Half Moon Lake is one of a number of alpine water features of the South Lake Tahoe area. Like many of the bodies of water nearby, it is contained with a huge glacial cirque, where it is possible to enjoy swimming, sunning, and hiking in relative seclusion. Steep peaks, high ridges, quiet blue water, and stately pines are just a few of the natural attractions here.
The Glen Alpine Trail provides the easiest access to Half Moon Lake. It is a moderate to difficult 5.5-mile trek from the trailhead, which can be found off Fallen Leaf Lake Road at the parking area across from Lily Lake. A wilderness permit from the Forest Service's Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is required to hike in this area.
The trail gains in elevation from the trailhead at 6,560 feet. The best time for hiking is spring through fall, although the winter views can be quite spectacular for those who have the ability and stamina to make the 10- to 12-mile journey in and back. To get there from South Lake Tahoe, take Highway 89 north about three miles to narrow, one-lane Fallen Leaf Lake Road and continue to the Glen Alpine trailhead sign on the left.