Hike from Big Meadow to Round Lake

Tahoe Rim Trail

The Big Meadow to Round Lake trail is a 6.1 mile hike in El Dorado National Forest, near South Lake Tahoe. Round Lake is absolutly gorgeous, and is a great day hike or beginner backpacking trip.

The Big Meadow to Round Lake Trail is accessible year-round as it can be snowshoed in the winter. The trail is surrounded by dense wilderness, and the silence from the forests is a beautiful sound. Dogs are allowed on this trail! This is also a great location for fishing or trail running. 

In the spring, the buttercups and asters are in full bloom. Keep your eyes peeled for nesting bald eagles at Round Lake. At the far end of the lake, turn right and you will find a small cove with a cute island. 

Photo: John Getchel

Pack List

  • Sun protection (hat, sunscreen)
  • Water / water filtration
  • Hiking boots, hiking socks (wool), trekking poles
  • Snacks, food and cookware
  • Backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad
  • Medications / first aid kit
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
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RT Distance 6.1 Miles
Elevation Gain 1184 Feet
Activities Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Swimming Hole


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I have done this hike from Carson Pass as well as Luther Pass through big Meadow. Coming in through Big Meadow is much more worth it due to the rock formations the closer you get to the lake.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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