Though only one mile south of its much larger neighbor Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake holds its own, scenically surrounded by tall pine trees and mountains. It was created centuries ago by a glacier from the Glen Alpine Valley, and a lack of commercial development here means a very high quality of water, the clarity of which means visibility up to 50 feet. The bottom is even often visible from the shore!
Boating and fishing are both popular activities, with a variety of small boats available for visitors to rent. There are also several fantastic hiking trails around the area, and though there are no designated areas the lake is great for swimming. The proximity to Lake Tahoe and remaining relatively unknown means fewer crowds and less bustling activity. There is also a campground for those seeking full immersion into the peace of nature here.
Get there by taking Fallen Leaf Road, which begins at State Route 89 and runs along the south shore of Lake Tahoe.