Hiking the Spooner Lake to Marlette Lake trail in California in the Fall.

The backstostory

Last year, I posted one photograph of the Fall near Tahoe and I quoted Reiner Maria Rilke’s Herbsttag. I had no idea how well that poem would describe my life in just twelve months!

When my hiking group invited me to go on a fall hike on October 16, I though it would be a good opportunity to see the display of colors this year. We had not have any storms yet, so the leavers were bound to be still hanging from the Aspens. Nothing better for the spirits than a strenuous walk in nature. The forecast called for a sunny day in the low 70s, perfect for a stroll in the mountains.

The Photography

Despite having felt somewhat discouraged from photography lately, I did take my Nikon Z50 along with my 24 mm 1.8. The two together weigh less than three pounds. I wanted to take a few photos of the hike to show in this blog, particularly for those who live in the area and have not witnessed the display of beauty on this trail. Maybe you can add this destination to your bucket list for the next fall?

Since there was enough light, I took all photos at f16, ISO 100.

I have a small collection of fall photographs taken in California and also in Ashland, Oregon, in my pixels website. If you are curious to see them, click here.

The trail

The trail from the Spooner Lake to the Marlette Lake in the Sierra Nevada of California is a 10-mile out and back trail that has become very popular because of the many aspen trees along the way. In the fall, these trees tend to turn bright yellow all at once. The hike can be surprisingly quiet even in the peak of the fall leaf hunting season, because most people looking for fall colors do not want to get too far away from their cars.

We did the loop trail, which consists of a wider bike-friendly trail connecting the two lakes, and a narrow backcountry trail that runs parallel to it. Most of the display of colors is best viewed along the bike-friendly trail. 

Hikers on the bike-friendly trail, towards Marlette Lake

Below is the gps tracking of our route, which includes the mileage and elevation. 

GPS track of the hike. On the left, Lake Tahoe.
Marlette Lake
The shore of Marlette Lake

If you want more information about the trail, alltrails.com is a good source. Here is the link to this particular hike.

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Published by Alessandra Chaves

Photographer with a preference for nature photography in black and white and other abstractions.

18 thoughts on “Hiking the Spooner Lake to Marlette Lake trail in California in the Fall.

  1. Ah yes, “Herbsttag.” None of us would have taken it as an omen. A hike in beautiful weather sounds like just the right tonic for you. It looks like Marlette Lake is almost four hours from Sacramento: did you stay over?

    In the last photograph, the colorful reflection of the trees in the water drew my attention.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A lovely location and the weather seemed to be perfect for quite a long walk. Although the plain blue sky is not always the photographer’s favorite! I have an unfortunate habit of always wondering what pictures I would take when looking at the images of others and my first reaction to the initial lake photo was whether I could have got down the shore’s edge and got a low-down view across the lake to the colors on the other side! I guess I will have to travel there to see!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess for the purpose of enticing someone to go there do the hike the blue sky is appropriate but to make artistic photographs one would need to wait for an overcast day, which may or may not happen while the leaves are on the branches.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Terrific stuff, Alessandra! I’m glad you’re feeling more like taking photos again. I’m a big fan of the Lake Tahoe area. Interesting that you should mention Ashland, as we’re going to be there in nine days. Our son coaches football, and his team is traveling from Montana to Ashland to play Southern University.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It certainly is a beautiful spot, and an inviting trail. I smiled at the photo of the two hikers. The man’s left hand is gesturing in a way that suggests conversation — possible on a trail like that. In the photo captioned ‘Marlette Lake,’ I like the way the reflection of the mountain just seems to touch the shoreline.

    Liked by 2 people

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