Glen Alpine Trail – Lake Tahoe Hiking Trails
From this trailhead, you have quite a few different options, ranging from moderate to strenuous. This is a memorable journey into the heart of Desolation Wilderness, with views along the way of mountain lakes, wildflowers, and vistas of Lake Tahoe and high Sierra peaks. For the shortest option, try the mellow 2 mile hike to tranquil Grass Lake. This is a good hike if you’re going with children, as the trail is suitable for all. Dogs are also allowed off-leash and in the lake. It’s liquid beauty galore if you take the spur to Lake Aloha, going past a cascading waterfall, a beautiful open meadow, and three alpine lakes. Basking in the shadow of Jack’s Peak, Lake Aloha is one of the prettiest alpine lakes in Tahoe, large, dotted with islands, and surrounded by stunning, explorable shoreline. If you don’t want to go the 6 miles to Aloha, it’s 4 miles to Susie Lake and 5 miles to Heather.
A third trail heads to lodgepole-rimmed Gilmore Lake and you can continue onto Dick’s Pass or Mt. Tallac beyond. You can also break off at Half Moon (4.5 miles) or Alta Morris (5.5 miles). If you do choose to go up Mt. Tallac, the Glen Alpine Trail provides a more moderate approach the 6 miles to the fantastic sights atop the summit. No matter your hike, the Glen Alpine Trail is truly nature at its finest – scenic, secluded, and breathtaking without taking too much of your breath away literally. John Muir was just one of the many hikers who found the trail unforgettable, writing that it, “seems to me one of the most delightful places in all the famous Tahoe region. From no other valley, as far as I know, may excursions be made in a single day to so many peaks, wild gardens, glacier lakes, glacier meadows, and Alpine groves, cascades, etc.”
Don’t forget the hiking essentials – water, sunscreen, bug repellant and food (especially if you’re going all the way up to the summit of Mt. Tallac). To get to the trailhead, take Highway 89 north to Fallen Leaf Lake Road, continue until you see the Glen Alpine Trailhead sign, and turn left. Parking is across from Lilly Lake, and the required wilderness permit is available at the trailhead.