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Review of Fallen Leaf Lake

Fallen Leaf Lake
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Ranked #510 of 3,924 Attractions in California
Type: Bodies of Water, Outdoors
Activities: Fishing
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Attraction details
Owner description: Small lake west of Tahoe between Emerald Bay and Camp Richardson.
Santa Rosa, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

I hate to give Fallen Leaf Campground a poor rating, because on the whole it is a beautiful place. The sites are large and the lake is pristine. Unfortunately, the "rangers", camp hosts and staff seemed only interested in the camp rules and regulations, with no regard to whether or not these "rules" make camping possible.

The concept of customer service seemed completely lost on the staff. Our camp host spent her (his?) time driving from one campsite to the next doling out citations from the comfort of her golf cart scooter. We stayed in site #151 (awkward layout, no tree shelter and dusty). There were only two sites available when I made my reservation...and I chose unwisely. The site is advertised as able to accomodate a travel trailer + 2 cars. There was hardly room for our small 19' trailer and our truck, let alone our guests' car. The ranger was on us immediately. The "all wheels on the pavement" rule made it impossible, as the width of the tarmack was not adequate to park without having at least one tire on the sand shoulder. The camp host ranger stood there with a deadpan expression reciting the rules over and over as we endeavored to make our cars fit. In the end she gave us a citation, which she said would be followed by a $300 fine if we did not move immediately (all the while we were still in our vehicles trying to accomodate her direction). Our guests had to park outside the campground and were told by the check-in booth that "no refunds could be given" for the unusable parking permit he had purchased for the week. After much debate, he got his money back and we drove them to and from their car for supplies all week, which was inconvenient. When it was time to pack up and go, our guests used the empty driveway in the next campsite over to load their vehicle. Within seconds, the camp host was back with her golf cart and began to recite the rules again, demanding that we produce a validated parking permit to be in that campsite. Despite our efforts to explain that we would only be there for 5 minutes, she would not relent. It was difficult to understand her motive for being so rigid and unflexible. This unfriendly attitude made our stay very unpleasant. BTW, we were two couples (late 40s), one with a 3 year old daughter and one with a 9 year old son. We are not partying, noisy, rule-breaking people...we just wanted to have a nice week of family camping. Encountering this much negativity upon arrival and departure made us feel harassed and really dampened the mood during our stay.

On the upside, we did see many other sites in the campground that would accomodate a trailer and 2 vehicles, but unfortunately for us, these were all reserved. The spot we got was possibly the worst one, which would account for our experience, but we discovered that most all of the other campers in our immediate area had also received citations and warnings from the ranger host. It definitely makes me think twice about going back. We made a point of noting down the numbers of sites that looked better configured with more parking, and perhaps we could camp there again without as much interference from the horrible staff.

ADVICE: Do your research before you choose a site, make sure you get a space big enough for your needs (don't trust the online description...call and double check), and stay under the radar of the staff and you should have a good time.

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 reviews from our community

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English first
Sacramento, CA
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“Beautiful Campground”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

Had a recent stay at FLL campground. Large, spacious areas that surround a beautiful meadow. We stayed on the side where there was a short walk to the Lake. It is a rock shore with a lot of drift wood. Wear your water shoes. The water is cold, initially - but you get used to it quickly - one of the nicer (and warmer) lakes to swim in. We had three campgrounds together - a group of us - 93, 94,95 - great camp spots; however, a long distance from bathroom either way. That was the only downfall. Additionally, the bathroom was dual shower/bathroom, so after the long walk to the bathroom, had to wait to use it while someone was showering. Poor set up. So, we had to really guage drinking liquids and the cut off time at night as it was not conducive to waking up at night and heading to the bathroom. We never saw bears or even heard them. Everyone obeyed the curfew and we were never harrassed by the hosts.

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
walnut creek, ca
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Magical and peaceful place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

Every time I go to Fallen Leaf lake, I usually take my bike and enjoy the 12 miles from south lake tahoe. Once arrived, I am always impressed by the views, the tranquility of the place.
Boat and kayak rentals are not that expensive, the lake is not crowded at all, making it an excellent alternative to Lake Tahoe.
Food is also pretty good there and well priced.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Most peaceful and beautiful campground and lake I've been too!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2012 via mobile

The campground was fabulous! Mostly large sights with lots of trees! Big campground, but very quite and not crowded at all! Excellent for families with children! There is plenty of space for the kids to ride bikes within campground. If you get a site on the back side, you will be across from Taylor Creek.....not only can you here the water as you are falling asleep, but the kids had a ball playing in it! The lake is also located on the back side of campground...short walk to it. Or you can drive to a small parking lot if you need! You basically are sharing the lake with a handful of folks so to speak! Not busy at all! Plenty of shallow water for kids! Beach is rocky...but just fine. If you need a little more action, you can ride your bikes just a short ways out of the campground down to the hustle bustle of others...Camp Richardson offers an ice cream parlor, bike, boat, kayak, paddle boat, etc rentals. Store, deli, coffee shop, beacon bar & grill and with that comes lots of people! So nice to camp away from all that, but be able to take a ride down there for the day! Also, bike paths and hiking all right there! I highly recommend visiting here-you won't be sorry!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
truckee, california, USA
19 reviews 19 reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Great scenery, campground”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2012

We stayed at FLL Campground with a group of friends and had a wonderful time. The proximity to Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake, and Mt. Tallac made it a very scenic and special trip.

Visited July 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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