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Meeks Bay Trail to Lake Genevieve and Crag Lake

MODERATE 181 reviews

Meeks Bay Trail to Lake Genevieve and Crag Lake is a 9.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tahoma, California that features beautiful wild flowers 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 but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 9.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,243 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

Directions from South Lake Tahoe: Take Highway 89 to the Meeks Bay Resort. Parking is located across the highway from the resort at a small dirt parking lot.

Great hike, beautiful Fall color, streams, & lakes into Desolation Wilderness.

backpacking
bugs
muddy
rocky
23 days ago

This was a beautiful trail, and a really good trail for a first backpacking trip. Some uphill, but not too difficult. Definitely a lot of bugs in the afternoon, especially near the lake.

hiking
30 days ago

what an awesome trail. it is rocky but there are many flat breaks to rest. we thought it was easier than described.

This trail is a favorite. Has a bit of everything-climbs, forest, boulders, some good shade. Aside from the first mile to get to the trailhead, the trail keeps on giving. About 4 miles to the first lake which is gorgeous. Not too crowded in fact no one else at the lake.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Nice mellow trail. Very few people on a weekday after labor day.

hiking
bridge out
rocky
1 month ago

Really nice trail. shade most of the way up. Rocky and the bridge over the stream is long gone.

hiking
2 months ago

Most of the way was protected by pines and not too steep. Lake Genevieve is a jewel

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike that wanders through large granite rock and alpine meadows. There were many wild flowers still in bloom and we caught a lot of wildlife sightings. Lakes at the top were perfect for a lunch. Took my 9 year old son. If you have a kid who enjoys hiking this was the perfect amount of elevation gain for the length. I will say my Fitbit said it was 12 miles total so I don’t think the 9.8 mile calculation accounts for the 1 mile in and out walk along the forest road.

hiking
2 months ago

From the tranquil Meeks Bay trailhead it’s 2.5 hours up and 2.0 hours down to the end of beautiful and pristine Crag Lake which is estimated at least 11 miles round trip. One small water crossing. Spotted 2 coyotes up and 2 deer down with a few ducks on the lakes as well. Scenery was pleasant throughout a mostly shaded trail with abundant wild flowers and some meadows and a couple small views of Lake Tahoe and finally tons of granite up top. Enjoyable all around and rewarding to reach Genevieve and especially to spy the islands of Crag Lake. A fair number of visitors on a Friday. This trail seems to be great for a multi day backpack ending at the Eagle Falls trailhead at Emerald Bay.

backpacking
bugs
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! What we loved most about it was how the trail is a combination of steeps and flats so it’s not as intense all at once! We hiked 7/31/19 and there were a couple muddy spots but nothing really bad. The trail is well maintained. We started at 11am and there weren’t any mosquitoes. Got to the 1st lake at 1pm. Not a lot of water left at the part where the bridge used to be.

Beautiful as always. I was part way down the trail a few weeks ago and a whole new set of wildflowers are in bloom. We ran in to some Forest Service volunteers along the way. They confirmed that the bridge over Meeks Creek will not be rebuilt. Due to current safety laws, costs etc. In the future you will really need to check the flow of the creek before you attempt to cross it. Right now we got across balancing on rocks that have been set up and two walking sticks for balance. It is shallow enough right now that you could use water shoes. It’s about shin high.

backpacking
bugs
muddy
3 months ago

We finished a two-night backpacking trip to Crag Lake. Perfect weather and scenery: refreshing swims in Crag Lake; beautiful day hike to Stony Ridge Lake but made a mistake and scrambled the east shore. It was very boggy on the south side of the lake. Would have given 5 stars if not for the mosquitos. They were relentless and night (driving us into the tent early) and morning even with bug spray. As the previous reviewer stated, the trail is clear to Crag Lake and beyond. There is still quite a bit of snow and flowing water on the trail to Stony Ridge Lake and beyond. Looking forward to returning soon!

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

This out and back trail takes you up the side of the mountain giving you incredible views and breathtaking moments when your thoughts are drowned by the roar of the falls next to you. Finally reaching Lake Genevieve, I was excited to see a spot on the side where I could sit and enjoy my lunch. There were only about four groups, so I wouldn't say it was crowded, but I was still relishing the time by myself.

hiking
3 months ago

We hiked this trail today, 7/10/19. The trail is in good shape and completely snow-free all the way to both lakes. There are a few fallen trees across the trail and two creeks fords, all easily crossed. Lots of wildflowers, especially in the first half. Very pretty, moderate difficulty, very few people. It took about 4.5 hours including a break at the top. Great hike!!

backpacking
3 months ago

Desolation Wilderness is definitely my favorite place on earth to be! This trail was nice and simple; we backpacked in and out for a one night trip and ended up staying at Crag instead of Genevieve because they have better tent sites available. Shadow Lake and Hidden Lake are very close by if you’d like to visit there as well. As for the trail, it was uphill for a lot of the way up and downhill on the way out and don’t forget to bring mosquito spray for the first half mile of the trail!

hiking
bridge out
bugs
muddy
snow
4 months ago

We did this trail two days ago. It's a great dog-friendly trail! Due to all the snowmelt this year there was a lot of water. The start of the trail is flat and the water pooled there, leading to a lot of mosquitos, so bug spray would make the walk more pleasant. It was a little muddy, but manageable. About 2 miles in you get you start to ascend and there aren't many mosquitos from there to Crag Lake. The trail is a pretty gradual incline and you get some views of Lake Tahoe. Its mostly shaded, which is nice for the sunny days. There is one point where you have to ford the creek (we were told there used to be a bridge, but the heavy winter must have destroyed it). The current was pretty strong. I probably could not have done it on my own (5'2" woman). My fiance had to help me. I'd say if you're going early this summer, only cross if you're confident in your abilities/have someone with you for safety. Once you get across the creek there are a number of patches of snow you have to cross. Nothing too challenging, but you'll have to watch your step. The lakes at the end are absolutely gorgeous! The water is crystal clear and provided a perfect mirror for the blue sky above!

Great views of forest, mountains and waterfalls. We only hiked 3.5 miles from the parking lot because of hardpack. It would have been an easy feat had we come properly dressed. Well worth the effort. Another hiker mentioned seeing a fleeing bear. Don't forget the Bugoff for the first mile!

We could only do halfway the second half was too muddy and water logged.

I took some friends who had not been snowshoeing before on this trail, but we turned around right as it started getting steep (about 1.8 miles in). Great for beginner snowshoers. Place was deserted. Off leash dog has great time.

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