Big Meadow to Round Lake

MODERATE 38 reviews
#15 of 76 trails in

Big Meadow to Round Lake is a 5.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1250 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

fishing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

Escaped the 107 degree weather in Sacramento into natures own AC. Trailhead has parking and restrooms, along with maps. Weather was great even when we were in shorts and a tank top. Gets a little chilly up by Round Lake so if you're planning to stay there for awhile bring a light layer. There was a portion where we had to walk through shin deep water so may want to bring some extra socks. We were able to walk through the snowy areas fine without special shoes but walking sticks would be helpful for those less agile. Lots of mosquitos in the meadow section so bug spray highly recommended. Didn't have a lot of human traffic which was really nice for bringing dogs.

Good short hike to go on for just a day trip to Tahoe. We had a late start around 1:30pm and we were back to the trailhead around 5:30pm even with a break to eat lunch.

backpacking
25 days ago

My fiancée and I were thinking about doing a midnight hike but we decided to sleep in the car and head out in the early morning, good call. As soon we got to the trailhead we were instantly greeted by the flood warning on the bulletin board. And being as stubborn as I am we trekked right along up the first section of the trail. Sure enough we got to the flooded bridge that led to Big Meadow. Found a couple of long and thick native branches to act as trekking poles and help with balance and confidence. Parts of the trail on the meadow were visible but majority was covered with either water or hard packed ice. After the meadow the trail pretty much disappeared into yonder but with the help of my fiancée's ALLTRAILS app we finally found a frozen Round Lake 4 hours later.

We chose a site that was less windy and setup camp... Filtered some lake water from a small opening near the shore and made lunch. While my soon to be napped, Juno (our pet schnauzer) who I forgot to mention tagged along with me to gather some wood for our evening campfire. Snuck in about 20 minutes of lure fishing to no avail, the longing of camp "fish tacos" will just have to wait for the next adventure. Last but not least, found a good location to call the throne with a good hidden view to camp and a panoramic view of the frozen lake to drop a fat freeze dried deuce into the soil of the Sierras, ahhhh, GOD is good.

PS: Hun, thanks for being my navigation couldn't have done it w/o you… Oh and you too Juno hehe. I love you guys.

backpacking
27 days ago

Didn't expect the snow, it covered the trail but thanks to AllTrails we were able to make to the lake and back.

28 days ago

2 months ago

snowshoeing
3 months ago

I love to snowshoe this trail. Beautiful!

7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

This trail is short but fairly demanding. It's a constant minor grade for the extent of the rail after you pass through the meadow. That being said, it is entirely worth the effort. The lake is fairly deep and on surrounded by hills and mountains. On one side there is a mountain that looks completely alien to its environment. It's really spectacular. We were able to climb some of the smaller granite hills that surround one side of the lake for some incredible views. Saw a water snake or two by the rocks, and heard plenty of beautiful bird calls. Bring some bug spray as the mosquitos are out in full force from the forest to the water side. My young dog loved the trip but I'd refrain from bringing any old dogs or young children. All in all a trail I'll definitely be visiting again.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Many types of experiences with forests, plateaus and lake. Amazing. Not very steep but you are going up most of the way. Trail is well travelled and clear. You'll definitely run into other hikers and campers. Make sure you pack insect repellent as once you hit forest you will be swarming with mosquitos. We went for day and took about 4.5 hours rt since we explored lake once there. You can do it in 3-5 depending on shape you are in. Had I known lake was so amazing, I would have camped out.

backpacking
11 months ago

Beautiful hike and perfect for an overnight backpacking trip. The trail is beautifully maintained. We went from Big Meadow to Round Lake, and then made our way to Lake Dardanelles where we set up camp for the night. The only negative is that there are a ton of mosquitoes, so even if you use copious amounts of DEET, you're likely to get bitten up. Other than that, it was such a beautiful hike.

hiking
11 months ago

This is a nice easy walk with great wildflower views. It is always buggy so bring a long sleeve shirt. Popular hike so start early to avoid the crowd.

backpacking
11 months ago

11 months ago

Monday, June 20, 2016

Loved it bring your bug spray