Fallen Leaf Campground is situated on the north shore of Fallen Leaf Lake and adjacent to Taylor Creek. The south shore of Lake Tahoe is less than a mile away. The campground features 206 sites that include 6 yurts and standard tent and RV sites.
The campground is typically open from mid-May through mid-October. Fallen Leaf Lake is less crowded and not as well-known as Lake Tahoe, making this a great base camp for exploring the many sights and recreational activities in the area. It's a popular campground and tends to fill quickly.
Both Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe offer opportunities for non-motorized and motorized boating, tubing, waterskiing and windsurfing. Fishing is available at both lakes, but anglers generally have better luck at Lake Tahoe. Guests can swim in Fallen Leaf Lake, even though there are no designated swimming areas. The south shore of Lake Tahoe offers the Pope and Baldwin swim beaches.
Hikers can access the 1-mile Moraine Trail from the campground. The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is directly across Highway 89 and has interpretive programs, guided walks on the Rainbow Trail and to the Stream Profile Chamber.
The Glen Alpine and Mt. Tallac trailheads are nearby for excellent day hiking and backpacking in the Desolation Wilderness. The Pope-Baldwin bike path parallels Highway 89.
Each yurt provides a cabin-like space for a family of five or six people. The yurts sit on a wooden platform and have an electric light and space heater, but no additional electric plug-ins. Interior furnishings include a futon and bunk beds with mattresses. Cooking supplies and bedding are not provided.
The tent and RV sites have paved parking aprons. Each yurt and standard site has a bear-proof food storage locker, campfire ring, pedestal grill and picnic table.
Coin-operated shower facilities, water spigots and accessible restrooms with flush toilets are scattered throughout the campground. A camp host is on-site, and firewood and supplies can be purchased from the camp store. A public phone is also available.
The camp sites do not offer views of either the lake or Taylor Creek, but they are nestled among towering native pine, cedar, fir and aspen. Some are adjacent to wildflower meadows.
Guests only need to walk a short distance to Fallen Leaf Lake, where the forested shoreline and surrounding mountains are reflected in its crystal-clear waters. Prominent peaks include Cathedral Peak (8,200 feet) and Mount Tallac (9,735 feet).
The surrounding woods provide habitat for squirrels, racoons, chipmunks and a variety of birds. The campground has some resident black bears that are often seen by guests; please be safe around bears.
A century ago, what is now the Tallac Historic Site held the ''Grandest Resort in the World'' and the summer retreats for 3 of San Francisco Bay Area's socially elite families. Today, the remains of the resort and the restored estates attract thousands of visitors annually to recapture this bygone and significant era in Tahoe's history.
Charges & Cancellations
Rules & Reservation Policies
As you make travel plans that include reservations on Recreation.gov, there are standard policies that apply to most locations of which you should be aware. Do keep in mind, however, that there are many exceptions, so it is best to review reservation information listed on individual facility pages for those policies and procedures that pertain to your specific locations.
Any location or activity requiring a permit or lottery will have unique requirements and policies. Please check individual facility pages for pertinent information for those sites.
For most locations, you can reserve six months in advance of your stay for individual sites and 12 months in advance for group sites. There are some exceptions, so it is best to check with each facility.
Change and Cancellation Policies and Fees
Overnight and Day Use Facilities: To ensure fairness, reservation arrival or departure dates may not be changed beyond the booking window until 18 days after booking the reservation.
Camping / Day Use: A $10.00 service fee will apply if you change or cancel your reservation (including campsites, cabins, lookouts, group facilities, etc.). The $10.00 service fee will be deducted from the refund amount.
You can cancel or change reservations through Recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
Tours & Tickets: You may request changes to tour dates at no cost before the arrival date. If you cancel before your tour date, you may be eligible for a refund. Cancellation fees apply. Please check the tour facility description details page for cancellation policies.
Permits: Varies by location. Please check the permit details for the permit location.
Overnight and Day Use Facilities: Late cancellations are those cancelled between 12:01 a.m. (Eastern) on the day before arrival and check out time on the day after arrival.
Individual Campsites: If a customer cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival they will be charged a $10.00 service fee and will also forfeit the first night's use fee (not to exceed the total paid for the original reservation). Cancellations for a single night's reservation will forfeit the entire use fee but no cancellation fee will apply.
Cabins / Lookouts: Customers will be charged a $10.00 cancellation fee and forfeit the first night's use fee if a cabin or lookout reservation is cancelled within 14 days of the scheduled arrival date. Cancellations for a single night's use will not be assessed a service fee.
