Big Meadow to Scotts Lake

EASY 5 reviews
#33 of 74 trails in

Big Meadow to Scotts Lake is a 6.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from September until May.

6.2 miles 987 feet Out & Back

kid friendly



nature trips


trail running





wild flowers


Trailhead 2257 Elm Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA

8 months ago

mountain biking
9 months ago

1 year ago

The trail is listed incorrectly on the above map. This also causes for a incorrect search.
We were snow shoeing so there was very little foot traffic plus I think in made the lake a little nicer to look at.
It's pretty awesome the stuff Mother nature produces. The broken dead trees in the lake bed are worth seeing when there is 3' of snow on the ground.
Not sure about the fence listed in below post. Never ran into any fence???
It was a nice snow shoe trail and recommend it.
Forte's post is well put.

1 year ago

This was a nice hike. I meant to do the Big Meadows to Round Lake but veered to left before getting to Big Meadows. It's a pretty steady upward climb. Skimmed along the edge of Big Meadow for a bit! Dogs had a blast. Slow steady incline from 7288 to 8092 ft! We came across a dead bird with entrails which one of my dogs found very disturbing! The hike is actually about 7.4 miles from the Big Meadow trailhead parking lot to the lake. About 1/4 mile before reaching the lake there is a big barbed wire fence! I was very WTF?! The dogs scooted under and I found a big rock to the right of the trail to climb over the fence easier. The lake is very disappointing - it feels dead with broken jagged trunks and dark, murky water. There is apparently a road in that you can drive and a few people were camping. Between the dead bird, the barbed wire and the eerie appearance of the lake, it was somewhat a letdown, but a beautiful hike regardless. For beauty at the end, take the Big Meadows to Round Lake trail!

2 years ago

A very nice trail that I would classify as easy to moderate, depending on the age of any children. The trail climbs at a rate that you really do not know that you are climbing as much as you are. You really realize it when you make the return.

The lake is a manmade lake at the end of the hiking trail as well as the end of an OHV trail from the opposite side. It is always disapointing to see mechanized visitors in the high country. The lake is reasonably warm to swim in during the mid to late summer providing you have some beach shoes with you.

The trail goes through several zones from open territory to aspen shaded sections. Both my wife and I liked the trail with the view of the lake as average (in relationship to other nearby lakes).