The trail starts at the entrance to the campground. Either follow the road with the “Wrong Way” sign or find the trail that parallels the road for about 1/4 mile. The trail will leave the road and head over a small rise and then down to Fallen Leaf Lake. This rocky beach with incredible views of Mt. Tallac across Fallen Leaf, is a great place for a picnic, throwing rocks, or just sitting and enjoying the view. In the summer, the ease of the trail and the proximity to the Fallen Leaf Lake Campground makes this a popular destination, but off-season, or early in the morning, you can often find some solitude.
The trail to the right passes through forest and along the creek on a pleasant path. At many places along the trail, you can stop and admire the fluid quietude of the creek. There are many fine picnic (not to mention fishing) spots along this stretch of trail as well. Continuing on this trail, you will eventually come to a paved road that will take you back to Highway 89. You could continue, turning right onto 89 back up to Fallen Leaf Lake Road, but it is more enjoyable to simply reverse the hike.
If you turn left, the trail passes again through pine, fir, and aspen forest up along the northern bank of the lake. It will eventually run into a housing development where the owners are very particular about their property rights! Signs warning the hiker that there is “No Lake Access” mean to say, “Stay Away”.