A Great View in South Lake

Lake Tahoe Big Meadow Trail

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9 mile roundtrip day hike. Views of wildflowers, the Sierras, and Lake Tahoe. Duration: 4 hours.

This is a medium-difficult out and back day hike of just under 9 miles round trip on the Tahoe Rim Trail. It includes views of the southern Sierra and, in season, great wild flowers. The trail is open to hikers, mountain bikes and horses

The Big Meadow trailhead is on the north side of Highway 89 about five miles south of US 50. There is a paved parking lot, restrooms and horse trailer parking. Follow the paved road for 100 yards before going right onto the trail. The next 2 miles you will climb gently with switchbacks through a mostly thick forest of predominantly Jeffrey pine and red fir. Here you junction with the Grass Lake Trail so be sure to watch for TRT signs. From here as you continue your journey you will pass through several small meadows with many wildflowers and two rock outcroppings that make great viewing spots. From these you can see the northwest area of Lake Tahoe and mountains to the east and south. After a total of 4.4 miles you will reach Saxon Creek Trail (aka “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride). For an added challenge you can go on an extra mile (2 round trip) to Freel Meadows for more open views and wildflower viewing; otherwise find a nice spot for lunch and some relaxation before returning to the trailhead. Source

Pack List

  • Strong trail shoes or hiking boots
  • Day pack with snacks
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Sunscreen
  • Hydration
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn



Dog Friendly

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9 months ago

Very Beautiful!

We started at the big meadow trailhead and the description of the hike is very accurate! Some parts got kind of difficult, but we are also not very experienced hikers lol. The meadow is breathtaking in the summer, I can only imagine what it's like in spring! Eventually we hit a fork in the trail and we took a left towards round lake, it was a short trail to a beautiful lake that was practically empty!! Definitely recommend.

9 months ago

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