The Best Spots For Fall Foliage In Tahoe

Picture of Megan McDermott
Updated: 9 February 2017
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Nothing beats watching the fall colors mesh into vast landscapes. Fall is that dreamlike time of year when nature brushes paint on the eye-popping array of leaves. There are many places where you can see this beautiful transformation take place, and Tahoe is no exception. Drive through winding roads into massive valleys where fall bursts at every corner.

Ebbetts Pass

Along Highway 4, on the south side of Hope Valley, is the scenic Ebbetts Pass. This national byway is teeming with thousands of aspen trees that create a colorful passage way. Near East Carson River and Kinney Creek, you will find some perfect spots to watch colors drip into vast canyons. Whether driving though or pulling over to catch the breathtaking views, Ebbetts Pass is definitely a spot to check out this fall.

Luther Pass

Located between Meyers and Hope Valley, Luther Pass, along Highway 89, is awe-inspiring. A place visited by professional photographers and tourists alike, it’s easy to see why everyone wants to capture its beauty. Thick groves of aspen trees are clustered along the winding roads, and there are plenty of places to stop and gaze at picturesque valleys. If you want to see creeks among the fir and pine trees, then you can park at the Big Meadow Trailhead and hike part of the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Marlette Lake

Marlette Lake

If you don’t mind a little exercise, Marlette Lake, located on the east side of Lake Tahoe, takes you on a five mile hike, along which there are beautiful, eye-catching colors. Along the hiking trail, forget the crowds you’re used to, and allow yourself to become immersed in a peaceful euphoria. The trailhead is located at the Spooner Lake parking area; remember your wallet, as there is a parking fee.

Zephyr Cove

Spending time around Lake Tahoe wouldn’t be complete without visiting Zephyr Cove. Each fall season, the shores of Lake Tahoe transform; located on the east side of the lake, along Highway 50, is Zephyr Cove, in which a small, yet powerful, grove of aspen trees illuminates the shore with vibrant colors. The calmness of the lake creates a kaleidoscope of shades that will have you craving more and more colors.

Apple Hill

A day trip west on Highway 50 leads to Placerville, the quaint home of Apple Hill. A small cluster of farms, ranches, and wineries welcomes the lovely fall foliage each year. Harvest festivals, apple picking, and wine tasting gives Apple Hill that overwhelming fall feel. Watch the scenic serendipity of colors and grape vines this fall season at Apple Hill.

By Megan McDermott

Originally from Boston, MA, Megan McDermott graduated from Plymouth State University with a Journalism degree and has molded the minds of children as a creative writing teacher. Megan was the Assistant Editor of Scene Magazine, in which she wrote travel editorials, among other duties. She loves to travel, eat great food, and ski whenever possible.

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