Big Meadow to Round Lake is a 6 mile heavily 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: 6.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,197 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Great hike to Dardanelles lake than over to Round lake Cool weather. Nice breeze. Pasted about 8 sets of other hikers/biker. Trail dry except for little patches of snow towards round lake. Hiked in hiking tennis’s. Bug we’re to a minimum. Beautiful!

hiking
snow
24 days ago

Can be a technical trail in this shoulder season. After the big meadow, I stayed high along the valley wall to avoid big patches of snow but this is pretty steep and mostly loose rock, pretty sketchy. If you try and follow the trail in the next week or so, expect to encounter lots of snow. It’s almost not enough for full time snow shoes but as the snow softens, you can sink up to your knees in places so definitely be careful. Not kid friendly this time of year in my opinion. Probably a bit early in the season for most dogs. The lake was still frozen over, and peaceful, so still worth it, but if you’re looking for big views, look elsewhere. Overall good trail if you just want to get someone without a lot of hikers where it’s peaceful.

hiking
snow
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Mid November morning hike. Gorgeous. Not too busy but lots of dogs off leash. A moderate intensity hike with a beautiful lake view.

hiking
7 months ago

10/12/2019, 1:00-4:00pm After trying to find parking around Lake Tahoe, we finally conceded and decide to grab lunch and rethink our plan. With 2 dogs in tow and being moderately in-shape, we decided to try this trail out. I’m so happy we did! The parking for the trail is on the other side of the highway. You have to cross the highway to get to the trailhead. It had very light traffic which we appreciated and we often found ourselves alone. The trail has some steep areas and rocky terrain at times. There were a few points where stopped and thought about turning back because we were only half way there. I encourage you to pack a sandwich and fill your canteen and do this trek. When you reach the end of the trail it is literally breathtaking. It took us about 2 hours to get there and we stopped a few times. Two-thirds of the way there is uphill, which makes the trek tiring. However, the way back was a breeze and only took us an hour because it was mostly downhill. There are so many other beautiful, lake trails around Tahoe and away from it. I recommend not going with the tourists and traveling a path less popular.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike!! Trail is perfectly maintained. The lake is well worth the hike up; peaceful and quiet.

hiking
8 months ago

9/28/19 great day for a morning hike. not crowded, well maintained & a good surface. windy at the end on the lake.

hiking
8 months ago

Late September. Hardly anyone on this one. Round Lake is a pleasure on the eyes. Definitely worth the walk.

This is a one way trail from Carson Pass Parking through Meiss Meadows, Round Lake and finishing at Big Meadows. 9.5 miles

hiking
8 months ago

Super cool basalt rock garden along the way in the Forest. Daunting rusty red painted bluffs rise above the east shore of Round Lake, daring you to scale them - and taunting you for not having the nerve. While dragon flies buzz the rocky beach and light waves lap quietly . . . as the sun sets over to the piney ridge. Repeat!

backpacking
8 months ago

We took our Cattle Dog backpacking here and camped on a short cliff over the lake. Our dog can be a little reactive on leash but there was lots of space in between campsites so he didn't notice any of the other overnighters. We chose a spot on the far end of the lake to avoid other people and it was perfect. Lots of day hikers with their dogs. Hike there and back was shaded. Fish were active in the afternoon. Super windy at night due to incoming storm.

backpacking
9 months ago

Trail was great! There are bugs but not that many.

hiking
9 months ago

A perfect hike for a half day trip. We had the pleasure of encountering some trail riders on beautiful horses, also several mountain bikers and a few folks with dogs. We brought an air mattress and floated around the lake while tiny fish nibbled at our feet! Water was cool but comfortable, nice and clear with rocky bottom. Trail is in great condition and we enjoyed the different types of terrain it offered. Recommended!

fishing
bugs
9 months ago

Did this trail today. A fairly easy hike, did the first 3 miles in under an hour with a full pack on. Really nice day, but quite windy down on the water. Stayed and fished, no luck, but still a great day. Very busy trail day today with families and dogs.

recorded Big Meadow to Round Lake

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

Wonderful! Easy to moderate. Lots of bugs carry repellant! Lots of butterflies!

