Each fall we head out to see the aspen trees. This year my husband, youngest son and I found another favorite spot to add to our tradition. I’ll get to that in a bit. For now I’ll will share the photos of the aspens in the Hope Valley area of California off HWY 88.
All of our usual places to stop and wander were glorious as usual, but this year we headed home a different way. We took the turnoff toward South Lake Tahoe through Myers. We decided to visit Fallen Leaf Lake off of HWY 89 toward Emerald Bay. We have heard great things about this area, but never imagined this kind of beauty! We have missed out on this treat for far too long.
I had been in this area years ago while visiting Angora Lake (I need to go again), but had never explored this lake (Fallen Leaf) and it’s surroundings. Thankfully, we traveled too far up the road from where we should have turned. We saw meadows and aspens and horses in ideal settings. Sometimes missing your turnoff yields fruitful results.
We found the day-visitor parking lot (one spot left) and headed up a short trail to the lake. We were amazed at the vibrant scene before us. The water and sky, deepest of blues, and bright golden aspens tucked into impressive pockets to stun the eye and fulfill their glorious purpose.
It was our intent to walk around and explore a bit. This was our last stop after an already fully satisfying day so we didn’t anticipate spending a whole lot of time here. Thankfully, we readily tossed our intentions aside and spent a couple of hours walking on trails in and around the lake.
We crossed over the dam to a wonderland of trees and trails. We just kept walking, unable to part with our surroundings.
We came across an enormous chimney that stood in the middle of a rock foundation. You can see the scale of its size if you are able to spot my son sitting on the ledge in the middle of it (hint: He’s in the second chimney photo).
There was a spooky cabin, long abandoned, that would have made the perfect holiday lodging.
Against my advice we took a different trail and what ended up being the LONG WAY AROUND back to the car. We even needed to walk across the creek over a huge log in order to get where we needed to go. These moments are the most fun and memorable.
No doubt, the story will be told three different ways, but I get to tell my side first 😂. I suppose if they had listened to me we wouldn’t have had the extra adventure.
A perfect day with fun companions, to be sure!