Big Meadow to Round Lake

MODERATE 52 reviews
#13 of 77 trails in

Big Meadow to Round Lake is a 6.1 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
6.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1259 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
10 hours ago

Round Lake is gorgeous in mid-afternoon. At the beach where the trail meets the lake, we saw chipmunks, dragonflies, and a few humans at the far end of the lake. As Madame says, turning right at that point will show you more lovely views, including a cove with the world's cutest island. Turning left, you soon see some hefty rocks that must have fallen from the cliff above.

Wide variety of plants both at the lake and on the trail. Big Meadow is probably better in early summer. Trail is mostly shaded except for Big Meadow and Round Lake.

We met several dogs and one mountain biker. Horses had been there too. My teenagers handled the climb from CA 89 to Big Meadow slightly better than I did; we used almost a quart of water per person. Construction work on that part of CA 89 finished while we were hiking!

hiking
6 days ago

Nice hike. Would consider the rating accurate as most of it is at an incline until you get to the meadow then a little ways until your almost to round lake which is a decent decent down. Shady enough to cool off if you need to take a rest. Saw lots of people but was alone enough to enjoy some solitude. Saw bikers hikers and horseback riders. The lake is so pretty. I really enjoyed sitting and reading there. Only thing that was sort of a bummer was construction going on today 8/9 so for the first portion you could hear traffic and road work going on which takes away from the elements of nature but once you get to the meadow it's fine. Great views once you get to the lake I recommend walking to the right when you get there you get some great views you would realize are there.

backpacking
9 days ago

Very fun. Took the whole family. Kids loved it.

hiking
9 days ago

Great hike, excellent views: creek alongside the trail, awesome meadows, and a very pretty alpine lake. It starts at the trailhead off 89, then cross over 89. Trails starts off fairly steep about a mile before arriving at the large meadow. The meadow is large and beautiful with a nice creek crossing and a shady tree at the other side. From there it's a 2.5-3 mile hike to Round lake. Before getting to the lake you'll climb a steep portion for 1/2-1 mile then down a switchback then another climb before a slight decline just before you see the lake.

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

Nice trail with some incline. Lake was beautiful, took a swim but the water was really cold. Definitely bring bug spray.

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

backpacking
29 days ago

Had a great trip, easy 3 mile hike in nice and shady for the most part, very little snow on the path, the mosquitoes are insane up there so make sure you bring lots of DEET! tried my luck at fishing but did not catch anything. still does get a little chilly at night but i was fine with my 40deg bag and a one man tent.
The view is incredible and there is a couple of nesting Bald Eagles that just scream freedom!

hiking
1 month ago

Took my flip flops along in case we had to take our hiking shoes off because of flooded spots, but the trail was clear and dry all the way to the lake. Several spots along the way for the dogs to drink, as well as plenty of shade. Mostly uphill going there, which was great having downhill on the way back - pretty hot on the return trip. Definitely take mosquito repellent because you won't stay long at the lake or anywhere along the way without it.

hiking
1 month ago

Tons of shade along the way. Very dog friendly trail. There was a little bit of flooding at big meadow but passable. Round Lake always seems a bit smelly with lots of pollen. But overall a very nice trail that my dogs approve. There's also still snow in July!

hiking
1 month ago

Just as some said, water runoff is causing portions of the trail to be flooded. We took our shoes off and it was completely manageable. Some snow, but totally doable in sneakers. Well worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month 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
2 months 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
2 months ago

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

2 months ago

4 months ago