Showers Lake via the PCT is a 9.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California that features a lake 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
1,368 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

This is a relatively easy trail from just below Carson Pass on Highway 88 to Meiss Lake. It includes fantastic views of the surrounding peaks, Caples Lake, and Lake Tahoe, and is an excellent swimming destination in the summer, plus a great snow camping destination in the winter. The trail is the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). It is 4 miles from the parking lot to Meiss lake, with an elevation gain of about 300 feet as you climb over the saddle before dropping down to Meiss valley. The trail is well sign-posted and marked. It follows the highway for a little over 1/4 a mile before turning right into a wooded valley. After another 1/4 mile, there is a moderate climb up to the pass, before a gentle slope down to Meiss valley. The remaining 2.5 miles is flat and easy. Shortly after the trail drops into the valley, there is a fork. You will leave the PCT and take the left (eastern) fork, which is an old jeep route. After a short distance you will see Meiss lake to your left (west). It is the warmest lake in the Lake Tahoe region and great for swimming, although it is quite shallow. Return the way you came. In the winter, most people ignore the PCT and simply navigate directly to the saddle. Navigation here is very easy on a clear day as there are few trees 100 feet above the parking lot, and so the visibility is excellent. If you ignore the PCT and take a more direct route, there will be more climbing. Beware the avalanche point on the north of the saddle, on the western side. It creates a terrain trap out of the trail and can be dangerous. As always in the winter, be very careful with navigation, the weather can change fast here.

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing trail!

2 months ago

We just walked 2 1/2 miles out and back - to the top of the Meiss Valley - but the views are spectacular!

2 months ago

this was a easy hike,the last two miles was uphill,it was crowded this pass weekend,we camp near the lake,few hikers show up late with head lights on,and since it was dark they saw my camp first and decided to came feet away,had no respect for other campers

3 months ago

Wow. A great hike.

3 months ago

Great hike, be sure to go past the lake about 1 mile during flower season for the best display in the entire basin.

hiking
4 months ago

Perfect trail up until the point where you go off the trail and head east towards the lake. Could not find a trail to the lake and it is very marshy and hard to walk. Would recommend remaining on the trail and going to Showers Lake.

hiking
4 months ago

This hike is superb - well worth the beautiful drive from South Lake Tahoe. Mid July wildflowers were off the hook - as were the views. Loved hiking up through an aspen grove at the start, then up and over a ridge with spectacular 360 views. Beautiful creeks, meadows, snow capped mountains peaks, iris fields, waist high lupine, endless awesomeness.

The instructions shown for parking for this hike are odd - just park at the well marked Meiss Trailhead lot. Follow the pct to showers lake. $5 day use - self pay post at the trailhead.

4 months ago

Amazing wildflowers today. Just stunning! Highly recommend this gem of a hike!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike. Wildflowers everywhere and they smelled wonderful. Pretty good incline at the end before arriving to the lake. Some spots of shade along trail but lots of exposed areas.

hiking
4 months ago

Wildflowers! A great hike for July! Mile 1-2 and 4-5 is uphill, but doable even for me. So beautiful the entire time. About 8 tiny streams that you can hop over. Showers Lake is picturesque.
When you arrive, there is Carson Pass trailhead with bathrooms and a ranger station. It’s better to park across the street and pick up trail there.

4 months ago

the most beautiful wildflower hike i’ve ever done anywhere in the world. Acres of lupine, angelica, corn flowers, paint brush, Jacobs Ladder, valerian, mariposa and more. Many reaching heights of 4’. The peak is now and it won’t last so go.

hiking
4 months ago

Should the title of this hike be corrected to say 'Meiss' lake. There is no Metts lake. And, the trail heading east to the lake doesn't exist. In it's place is a beautiful meadow that is impossible to traverse because of the mud uner the grass. Beautiful hike, but one star due to bad directions in alltrails

backpacking
4 months ago

The most beautiful hike! Not too difficult even with the full pack on, but it pushes you. The wild flowers are everywhere and there is still snow on the peaks... makes for incredible views the entire way. . Camped at Showers Lake, more amazing views off the rock cliffs overlooking Tahoe. Beautiful sunset/sunrise. The mosquitos are out in full force though. Bug spray even on my clothes and they still got me everywhere! Plan on doing this hike again it was beautiful!

4 months ago

Awesome hike, some of the most outstanding wildflowers I’ve ever seen!

hiking
5 months ago

Started at Big Meadow early, 15 miles plus. A good day, came across lots of hikers on my way back in. Wind picked up at the lake lowering temps but keeping the bugs away. A few water crossings but nothing to sweat. Wildflowers will be blooming in the next few weeks so the meadows will be stunning.

snowshoeing
9 months ago

Very few people actually make it to the lake and post tracks and photo's. I've wanted to claim hike like others as I pass by it but never actually see the lake. I'm not like that so I had to make a special trip just to do it.
The trail claims a 7.7 mile hike. Probably so but I decided to Snowshoe the hike with over 1 foot of new snow. We cut 7.2 miles but chipped off a few .10's at the start. My tracks are a little off due the trail not being visible and going off GPS and snow tracks from others. We cut a fresh new line of tracks from the PCT junction and made pretty good time from there.
The lake is not much to see once it's frozen over but still a nice quiet place to eat lunch.
It was a heavy snow and a seriously hard hike due to the depth and weight of the snow.

