Big Meadow to Dardanelles Lake via Tahoe Rim Trail

MODERATE 50 reviews
#19 of 78 trails in

Big Meadow to Dardanelles Lake via Tahoe Rim Trail is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1427 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from South Lake Tahoe: Take Highway 50 southwest to Highway 89. Go south on 89 to the Big Meadows parking lot on the left. Follow the trail at the lower end of the parking lot approximately 200 yards, where it intersects with the highway. Cross the highway cautiously and look for the trailhead signboard.

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike through forest, meadows and across streams. A little uneven, some climbs, but the destination and swim are well worth the effort.

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty popular trail in high season, lots of people and dogs. Still an excellent hike

hiking
1 month ago

Loved the trail it's pretty much uphill all the way until you get to the second intersection to chose round lake or another trail on the right. We got confused because we didn't see the Darnell's lake sign but we back tracked and found it. Over all must because the meadow and wild flowers were amazing.

backpacking
1 month ago

Beautiful views. Trail is very well maintained and easy to follow. Getting a bit more crowded.

1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike, with diverse terrain. The uphill climb is at the beginning, and then opens up to Big Meadows. Unfortunately, I went with my family the week of July 19th and the fire in Mariposa brought about an abundance of smoke that sat and disrupted what would have been an even lovelier view. I plan on going again soon, a great and easy hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike with varied terrain. Creek crossings are no longer an issue. Still some sections with nice wild flowers. Lake water was warm enough to take a dip in. Saw hikers, backpackers and a few mountain bikers both directions along the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

Did an epic night hike with a large group... We stopped at Big Meadow, turned off our headlamps and gazed up at the stars, just pretty. Found xmas valley trail via the TRT then the junction off to Dardanelles. After successfully crossing the first stream which I thought was probably the most sketchy, the next two were pretty cake. Got to the lake and veered to the left to setup camp around 3:30am. Btw it's a huge campsite capable of accommodating a large group.

Switched campsites about midday to northwest side of the lake... absolutely wallpaper type views. Our new camp area had beveled wood bench seating placed on stone and granite slab kitchen tables for cooking and prepping. Didn't have a good area to drop a comfortable deuce due to the number of campers but that wasn't a deal breaker. The shoreline area(s) are just beautiful, have to be there too see for yourself.

PS: MOSQUITOS (100x)

2 months ago

Great hike! Wish we would have taken camping equipment.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

A wonderful hike! We clocked it at 8 miles. The trail was clear of snow. Multiple stream crossings, but we were able to cross each one without getting wet. One section had water running down the trail, and you had to do a bit of cross-country to get around it, but not bad. WONDERFUL wildflowers along the whole way. The lake was amazing. A moderate amount of traffic on the trail, not bad (but it was mid-week). Mosquitoes were a bit of a problem in the meadow and once you got to the stream area, particularly as the sun was going down. The meadow was easy to traverse, not too wet at all. A perfect time to hike this trail. All the trail junctions were clearly marked.

backpacking
2 months ago

What a great trail. We did Dardanelles and Round Lake. Ended up with 8.9 miles.

hiking
2 months ago

Out and back yesterday. Trail clear -- A bit wet coming into Big Meadow, which has some boggy sections. Not that bad. Could smell the wildflowers coming back through in the afternoon. Patches of snow at the top of the pass. Lots of water in the Upper Truckee drainage, easily forded (rock hopping) as you approach the lake. One wet (flowing) section that requires a little route inventiveness, and some tree walking. (Lots of downed trees on the trail down to the lake.) Lovely hike, a good test for my old body. Flowers everywhere.

backpacking
2 months ago

Nice trip. But if you go anytime soon be prepared to get your feet wet. There's a lot of water on the trail--just in sections. It is passable. I took my shoes and socks off a couple of times. Big Meadow has a lot of flooding. Then there are a few spots as you get closer to Dardanelles Lake. Well worth it though.

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago