Go Take A Hike Part 7 – Glen Alpine Springs in the Fall, Hike It Now!   Leave a comment

By Michelle Portesi

Situated off the main road at the south end of Fallen Leaf Lake is the trail to the old Glen Alpine Springs Resort. A vacation destination of a bygone era, still standing today are several buildings designed by the famous San Francisco Architect Bernard Maybeck (1862-1957) designer of the San Francisco Palace of Fine Art.  While some buildings are already boarded up for the winter and therefor more difficult to appreciate their beauty, what is unusual about these buildings is their great expanses of glass windows supported by metal frames and stone buttresses.

 

One of the buildings at Glen Alpine Springs

One of the buildings at Glen Alpine Springs. This one is boarded up for winter, but you can still take a peak inside.

 

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Building without the snow covers.

 

I was hoping to get some shots of fantastic fall color as the drive in has massive stands of aspen, but as our drought has taken its toll on our fall color display this year, I’m hoping for that massive El Nino to show up to remedy the situation for next year. Still, the drive in was lovely as the one lane road meandered past gorgeous high country horse pastures and the shores of Fallen Leaf Lake.  This is a seasonal lake, as the road isn’t plowed once the snow flies, and the intimate, limited development of the area reminded my friend and me of the movie ‘On Golden Pond’. In fact, so much so, we both said it simultaneously!

 

Boat docks at Fallen Leaf Lake

Boat docks at Fallen Leaf Lake

 

Once you near the south end of the lake, the road splits, and the sign to Glen Alpine Springs is clearly marked. A ways up you will find a parking lot and the beginning of the trail head. While not a long trail, much of it is on an incline and the ‘road’ such as it is, is very rocky. Be warned. This is no trail for flip-flops. Hiking boots are strongly suggested.

The trail does flatten out in areas through heavily forested glens, passing streams, and even a waterfall that still has water this late in the season, and it’s all worth it. Once you stumble onto the remains of Glen Alpine Springs Resort, you’ll have plenty to explore. The resort, once the site of supposedly health inducing natural soda springs, the gazebo still houses the terminus of the small, brackish, iron filled bubbly water.  No, I don’t recommend drinking it!

 

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Trail to Glen Alpine Springs

Dining Hall at Glen Alpine Springs.

Dining Hall at Glen Alpine Springs.

Interior of the Dining Hall

Interior of the Dining Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there, you can continue along the trail to many back country lakes. We didn’t realize it at the time, but there is another falls to the left of the parking area. Next time…

Hike it now, as the road around Fallen Leaf supposedly closes at the end of October.

If you are driving to your destination along the west shore, be sure to stop at PDQ Market in Tahoma along the way for some awesome sandwiches to take on your hike. My favorite is the pesto bread with roast beef and pepperchinis.

For more information and history about Glen Alpine Springs, go here:

www.sierranevadageotourism.org/content/glen-alpine-fallssprings-trail

laketahoe.com/content/glen-alpine-springs-resort

 

 

 

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Dining Hall at Glen Alpine Springs

Fall colors at Glen Alpine Springs

Fall colors at Glen Alpine Springs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THINK OF ME, LYNN RICHARDSON, FOR ALL OF YOUR LAKE TAHOE AND TRUCKEE REAL ESTATE NEEDS!

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