Group Facility: If a customer cancels a group overnight facility reservation within 14 days of the scheduled arrival date they will be charged the $10.00 service fee and forfeit the first night's use fee. Cancellations for a single night's use will not be assessed a service fee.
Group Day Use Area: If a customer cancels a group day use facility reservation within 14 days of the scheduled arrival date, they will forfeit the total day use fee with no service fee charge.
Camping / Day Use: A camping no-show customer is one who does not arrive at a campground and does not cancel the reservation by check-out time on the day after the scheduled arrival date. Reserved campsites and group overnight facilities will be held until check-out time on the day following your scheduled arrival. Group day-use facilities will be held until check-in time on your scheduled arrival date.
If a customer does not arrive at the campground or group facility by check-out time the day after arrival or does not cancel the reservation by the times listed under "Late Cancellations" above, the customer may be assessed a $20.00 service fee and forfeit use fees.
Tours: A tour or ticket no-show is one who does not cancel a ticket before arrival and does not arrive for the tour. Tour no-shows are not entitled to a refund.
Customers must request refunds no later than 14 days after the scheduled departure date. Recreation.gov will not grant refund requests after 14 days of departure.
Reservation Fee: For some facilities, tours or permits an additional reservation fee is charged. For some overnight and day-use facilities, an additional non-refundable reservation fee may apply. The non-refundable reservation fee for tours and tickets is $1.00. The non-refundable reservation fee for permits varies by location.
Refunds for Bankcard Purchases: Refunds for bank card payments will be issued as a credit to the original bank card.
Refunds for Check or Cash Purchases: Refunds for Recreation.gov payments made by check or money order, and cash payments at selected campgrounds will be issued a check refund. A refund will be processed within 30 days of receipt and approval. Please Note: Refund requests made during or after departure can only be processed when approved by the facility management staff based upon local policy.
Refunds for Emergency Closures: In the event of an emergency closure, the Recreation.gov team will attempt to notify users and offer alternate dates (as appropriate). If this is not possible, reservations will be cancelled and all fees paid will be refunded. Reservation fees for free tickets are non-refundable in the event of an emergency closure.
Recreation.gov Billing Information
Reservation transaction will appear on customer's credit card statements as "Recreation.gov 877-444-6777."
Changes to Policies and Procedures
Recreation.gov reserves the right, when necessary, to modify reservation policies. These policies were last updated July
ADA Access: N
Beautiful place in the middle of pines. Spots are big, sanitary are clean. Hot showers, drinkin water, no place for dish. Calm and you can see bears!! Hosts are very kind.
Fallen Leaf Lake and its campground were really beautiful and felt remote despite being pretty close to the development of South Lake Tahoe. Our spot (84) was not very private or great for a tent, but it worked for our overnight. The bath house was nice and new/clean. The hosts were super super friendly, but they called it a day pretty early (5?) so we missed out on buying firewood onsite. They did warn us about bears in such an admiring way, it was really sweet. However, we didn't see any bears, just poo about 20 feet from our tent (!). Fire ring, giant table, bear box, water, all as expected.
The lake itself is stunning. Seriously. Dusk was perfectly still and calm, but early morning was also beautiful. Would absolutely stay or visit here again.
Nice bear boxes and bathrooms. Tent sites were big
Great campsite with trails to hike and explore. Close to Lake Tahoe and also the Taylor Creek Watershed that has a beautiful trail to explore. Done both tent and yurt camping, both great!
Gorgeous NF campground. Sites are varying sizes but plenty of RV size sites. Water spigots and bathrooms around. Not on the lake but walking distance away. Taylor's Creek and Valhalla nearby too.
The scenery around the campground and lake was just beautiful. We loved our stay here and wished we could stay longer. It provided some needed peace and solitude during the very crowded 4th of July holiday at Lake Tahoe. Make sure you follow directions and use the bear boxes. We woke up in the morning to one nearby. Luckily the park ranger was already in the process of scaring it off.