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

don't forget the bug spray! besides the bugs beautiful from start to finish

hiking
bugs
10 months ago

Hiking to big meadow as a six year old was my very first hike that I completed with my dad and grandpa. There were cows in the meadow back then! My husband and I are on our honeymoon and we have been revisiting all the places I spent many summers of my childhood. We hiked to big meadow this evening around five or five-thirty pm. The air was fresh and crisp and the sun was falling into a golden glow in the sky - we decided to hike the rest of the distance to Round Lake because we wanted to see where my dad and his brothers had camped with my grandfather as teenagers. We were going to be fighting the daylight, so we jogged some sections. It ended up being a totally beautiful hike with a gorgeous view of the lake and we arrived back to our car at sunset. We each had a bottle of water, bug spray, and a small pack which ended up being sufficient. I carried a light jacket with me and we both wore our hiking shoes. We hiked to the summit of Mt. Tallac a couple days ago and then rode horses for about two hours today - so we were both pretty sore to start with. I would recommend going on this hike a little more rested than we did, but I would describe it as mild to Big Meadow and Moderate if you go the distance to Round Lake. Bring a camera and enjoy the peace and quiet!

hiking
10 months ago

The first .5 mile up a rocky and steep incline had this 60 something hiker from Oklahoma in a pretty good state of tachycardia

hiking
10 months ago

No chance of getting lost, plenty of people to say hello to along the way. Had my dog with me, many others brought dogs. All good times. Beautiful hike, beautiful lake. I would rate easy. See you on the trails.

hiking
rocky
snow
11 months ago

Hiked this trail 6/30/19. Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Set out from the parking lot- Tahoe Rim Trail, Big Meadow Trailhead. Big Meadow has lots of wildflowers, birds and butterflies! Just to stand, and take in the 360 deg view is ... wow. Beyond the Meadow, are some steep inclines, switchbacks and snow banks covering the trail in parts that can easily be walked over to reach Round Lake. Quiet, peaceful, wonderful! Hiked out and headed to Dardanelles for lunch! Highly recommend this hike!

hiking
11 months ago

Saw a lady on my to Scott’s Lake today. She just finished Round Lake & said the trail is clear. I plan on checking it out in a couple days.

hiking
11 months ago

We hiked this trail on June 15th, and the trail is clear. There were slushish parts that were easy to scramble over and find the trail afterwards. There were more snow around the lake, but the lake is not frozen over; there was a guy fishing.

hiking
11 months ago

In some spots of the trail it was still covered with 6 to 8 feet of snow along the path of the trail. Although the trail was somewhat hard to keep up with, my husband and I made it to the lake which was still partially iced! Be prepared to wade through cold water along the trail in the meadow. All in all it was a beautiful hike!

hiking
11 months ago

the meadow is a bit flooded so i took the trail to Scott's lake for a little bit. it is very dry.

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful hike! Still quite SNOWY, (as of 6/1/19), so if you go— be prepared to test your navigation skills since the path is completely lost at times due to a good ~3ft of snow through much of the trail. Didn’t make it to Round Lake on account of time and approaching thunderstorms, but passed hikers who said the lake is completely frozen! Looking forward to coming back to this trail in the fall when it’s less snowy :)

hiking
snow
Wed May 29 2019

hiking
Sat May 25 2019

A great work out. Great views and a great payoff view. Wildflowers ❤️

hiking
Wed Nov 28 2018

The parking lot is pretty slippery. I attempted the hike, but had to abort after 1.2 miles in because the snow was falling pretty good and I didn't want my truck to be stuck the next morning. That said, it is a pretty hike in the snow. If you are thinking of accomplishing this hike this time of year, I suggest chains and 4 wheel drive (of which, I have neither (yet)).

hiking
Thu Nov 22 2018

Seemed that the trail is a lot longer than noted on the map so be prepared with extra water and snacks. We hiked during a smokey day from nearby fire so could be it was a bit more difficult to breathe that day. Lake is surrounded by volcanic geology so not the typical sierra granite style lake. Eagles nest in the cliffs so you might get to see them fly over the lake if you are lucky!

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