Are you looking for the perfect way to spend the fall season in Lake Tahoe? Well, look no further. We have curated a list of our favorite things to do in Lake Tahoe in the fall, so you can make your dreams come true! From breathing in the smell of those crisp leaves and admiring the lake’s deep blue colors to exploring local trails with friends or family – get ready for an unforgettable experience this fall at America’s most beautiful alpine destination: Lake Tahoe!
1. Visit Vikingsholm
Explore the breathtaking Vikingsholm – a national and California landmark nestled along Emerald Bay, one of America’s most sought-after views. This Scandinavian-style architectural masterpiece is surrounded by 232 acres of stunning Tahoe scenery with picturesque hiking trails, boat rides to its secluded island in Lake Tahoe, and an incredible waterfall that flows directly into Lake Tahoe. Vikingsholm Tours run through the end of September, so if you want to put Vikingsholm on your fall bucket list, be sure to make it a priority at the beginning of fall. This is a must-visit destination!
2. Go For a Bike Ride
Mountain biking and cycling are great activities for those that love the outdoors, especially in the fall! Enjoy the beauty of the mountains and the lake, or feel free to use a road bike that can cruise along the twisting mountain roads. You’ll love biking through the fall colors around Lake Tahoe and hearing the crunch of leaves under your bike tires.
Check out these popular South Lake Tahoe Mountain Bike Trails:
- Tahoe Rim Trail
- The Flume Trail
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride/Saxon Creek Trail
- Corral & Sidewinder Trail
- Powerlines Trail
3. Take a Hike
If you want to spend a peaceful morning or afternoon outside, pack a backpack with some water and food and go on a hike through the stunning fall foliage! Camp Richardson has direct access to the Tahoe Basin’s famous Desolation Wilderness and Rainbow Trail! You can choose from other incredible trails based on your skill level and how far you are willing to hike.
Consider exploring these Lake Tahoe hiking trails:
4. Go Leaf Peeping
Leaf peeping is a term involving people traveling to locations where they can photograph and experience beautiful fall foliage! If you’ve already taken steps to book your stay at Camp Richardson, you won’t have to travel further to experience views that will leave you in awe. See how the aspens and maple trees have changed from green to bright orange, yellow, and red, painting the mountains with warm colors.
See fall colors up close at these locations:
- Hope Valley
- Apple Hill
- Luther Pass
- Fallen Leaf Lake
Press Leaves Into An Album
While leaf peeping or hiking around Camp Richardson, gather the prettiest leaves to be pressed and added to an album. Choose leaves that have freshly fallen from the tree, not yet curled or dried. Use a heavy book or another weighted option to press and preserve them. Add each leaf to your album and write where you found them so you can return to the same spot to collect more for years to come!
5. Watch Salmon Spawning
Visitors have traveled to watch the Kokanee salmon spawning in Taylor Creek for years. One of the best spots to watch salmon spawning in Lake Tahoe is at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center. You’ll see a sea of red as both male and female salmon work together to lay eggs that will hatch several months later. Salmon spawning typically occurs each October, so book your stay at Camp Richardson now so you can be at the creek in time!
6. Venture Out on a Day Trip to South Lake Tahoe
If you don’t live too far away from South Lake Tahoe currently, consider taking a day trip! Fall is the perfect season for a day trip to Lake Tahoe. With the summer heat fading and the leaves changing, there’s plenty of opportunity for outdoor fun! Visitors can take advantage of pleasant temperatures, stunning mountain views, and crystal clear waters, making this California paradise a must-visit destination.
South Lake Tahoe also has a vibrant nightlife with dozens of restaurants, bars, and venues hosting everything from DJs to open mic nights featuring local artists. Shopping is also a must when visiting Lake Tahoe for the day! Visitors can find everything from souvenirs and apparel shops to antique stores filled with locally produced goods. No matter what type of activity you choose, a day trip here in fall will surely be an unforgettable experience.
Is October a Good Time to Visit Lake Tahoe?
Yes, October is an excellent time to visit Lake Tahoe. The crisp autumn air provides a welcome relief from the hot summer months, and nature lovers will find plenty of vibrant colors in the surrounding forest due to the changing leaves. The lake remains a refreshingly cool temperature all year round, perfect for swimming, boating, or fishing. Plus, there’s never a shortage of breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and its picturesque alpine lakes.
October also offers plenty of fun outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, camping, skiing, and snowboarding when conditions are favorable. With its plentiful attractions and activities available throughout the entire month, it’s no wonder why so many people choose to visit Lake Tahoe in October!
7. Take a Tour on Horseback
Nothing screams fall more than enjoying the fall colors on horseback! You can ride through stunning National Forest trails, peaceful mountain meadows, or next to the crystal-clear water of Lake Tahoe. You and your family will love spending time outside while doing something completely different from your everyday routine! Check out Camp Richardson Corral for scenic guided horseback rides in the fall.
8. Play Disc Golf
A unique way to enjoy the outdoors this fall is with a friendly game of disc golf! Lake Tahoe disc golf courses are typically open until the snow falls, allowing you to enjoy the fall colors while competing against your family or friends. Just search for a disc golf course near you, and you can get playing almost immediately!
9. Sip Hot Apple Cider Around a Campfire
As the weather cools off, there’s only one right combination for staying warm, campfires and warm apple cider! Camp Richardson is the perfect setting for building a cozy fire, pulling out a chair, and cuddling up with a big blanket with a cup of apple cider in your hands. Tall trees surround you, making you feel like you’re one with nature – no worries can trouble you out here!
10. See Tahoe From Above in a Hot Air Balloon
Taking a hot air balloon ride in South Lake Tahoe in the fall is an experience like no other. With its pristine mountain peaks, crystal clear lake, and brilliant fall foliage, you will feel as if you are flying through a postcard! Lake Tahoe Balloons offers hot air balloon rides through mid-October, so book your next adventure now!
11. Stargaze From Your Tent
Make your way to the General Store to grab a cup of hot chocolate to stay warm as the sun sets over Lake Tahoe. When your campfire burns low, crawl into your tent and look up at the stars. Try to find your favorite constellation and search for the North Star. The crickets chirping in the background will create a peaceful night, allowing you to drift off to sleep and go on a fun fall adventure in the morning!
12. Complete a Jigsaw Puzzle or Read a Book
If you’re staying in one of the cabins at Camp Richardson, don’t forget to pack a jigsaw puzzle or a good book! Pour the puzzle pieces onto one of the tables and get to work. As you solve your puzzle, talk with your significant other, family member, or friends. While taking a break from your puzzle, grab a book and stay cozy next to the gas fireplace inside your cabin – this is your chance to get the relaxation you’ve been craving.
13. Watch the Sun Rise or Set
One of the most amazing experiences Lake Tahoe offers in the fall is watching the sunrise or sunset. As the days start to get shorter, and the sun rises and sets earlier on the horizon, you can take in some of the most enthralling natural views imaginable.
14. Visit a Historic Resort
If you’re ready to experience Lake Tahoe in the fall, book your stay at Camp Richardson today! You’ll want to hold your spot in one of our year-round cabins, Historic Hotel, Beachside Inn, or Lake Tahoe Marina Duplex, as bookings go fast! You’ll remember your stay at Camp Richardson for years to come!
Questions about lodging or things to do in Lake Tahoe? Let’s talk!