Well, each time I reach a new destination lake, my eyes get big and it by far surpasses my expectations. This hike stretches into Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe. During the hike, you will see Susie Lake first. You can continue on the trail and follow the stream feeding out of Susie Lake to see an extraordinary waterfall, Susie Falls. The hike proceeds from the Glen Alpine Trailhead. There are tons of lakes in Desolation Wilderness you can access from this trailhead. You’ll gain about 1,400 feet in elevation and travel about 4.5 miles one way. Susie Falls drops over 250 feet!
A few of my friends and I hiked to Susie Lake and Susie Falls this past weekend. What a great hike! We left quite early in the morning as a storm was supposed to roll in towards the afternoon. Glen Alpine Trailhead is quite a drive back and follows the shoreline of Fallen Leaf Lake. Once we got there, we laced up our hiking boots, of which if you’re looking for a pair you can purchase them at Tahoe Mountain Sports, and headed off. The first part continues about 1.5 miles up a rocky, dirt road. We first passed a few cool waterfalls and Lilly Lake on our left and continued up the broken, rocky trail. There was water flowing from everywhere. You’ll pass a few posted stakes with directions to Aloha Lake. After a stream crossing, you will reach one specifically that says Aloha Lake to the left and Gilmore Lake to the right. We rested for about five minutes there. Below are a few pictures!
Once we were back on our feet after a few swigs of H2O, we headed left towards Aloha Lake with about 1.5 miles to go. The next stake we came to said Susie Lake left and Gilmore Lake right. Obviously we went left and travelled mostly down at this point through more broken, rocky trail. We made it to Susie Lake! The lake is super cool and surrounded by beautiful snow-capped peaks. The trail continues along the gorgeous shoreline until you reach where the lake feeds the waterfall. A few more pictures to enjoy below!
You can continue across the small mouth on the trail to the other side of the lake which would take you to Heather Lake and even further to Aloha Lake or follow the mouth down to a few small waterfalls before the massive one. We continued to the large waterfall. It’s insanely larger than I had ever expected flowing over red-glazed rock. We made our way about three quarters of the way down the waterfall and sat and ate some lunch. While eating we felt a few raindrops so we decided best to head back as it would take a little under two hours to return to the trailhead. Below are even more beautiful pictures from the hike and waterfall!
To get to the Glen Alpine Trailhead, you will drive towards the “Y” on Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe. Make a right at the “Y” to follow Emerald Bay Road or 89 towards Emerald Bay. This is a great little attraction in Tahoe as well and you can find more information on it from local, Robin Pennings blog, A Local’s Favorite Daycation – Emerald Bay. Make a left at Fallen Leaf Road about three miles past the “Y”. Continue down this road as it follows the shoreline of Fallen Leaf Lake and becomes single lane. You’ll see some amazing houses on this road. Continue past the marina and you’ll reach the parking lot for Glen Alpine Trailhead. Get your gear and get HIKING!
I was super excited to get back into Desolation Wilderness and explore a new lake! Susie Lake and Susie Falls were a huge surprise to me and I had no idea the falls even existed. They were massive! As usual, I have the My Tracks link. Have you been to Susie Lake or Susie Falls in Tahoe? What’s a lake or waterfall that caught you way off guard and totally surpassed your expectations? Leave a comment below. Also, follow me on twitter @sberei!