Photo © Tim Rains
Tahoe is famous for its unparalleled views of the lake and the mountains.
The Angora Lookout served the Tahoe Basin's fire surveillance needs for many years until it was replaced in the late 1970s by improvements in aerial and satellite technology. The first lookout was built in 1924 and was one of many standard lookout designs conceived by forester Coert DuBois in 1914 to be used by the Forest Service nationwide. This structure was later converted into a small residence for the individuals in charge of the lookout. In 1935, the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the current lookout alongside the original and a third structure was built in the 1940s that served as the garage. All three buildings are eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Lookout is best accessed via bicycle or hiking during the spring, summer and fall when the snow has melted. During the winter, the lookout is best accessed via snowshoes and cross-country skis.
To get to the trail head, travel Highway 89/Emerald Bay Road in South Lake Tahoe, turn onto Fallen Leaf Lake Road. Continue 2 miles and turn left at first road and look for a Forest Service road on the right that leads up to Angora Lookout. Park here near the gate, and please hike or ride your bike up to the lookout. The gate to the road is only open summer through the fall, depending on the amount of snow accumulation.
Proceeding from the gate, the short hike follows a well-defined path up a wide forest service road. Please note that the road is primitive and can be crowded during summer months and has limited visibility.
The hike takes about two hours to get the top and offers worthwhile views of snow capped Mount Tallac, Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe on one side with miles of Desolation Wilderness and beyond on the other.
Spring - Summer - Fall: Vehicle access, biking and hiking - weather permitting. Please check with US Forest Service for road conditions. Winter: Cross country skis and snowshoes.
People may drive their vehicles all the way to Angora Lookout. Tahoe Mt. Road from Fallen Leaf Lake closed November 15th, or sooner, depending upon weather.
Dogs are allowed here as on most other U.S. forest trails. Pet owners, please follow guidelines:
Keep pet on 6ft. leash at all times. Control excessive barking. Check paws often on rocky terrain, can cause cuts, consider protective dog pads. Pick up or bury canine waste. Keep your dog close by when encountering other people. Remember to bring enough water for you and your pet.