While the summer days are still warm, the evenings are beginning to cool off. It’s a signal that our march towards fall is inching closer. In just a few weeks, the crowds will dwindle, and we’ll have a bit more time to venture out into the great outdoors. So, what is the Blue Angel Café & Catering Company’s go-to spot for hiking? Many would guess Mount Tallac or perhaps the world-famous Eagle Falls, but it’s actually neither. We have to go to the Glen Alpine Springs Trail! It’s our favorite spot of all.

Why Glen Alpine Springs Is Our Favorite Hiking Destination

Glen Alpine Falls - South Lake Tahoe
Similar to Henry David Thoreau in the book Walden, time spent in the mountains doing activities such as hiking gives us time to pause and reflect. It’s the perfect way for us to restore and rejuvenate our bodies and minds for the next busy season. For me, my “pond” is the Glen Alpine Springs. This is what I based my environmental history thesis. Every nook and cranny of this area feels like home because of the deep knowledge I had to acquire about it for my studies.

One Of The First Resorts In Lake Tahoe

Walking up the trail, it never ceases to amaze me that someone found this place. Tucked away from it all, it isn’t obvious. It’s only once you reach the mineral springs you’ll understand why it became one of Lake Tahoe’s first ever resorts. This special place was originally named “Gilmore’s Soda Springs” after the person who discovered them – Nathan Gilmore. Considered by many as a pioneer in the Lake Tahoe tourist industry, he helped bring people to the Lake Tahoe Basin where they could relax and experience this amazing place.

Terrible Tragedy Strikes

In 1880, the resort changed its name to “Glen Alpine Springs”. How come? The fabled story is that when his wife died that year, he wanted some way to commemorate her. He remembered that she loved the poem Lady by the Lake by Sir Walter Scott, and it was her love for the name that inspired the change to “Glen Alpine Springs”.

Why You Should Visit

Heading up Glen Alpine Trail
While the resort’s heyday is long past, it’s importance to Lake Tahoe is still deeply engrained in the city of South Lake Tahoe. Not only being the first operator of a resort, Nathan Gilmore also carved wagon roads at his own expense to make travel around the resort possible. But even more important, it was his love for this place that can be highlighted in him giving up his rights to an area covering 10,000 acres from Fallen Leaf Lake to Mt. Tallac. His land would become part of what we call the Desolation Wilderness. If it wasn’t for his vision, our love for this place and Blue Angel Café wouldn’t exist. So, here’s a salute to the pioneers of Tahoe!