summer crowds and with the leaves showing off their seasonal colors. And, remember, as the days get cooler, it makes for the ideal hiking weather. Autumn hiking is the perfect way to excite all of your senses — the crunch of fallen leaves, the smell of pine and earth in the air and the beautiful colors and vistas along the way. Book your fall stay now to enjoy everything North Lake Tahoe has to offer this time of year. You won’t be disappointed!

Mount Rose Peak Trail

Photo: Mount Rose

Whether you hike or simply drive up the Mount Rose Highway, you’ll find fall colors along the way. The drive features willows and aspens to delight any leaf peeper. For the avid hiker, we recommend Mountain Rose Peak Trail. This challenging 10.7-mile loop takes about 6-7 hours to complete so make sure you’re prepared with food, water and warm clothing. The hike may be hard but the views, fall colors, and tumbling waterfall will entertain you along the way.

Spooner Lake

Photo: North Lake Tahoe of Spooner Summit

This hike, accessed from the east shore of Lake Tahoe, is perfect for those wanting to get out and enjoy the fall colors without spending the whole day on the trail. At just over two miles, this hike is perfect for the whole family to get out and enjoy the beautiful views and fall weather. The flat Spooner Lake Trail offers several benches along the way to rest and enjoy the lake and surrounding mountains. For those that like to fish, this is a popular fishing spot to try your luck at catching a trout, including the native Lahontan cutthroat trout. 

Five Lakes Trail

Photo: Palisades Tahoe

Another one of our favorite fall hiking trailheads is located on the Alpine Meadows Road. You might be scared off by the steep incline at the start (1200 feet in less than 2 miles), but you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views and gorgeous fall colors. The peaceful lakes combined with autumn colors makes the Five Lakes Trail the ideal sport for a vigorous fall mountain hike. This 5-mile roundtrip hike into the Granite Chief Wilderness has views of Alpine Meadows and the surrounding mountains and offers you the chance to explore the smaller trails meandering between the five pristine lakes. Pick your favorite lakeside rock to kickback and enjoy the view.

Leaf Peeping with Shopping Bags?

Photo: North Lake Tahoe of downtown Tahoe City

Maybe instead of hiking you want to get an early start on Christmas shopping and enjoy some fall colors along the way? Tahoe City’s shops won’t disappoint. Whether you’re on the hunt for locally made jewelry, a new outfit to wear out on the slopes this ski season or a brand new ebike to hit the trails and enjoy the fall weather, Tahoe City has it all. After you’re done shopping, grab a coffee and head down to Commons Beach to look out at the fall colors surrounding Lake Tahoe.