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
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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
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!
The campground itself is beautiful, walking distance to Fallen Leaf Lake and short drive to South Lake Tahoe. My husband, my pup and I liked the campsite a lot. The only downside was our campsite was pretty close to our neighbors' on either side. When walking through the campgrounds, other sites were more spaced out and secluded than ours. Overall the ease of location, along with beautiful Fallen Leaf Lake walking distance made the campsite a great spot for a visit to Lake Tahoe!
Nicely spaced and maintained campground surrounded by wilderness and beaches.
We arrived late and were pleasantly surprised to see many open campgrounds. All were equipped with a decent size lot, picnic bench, and fire pit. Perfect to complete our #Questival challenges while enjoying the beauty that surrounds us in Tahoe. I will definitely be back here in the future.
our site was further from the lake but it's not a bad walk. There are fire pits and charcoal grills in each site. Sites are a good size and have trees for hammocks.
$34.50 - 36.50 • Sites 078, 156
Pulling into Tahoe via Stateline, Nevada is like pulling into a Las Vegas/Up North baby. Casinos and resorts turn into camps and fudge shops. From the East you’ll pass thru all of that, past the Camp Richardson and finally turn away from Lake Tahoe into Fallen Leaf Campground. If you’re going to camp in Tahoe you’ve made the right decision. Fallen Leaf Lake is at the rear of the camp. While smaller and not as well known it is also not overly trafficked, crystal clear and surrounded by hiking paths along the water.
Fallen Leaf Campground is a massive 206+ site compound complete with its own store, shower houses and if you travel past the camp all the way to the other side of the lake (and other campgrounds) an ice cream shop. That said, Fallen Leaf Campground does a great job of keeping an “out in the woods” vibe. It is absolutely that place that families go year after year after year, but if you can get a site on the outer loop you can still have some separation, plenty of trees and with the lake so close, feel like you’re in the heart of nature. One of the better jobs by a large scale campground I’ve experienced.
But be prepared. It’s going to be full of kids and dogs and campers who are not necessarily out there to experience nature but to see family and friends and likely drink a caseload of Bud Light a day. There may also be bears. Bears are everywhere here. Or so we heard. We never saw one, but the camp staff and campers around us all had bear stories that "just happened yesterday! or last week! or in 1950!" Basically, bears. There are bear boxes at each site, and kids everywhere you probably won't be a bears first target. Just be bear aware. Across the main road from the campground is the mighty Lake Tahoe. It was okay. Lots of people, lots of choppy waves. We preferred setting up the hammock by Fallen Leaf Lake.
The showers were nice but pricey. Four U.S. Quarters for 3 minutes. You can get done what you want but no more. There are about four per loop (give or take 25 sites) but we never had a problem finding one open. There are no outlets for charging or bathroom appliances though. The older bathrooms along the inner loop are dated and worn but have accessible outlets if you need some juice. The toilets everywhere are flush and each loop has at least one camp host staying on it. The staffers were friendly, helpful and accessible.
The outer loop is where you want to be if you are looking for any privacy or traveling alone. The inner loop, with its lack of privacy, was the spot for large groups. On our second night we stayed in the inner loop and our neighbors had booked 19 sites for incoming family and friends. It’s tough being in the middle of that when you weren’t planning on joining a new family. The outer loop sites are mostly well shaded and have a lot more privacy, as well as lake accessibility if you are in the back row which I’d recommend. At $34.50 you want the best spots. It also forced me to ask myself, “How much is too much for a campsite?”
Fallen Leaf Lake Campground gets 3 Tent Stakes of Awesomeness. In Tahoe, you’ll never escape the crowds or tourists, but Fallen Leaf Lake Campground does a good job of insulating you somewhat from that while maintaining a nice campground on the edge of a lovely lake. No blasphemy intended but I’d spend the day at Fallen Leaf Lake over Lake Tahoe any day.
Pro-Tip #1: Site 078-079 are massive pull-thru sites but great if you’re tent camping. More private, well shaded and closest to the lake and free downed firewood.
Pro-Tip #2: Site 156 sucks. Unless you want to look at stars. No shade or privacy. A long way from any shower/bath house and electric wires running above you.
Pro-Tip #3: Firewood is readily available downed by the lake or on trails if you’re willing to put in five minutes of effort.
Pro-Tip #4: The Baldwin ruins aren’t worth it, but the walk around the lake or along the Morraine Trail is.
Pro-Tip #5: There is a decent wind that starts early to mid-afternoon coming in against the shore over the lake. It is blocked to the camp, but mornings are the best time for lake time. Mornings are glassy on the lake for paddle boarding and kayaking as well, but choppier in the afternoon.
This campsite was great - enough space on the campsite itself, plenty of space between sites, room for cars. There were also tons of trees between the sites, which really helped give it a feeling of privacy. There are lots of great trailheads nearby for hikes that really make you feel like you're far out there, even when you're not. Also just a nice campsite to hang around and relax. Bear bins and picnic tables at the site. Bathrooms were pretty clean for campgrounds. Good stuff!