backpacking
10 months ago

Amazing views, great trail. We hiked this from Carson pass and it was about 12-14 miles total. Even in the middle of summer, there were snow here and there and it got pretty cold at night. During the day it was great and people were coming up to fish in the lake. Beautiful spot, we will be going back

hiking
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Amazing hike!! Beautiful meadows and a very enjoyable moderate hike. Some wild flowers still in bloom but Spring or early Summer would be a better time for full blooms. A little snow left and lots of little creeks. Showers Lake is gorgeous! It's a definite must see/do hike! I will return to hike more of the area!!

backpacking
Saturday, August 19, 2017

Amazingly beautiful hike through the wildflowers!

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Went back today to check on wildflowers which were spectacular! They will be still near the Peak bloom for another 7-10days.

backpacking
Monday, July 31, 2017

I was surprised by this trail, thinking it wouldn't be particularly scenic or impressive. But it was a wonderful, beautiful trip with a different landscape every mile or so. We took my brother, who is a first time backpacker, and this trail was just perfect both in terms of exertion and introducing him to the California outdoors. Great mountain views of Round Top and other snow covered mountains in the Tahoe region, wildflowers of every color and shape, lovely meadows and basins to walk through, and Showers lake at the end of it provided good campsites. Mosquitos weren't too bad when we went, at least at the lake, but the meadow the second day had a few mosquitos and biting flies. Not a ton of elevation gain (only at the beginning and at the end), since you're already starting so high up, so most of the hike is a leisurely stroll through beautiful flower-covered fields with creeks and volcanic mountains all around. Watch out for the afternoon thunderstorms, as they do happen everyday and on the second day we were hailed on (lightly) and had lightening flashing around us.

backpacking
Monday, July 31, 2017

I was surprised by this trail, thinking it wouldn't be particularly scenic or impressive. But it was a wonderful, beautiful trip with a different landscape every mile or so. We took my brother, who is a first time backpacker, and this trail was just perfect both in terms of exertion and introducing him to the California outdoors. Great mountain views of Round Top and other snow covered mountains in the Tahoe region, wildflowers of every color and shape, lovely meadows and basins to walk through, and Showers lake at the end of it provided good campsites. Mosquitos weren't too bad when we went, at least at the lake, but the meadow the second day had a few mosquitos and biting flies. Not a ton of elevation gain (only at the beginning and at the end), since you're already starting so high up, so most of the hike is a leisurely stroll through beautiful flower-covered fields with creeks and volcanic mountains all around. Watch out for the afternoon thunderstorms, as they do happen everyday and on the second day we were hailed on (lightly) and had lightening flashing around us.

hiking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

Trail head is very close to the Carson Pass visitor center, I believe it is used as a snow park in the winter. Lot is paved with two vaulted toilets. This is a beautiful hike, wild flowers are in full bloom. No snow on trail but snow still in area, rock hopped creek crossings. Decided to go to Meiss Lake as it has water this year. Lake is about a mile before Showers lake to the right at a creek crossing. The AllTrails map has it incorrectly labeled as Metts Lake. Did a bit of cross country across a meadow to get there, meadow was swampy still so shoes got very wet but it was worth it. My GPS clocked it at nine miles round trip.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

This is one of my favorite hikes in the Sierra Tahoe area. The combination of geology and landscape never disappoints and today was no exception. Clear trail with no special gear needed but check weather for afternoon thunderstorms. The wildflowers are really starting to pop and should remain excellent for most of August. The Upper Truckee has plentiful snow fields to keep water running nicely. Check out recently posted photos and then get out there and enjoy!

backpacking
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Trail is well defined and easy to follow. Does still have snow on the trail in some areas which increases difficulty a little. Snow is melting quickly though. Trail is muddy so bring appropriate boots. (Unfortunately, some have made new trails because they don't want to get dirty/muddy.) Creeks/streams running high - so suggest water shoes as you will get wet during one of them on the north side of the meadow after the cabin. Otherwise, great time with beautiful views.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Didn't get to Showers lake on July 10th. But 2.5 miles in I found a lot of wild flowers. And I am glad I brought sandals for stream crossing.

backpacking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

did not make it all the way to showers lake on a 4th of july 2017 hike since there was so much snow! everything past the first few miles are completely snow packed.
great camping site at the base of little round top though.

backpacking
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Pretty moderate trail. The beginning and the end have some climbs but a beautiful scenery the entire trail. We went later in the summer, but I've been told that Spring time is the best with all the spring flowers. The lake itself is more of a "mushy" lake so you might get a little muddy if you go in, but there's lots of camping spots around the lake if you walk a little. We went during a non burning month, but one of our neighbors felt like they didn't have to follow the rules so our camp was encompassed in smoke for the night. There's a beautiful view looking down to Tahoe.

hiking
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Nice hike. Lots of people!
GPS registered 10.3 miles.

hiking
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Absolutely quiet, absolutely gorgeous.

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