Explore the colors of fall

An historic cabin along 267 | Mael Passanesi

Fall is a fleeting season in the Tahoe Sierra. When it appears, as it has in the last week, it only lasts for a few weeks before the leaves fall. But, these few short weeks provide an explosion of color set against the mountains and the blue-gray waters of Lake Tahoe with bursts of golden yellows, fiery reds and brilliant oranges. Tahoe Weekly has rounded up some trails to explore this fall including mountain and road biking, kayaking and hiking spots for all levels.

READ MORE:  Explore some more of our favorite fall color spots

East Shore

Marlette Lake & Spooner Lake
One fall mountain biking favorite is the popular route from Spooner Summit to Marlette Lake. Much of the route is lined with aspen trees, with three distinctly beautiful sections that should not be missed: at the beginning in the first mile of trail, about 4 miles in as you reach Snow Valley, and Marlette Lake itself, where the stands of orange wonderfulness contrast nicely with the blue of the lake.

Mount Rose

Ophir Creek
If you time it right, you will be greeted by amazing waves of orange aspens contrasting against the stark face of the scarred mountainside of Slide Mountain.

North Shore of Lake Tahoe | Courtesy TCDA

North Shore

Page Meadows
The series of interconnected meadows that we call Page is a feast for the eyes in the fall. There are oranges, yellows and deep reds to be found, and what makes Page especially wonderful is that each meadow peaks at a different time.


Hope Valley | Katherine E. Hill

Hope Valley

Explore the passes and valleys surrounding Hope Valley for spectacular fall color climbing the Big Meadow trail near Luther Pass, flowing down into the aspen-lined Hope Valley, and luscious miles of yellow brightness to Blue Lakes.

READ MORE:  Alpine awe in Hope Valley

South Shore

Lam Watah Trail/Rabe Meadow
Enjoy the changing colors of the trees along the Nevada Beach shoreline. The paved path offers easy access to everyone and dogs are welcome.

Taylor Creek
The Taylor Creek nature trail provides easy and paved access to breathtaking displays of fall color (as seen on the cover of this edition). And, check out the Fall Fish Festival on Oct. 7 and 8.

Truckee & Tahoe Donner

The extensive network of trails around Tahoe Donner and the Donner Lake Rim Trail provide folks in Truckee with plenty of opportunities to find patches of fall color.

Trek along the Donner Rim Trail
Mountain bike Tahoe Donner’s trails

West Shore

Barker Pass
The 7-mile roll from Lake Tahoe to Barker Pass is a popular place to road bike any time of year, but once the colors start to turn it is a ribbon of yellow and orange with colossal views of Blackwood Canyon.

Hurricane Bay
The West Shore is definitely the best shore when it comes to enjoying paddling and fall colors at the same time. You will be gliding past Ward Creek and some of the finest estates at Lake Tahoe whose large parcels are filled with cottonwoods and other colorful deciduous trees.