Glen Alpine Falls/Springs Trail

Lower Glen Alpine Creek Falls is very impressive. The waterfall is easily accessible right along the roadside, and cascades 65 ft. in step-like fashion. You can get up very close to the falls, and feel the cascade coming right at you. Neat! This is another waterfall best seen in the spring before Glen Alpine Creek reduces to a trickle in summer. Before venturing up the trail spend some time wandering the historic grounds of Glen Alpine Springs Resort.

The Glen Alpine Springs is the site of a natural springs turned resort in 1884 and represents one of the earliest resorts in the Tahoe Basin. The resort buildings were designed by famous architect, Bernard Maybeck (1862-1957) designer of the San Francisco Palace of Fine Art.

Glen Alpine Springs with cascading snow-fed creek, waterfalls, wildflowers and rich history is a true Lake Tahoe treasure.

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Latitude: 38.8757995 Longitude: -120.0803947 Elevation: 6589 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Lauren Thomaselli

Recreational Opportunities

Directions to the trailhead: Take Highway 89 north approximately 3 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Lake Road. Watch for bicyclists and other cars on this narrow, one-lane road. Continue until you see the Glen Alpine trailhead sign and turn left. Trailhead parking is across from Lily Lake. A wilderness permit is required. Day hikers, pick up your permit at the self serve area at the trailhead. Overnight hikers will need an overnight permit for Desolation Wilderness. This permit must be purchased before you get to the Glen Alpine Trailhead.

Seasons Accessible

Spring/Summer/Fall Interpretive Center open 10:30-3:30 daily when summer docents are on site. Information recordings for programs and hours can be found at 530-573-2405


Day Hike Free

ADA Accessibility Notes

For those in wheelchairs or with walking assistance, the falls and springs are visible from the road. However, the historic grounds and trail to the falls is covered in gravel and not wheelchair friendly.

Pet Friendly Notes

Dogs are allowed in Desolation Wilderness and on most other U.S. Forest trails. Pet owners please follow guidelines:

Keep pet on 6 ft 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.



Hello, my husband and I are coming for a few days the weekend of July 10th. Can anyone please tell me if the waterfalls are still magnificent or have we missed the splendor. Thank you., 6/26/2016

We were there today and the waterfalls are still full and spectacular.

J bean, 7/5/2016

I have been to Fallen Leaf, Desolation Valley, climbed up to Glen Lake to camp, then climbed to the top of Mt. Tallac. What a site and sight!! Absolutely beautiful, especially from on top of Mt. Tallac. If you climb be careful, it’s rocky! And on top be doubly careful, it's a straight drop of over 900 feet! But the view is worth it.

NavyDave83, 9/15/2016

Falls are gorgeous from snow melt. However, the road to get there is in an impossible Road to travel. Access to the Falls is blocked by a fallen tree, split in many sections. Wait till the tree is moved and the so called Pot Holes are Filled.

Cynthia Kunde, 5/26/2017

When I was a kid in the 60s our family would rent out the cabin next to Glen Alpine Falls. The cabin burned down in the 80s. All that is left are the stairs and foundation markers. It was and still is my favorite spot in the world.

Anna Bowers, 7/4/2017

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