Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT): Big Meadow to Echo Summit loop

HARD 4 reviews
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Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT): Big Meadow to Echo Summit loop is a 19.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October.

DISTANCE
19.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3786 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

Between Big Meadow and Echo Summit, the trail wanders from meadows to lakes to creeks, and through dense stands of pine, fir and aspen. The trail heads south from Big Meadow trailhead across a gently rolling landscape of grassy meadows and fragrant conifer stands. The shaded shores of Round Lake is nestled beneath high cliffs. Further on, the TRT merges with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) and swings north through flower filled Meiss Meadows and alongside the cool head waters of the Upper Truckee River. The trail then climbs past granite lined shores of Showers Lake and through a rocky bowl where seasonal creeks tumble down steep ridges into lush meadows. Further north the landscape becomes more rugged and much drier, and opens into occasional views of Lake Tahoe. The trail drops over a granite ridge in a long steep downhill traverse before leveling off. A small stream outlined with ferns and flowers provides a refreshing respite before the short ascent to the Echo Summit Trailhead.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

My Garmin shows we did 21.3 miles on this loop. We also decided to do this loop C'Clock wise and started from the Parking lot of Big Meadows Trail head.
Our Goal was to make Showers Lake for day 1. That's fine but it was 12.4 miles mostly up hill.( 2425' elev. gain in 9.6 miles) Add an extra hour to your plans if you do this with heavy night packs.
From Big Meadow parking lot we walked down Upper Truckee Rd and caught the Hawley Grade Trail. The trail was up hill but not bad at all! We hit hwy 50 and a short trek to the Adventure Mountain parking area got us back on trail. Note, the trail starts just before the gate.
Day 1 was hard but finished up with very easy 8 remaining miles on day 2. Mostly flat and down hill after Showers lake.
Awesome views all the way.

We did a six mile hike on this trail up in the mountains. It was awesome! We loved it. It took us down to the south side of Lake Tahoe. We plan on going back in a few years. We were on vacating in Tahoe. This was our first time visiting there.

backpacking
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

This has been one of my favorite hikes along the Tahoe Rim Trail so far. We had one vehicle, but doing some research, I found that we can park at Echo Summit (Adventure Mt.) walk a short distance to the Hawley Grade Trail and make our way Upper Trucky Rd and access the Big Meadow Trail-head. It added a good amount of distance on our overnight but it was part of the adventure. Our goal was to make Showers Lake and camp out, but it was fairly crowded by the time we arrived. We pushed a couple more miles and found a clearing and some great solitude at one the higher points of this hike. I could not have asked for a better view to wake up to. There were still some snow patches, but not enough to slow us down and tons of streams, creeks, and lakes to keep us going. Do not miss out on seeing Neiss Cabin and take on all the hike has to offer.