Can’t-Miss Fun Fall Activities in Lake Tahoe

Fall foliage in Lake Tahoe

While South Lake Tahoe is known for epic winter skiing and snowboarding and tons of summer fun, there’s no doubt we embrace the fall season as well. With amazing fall colors, milder temperatures, and tons of exciting recreational activities and events, it’s the perfect time to experience everything Tahoe has to offer. Here are just a few of the fun things to do in Lake Tahoe in fall 2019:

Kokanee Salmon Festival

October 5 & 6, 2019
Taylor Creek Visitor Center

Every fall, we get together and celebrate all things fish at the Kokanee Salmon Festival. The fall fish fest is hosted by the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit in collaboration with Great Basin Institute. The two-day event encourages families to learn more about a variety of fish species that live in the Lake Tahoe and Taylor Creek area, including Kokanee salmon, federally threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout, and the speckled dace.  

Festival activities include:

  • A treasure hunt
  • Appearances by Lulu the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout and Sandy and Rocky Salmon, the event mascots.
  • A visit from Smokey Bear to discuss fire and outdoor safety.
  • A giant inflatable Lahontan Cutthtroat Trout
  • Trail runs sponsored by the Tahoe Mountain Milers
  • Face painting
  • Food vendors
  • And so much more!

It’s a great way to learn more about the environment and celebrate the natural beauty and wildlife of Lake Tahoe. There’s a reason it’s become a favorite for families and fish enthusiasts throughout the area.  

Fall foliage

The fall foliage here is really something special. Seeing the colors reflected in the lake and the mountains in the background is breathtaking. If you’re someone who appreciates the natural beauty of fall, you’ll definitely want to schedule your visit to Tahoe. Grab your camera and head out on an adventure to experience the changes in willows, aspens and meadow grass. Cathedral Meadows, the Taylor Creek Visitor’s Center, and Hope Valley are consistently noted as some of the best places to experience the fall colors around here. Generally, we see peak fall colors around the middle of October, but keep your eye on the U.S. Forest Service website to track the fall changes.

Biking & hiking

As fall settles in, temperatures start to drop in the mornings and evenings and it’s much milder overall, making it the perfect time to get outdoors. (Is there really a bad time to get outdoors in Lake Tahoe though?) Grab your tennis shoes or bike and experience the fall colors on one of our numerous hiking and biking trails. Rabe Meadow, Fallen Leaf Lake, and Van Sickle Bi-State Park are just a few of our favorite trails for exciting fall hikes or bike rides.

If you’re serious about running, don’t forget about the Lake Tahoe Marathon, which features three days of running fun October 11-13, 2019. Races including a marathon, half-marathon, 5K, 10K and more. Bikers may enjoy the Corral Trail Night Mountain Bike Ride, a night ride featuring costumes and Halloween fun, on October 12, 2019.

Experience the arts

If you’re a fan of live music and theater, you’ll enjoy tapping into your artistic side in the crisp fall Tahoe air. Catch the WordWave Lake Tahoe One-Act Play Competition on September 14, 2019, an annual event held on the shore of South Lake Tahoe at Valhalla Tahoe, and experience the brand new plays. You can also see Steinway artist Julian G, a renowned classical pianist and composer, there as well on September 27, 2019. Keep an eye on their events calendar for other events that pop up throughout the season as well. In addition, both Harrah’s and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe have live music into the fall season, with artists like Rick Springfield and Duran Duran. There’s no better way to say goodbye to summer.


October 5-6, 2019
Camp Richardson

What’s fall without some good old fashioned Oktoberfest fun? Oktoberfest at Camp Richardson is one of the most popular fall events in Tahoe. Of course, there’s plenty of brats, beer, and family-friendly activities for you to enjoy, including:

  • Live music from the Gruber Family Band
  • A costume contests for adults and canines
  • Craft booths
  • A rock wall
  • Face painting
  • Bouncy castles
  • Traditional dancers

If you’re heading this way October 5-6, 2019, you can get free event parking at the Eagles Nest Campground.

Fall in love with Lake Tahoe

If you’re headed to California for a fall getaway, we’d love for you stay with us. With large suite-style rooms, family-friendly amenities, amazing views, and easy access to all of the great fall recreational activities and events, there’s no better place to start your Tahoe vacation than Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel. We can’t wait for you to experience all the fall fun! See you soon.  

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