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Lily Lake Trail

Project Status: In progress. Construction started in 2018 with completion scheduled for July 2021. This project is fully funded.

Google Earth image of the Lily Lake Trail alignment

Alignment of the Lily Lake Trail with incomplete sections in red.


The Lily Lake Trail will be 2.1 miles long and connect the Angora Lakes parking area to the Glen Alpine trailhead parking area near Lily Lake. The trail will climb 800 feet up the backside of Angora Peak and provide single track connectivity from Meyers and South Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Lake and Desolation Wilderness. This connectivity could reduce vehicular traffic along Fallen Leaf Lake Road for persons wanting to access Glen Alpine and Desolation Wilderness. The long-term plan is to extend this trail around the south and west side of Fallen Leaf Lake and eventually connect into the Tallac Trailhead parking area.

When completed, the Lily Lake Trail will have aspects unique to the Tahoe trail repertoire…slickrock, boulder traverses, and an epic view of Fallen Leaf Lake on the edge of a 75-foot cliff. However, the build difficulty is high with many sections of trail traveling through dense vegetation and unforgiving talus.

In 2018, the entire trail alignment was approved by the Forest Service and the trail corridor for most of the trail was cleared of vegetation. In addition, the first half-mile of trail starting from the Glen Alpine Trailhead parking area was roughed in.

In 2019, the Forest Service “cut in” the upper half mile of trail with a mini-excavator while TAMBA volunteers continued to work through extensive boulder fields at the bottom of the trail. Due to the massive snowpack from the winter of 2018/2019, construction started later than expected. We made progress through the boulder field and established about a half-mile of trail to the Lily Lake overlook, which has an epic view.

In 2020, we also got a slow start but this time because of COVID. In early July, we were able to start work and we focused on completing the trail from the Angora Lakes parking area down toward Lily Lake. With a dedicated team of veteran TAMBA volunteers and some new volunteers joining us each week, progress has been steady. We hired an ACE crew to work on some of the challenging switchback turns, which involve building 6-foot tall dry-stone retaining walls.

This project is funded by the Tahoe Fund, a generous donation from Chris McNamara, additional support from Vail Resorts, and by other generous members.

Frequently asked questions:

Will this trail replace the Church Trail?

  • No, this trail does not replace the Church Trail, but the two trails share the first few hundred feet starting from the Angora Lakes Parking area.

Will horses be allowed on this trail?

  • This is a multi-use trail although we anticipate equestrians will not be recommended because of the slick rock sections.

When will the trail be complete?

  • The trail was initially scheduled to be open to the public in late 2020, but COVID and other issues have delayed it to July 2021.