We got a last minute cancelled site at the Fallen Leaf Campground, and thought we’d truly lucked out. We stayed at site 87 which is nestled among towering native pine trees on the South end of the campground and one of the few sites which doesn’t have neighbors on all sides. The sites have the standard standing BBQ's and fire rings at all sites (but we couldn’t utilize them because of the fire ban), old picnic tables and various amounts of space for RV’s/cars and the tried and true bear box. In this campground you NEED to utilize the bear boxes. They have signs everywhere about the mass amount of bear activity and how there is a mother and her 2 cubs which have been terrorizing the campground for some time this season (2018). Again, you need to keep everything (food, toiletries, etc.) in the bear box at all times. The sites are reservable, and on top of the $35 (nonelectric) per site there is a $7 fee for a second vehicle, Yurts go for $86 which do have power and a nonrefundable $10 service fee…. While the campground allows dogs, they aren’t allowed in the Yurts.
There’s lots of bear proof dumpsters around the campground, lots of potable water in strategic spots and a number of decent restrooms, and it was nice that at some of them they provided hot (pay) showers (at $1 per 3 minutes) and while the ADA has some control the standard one has no control over the heat or pressure its simply on or off. Also, the restrooms have no soap, paper towels, or hand dryers, etc. Which was a little disappointing for the cost.
My biggest disappointment in the setup of the campground has to do with the bears and cleaning your dishes. There is no dish-washing area in the entire ~200 site, ~14 bathroom campground. They specifically ask that you don’t wash your dishes in the sinks or at the water spigots as they don’t want any food particles going down the drains. So, when I asked about disposing of the dish water they said to just toss it at the base of a tree, as it’s dry and the trees would appreciate it. This doesn’t help keep the bears away… While we scrapped and collected every bit of food waste we could and tossed it into the dumpsters, ff you’re just tossing food scrap-soaked water at the base of the trees the bears are going to come for the smell… I’ve stayed at other sites in bear country which have setups for disposing of the waste water and food scraps to detract bears and Fallen Leaf definitely is lacking and this is possibly part of the reason they’re having such an issue with bears.
While, our site (87) would probably normally be a great location with the Fallen Leaf Lake being the only thing behind you and no neighbors on at least 2 of your sides, we happened to somehow book the same weekend that a corporate event was taking over the vast majority of the campground with almost 200 people….
While, not entirely the campgrounds fault it was a little disruptive to have this mass number of people come directly next to us in site 88 for their meals as they’d decided to make that site the meal prep site for breakfast (they started prep at 5:30 am) and dinner (we actually had to ask the drunk group to stop screaming at midnight) these were both well outside the “quiet hours” and definitely surpassed the “6 people per site” rule.
Otherwise this campground is in a great location to see the area as it’s only approximately one-quarter mile north of Fallen Leaf Lake. The trail from the campground was only 3 sites over from us. The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is directly across Highway 89 and is a great location to talk to the Rangers about other potential hikes in the area. They also have interpretive programs, guided walks on the Rainbow Trail and to the Stream Profile Chamber (which was closed because someone decided to break it. Although it should be repaired now… end of September 2018). Also, nearby Baldwin Beaches or Pope Beach, which cost $10, or you can go to the Tallac Historic Site with tours and events at its historic buildings and grounds and the free (dog friendly) Kiva beach which is exactly the same as the other pay access beaches….
There’s also a really nice paved bike trail that runs 3 miles along Highway 89 and can be used to access all of the above. You have access to excellent day hiking and backpacking in Desolation Wilderness via the Glen Alpine or Mt. Tallac trailheads which are also nearby.
Great camp spot near Lake Tahoe.It is refreshing to be surrounded by trees and a short walk to a creek and a lake.
It has showers but have to pay and the like a bundlow that you can rent and even has power but only thing I would say that make sure have travel time because the resort that near there always has traffic back up into lake Tahoe and they lake there at resort is great for swming and nice beach
This is a huge campground, with a variety of camping sites, near enough to Lake Tahoe for activities but far enough away to avoid the massive crowds of east Lake Tahoe. The spots appear to be large enough to comfortably give you space, but close enough that if you come with a group you can hangout easily. Reservations, early, are a must as it does fill up.
Our family loved this campground so much that we agreed we're only interested in going back to Lake Tahoe when we can stay here! There are a bunch of cul-de-sacs, so everything is spaced out and it's great for walking the dogs around. We backed up to a meadow but still had a lot of trees for shade. There were picnic tables, water, good fire rings, bear boxes, and flush toilets.
We walked to Fallen Leaf lake, which has an awesome trail. We had a bear wander into our camp in the afternoon, and the meadow was struck by lightning. All in all a great trip! Just note: cell reception is spotty but it's a good excuse to put down the phone and enjoy the scenery!