Hike Glen Alpine Falls and Grass Lake

Glen Alpine Trailhead

Start at the Glen Alpine Trailhead near Lily Lake for an amazing hike to Glen Alpine Falls. This trail makes offers easy access to branch off to other parts of Desolation Wilderness.

Park your car at the Glen Alpine Trailhead adjacent to Lily Lake and southwest of Fallen Leaf Lake. Head west on Glen Alpine Creek Trail passing Lily Lake on your left. After a little over a mile and a half of trekking through the alpine forest and taking in mountain views, you'll arrive at Alpine Falls. Break out the camera, get the kids ready, and start snapping the photo for the family holiday card. After everyone has taken in the sites, head about another mile west to Grass Lake. Grass Lake is a serene setting to relax, refuel and enjoy yourself. If you're doing a day hike, simply head back to the car the way you came. If you're on a longer backpacking trip, you can head north on the Glen Alpine Trail, which will circle around Susie and Heather Lakes, eventually arriving at Lake Aloha.

Pack List

  • Hiking Clothes
  • Hiking Boots
  • Backpack
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Trekking Poles (optional)
  • Camera
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RT Distance 5 Miles
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Awesome day hike

This is the PERFECT day hike. There are tons of cool things to see along the trail including the waterfall, historic Glen Alpine Springs Resort, and beautiful mountain vistas. Make sure to bring a camera. The trailhead is very easy to access as well, making getting to the beginning of the hike a piece of cake.

Epic Beauty!

Wow. This Was An Amazing Trail With Epic Water Features And Rivers And Waterfalls. I Wish I Could Post Pics It Was So Beautiful!

Perfect afternoon Hike

Took this hike out to Grass Lake with my wife and it is officially one of our favorites. Every corner you turn holds breath taking views and it's a pretty easy hike so you can take it all in. The directions to the trail head are wrong but Siri knew where I needed to go. We ended up parking about a half mile from the trail head because the road in was narrow and congested but the spot we found to park was right next to another waterfall. The hike itself is primarily on rocks but very few inclines and could easily work for a family with kiddos. We'll definitely be back, hoping to go a little further next time to Susie Lake.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike to Half Moon Lake in Desolation Wilderness

This hike starts at the Glen Alpine Trailhead near Fallen Leaf Lake. Because Desolation is a wilderness area, you are required to fill out a day-use permit which can be found at the trailhead.

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Backpack to Susie Lake, Desolation Wilderness

Starting at the Glen Alpine trailhead (best access to Susie Lake): To get to the trailhead, head toward Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe.

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Backpack to Gilmore Lake in Desolation Wilderness

The easiest way to get to Gilmore Lake is to start at the Glen Alpine trailhead. The trail head is southwest of Fallen Leaf Lake.

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