Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT): Kingsbury South to Big Meadow

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Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT): Kingsbury South to Big Meadow is a 26.2 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Stateline, Nevada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length26.2 miElevation gain5,049 ftRoute typePoint to point
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingFishingHikingHorseback ridingMountain bikingNature tripsRock climbingSnowshoeingBike touringBird watchingRunningBeachForestLakeRiverViewsWildflowersWildlife
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HIGHLIGHTS Passes under highest peak in the Tahoe Basin; hidden gem Star Lake and exceptional trout fishing. BREATHTAKING VIEWS OF THE CARSON VALLEY AND HIDDEN GEM STAR LAKE Between Kingsbury Grade South and Big Meadow, the trail follows the spine of the Carson Range from sun-drenched meadows to cool pine forests and windswept mountain passes. Starting at Kingsbury Grade the trail climbs through a dense forest of large red firs and white pines, majestic survivors of the Comstock logging era. Further south, open ridges and rocky outcrops showcase breathtaking views of the Carson Valley. Hemlock-ringed Star Lake offers inviting campsites and a nice fishing spot for brown trout. This secluded lake nestles at the feet of three of the highest mountain peaks in the Tahoe Basin, Freel Peak, Jobs Sister and Jobs Peak. The more rugged central portion of the segment weaves through monumental old growth junipers and across granite passes with stunning vistas of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra. From here the TRT descends gently south to the Big Meadow trai lhead through forests and past small meadows dotted with flowers in the spring and summer and outlined with the golden shimmer of aspen leaves in the fall. Two miles before the end one can take a 0.6 mi shortcut to Grass Lake, an alternate trail head.

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Reviews (49)
Photos (1,100)
Recordings (43)
Completed (113)
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Heather Willis
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Hiking

Beautiful fresh snow, decently packed.

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Gary O'Neall
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Karen Roth
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Hiking

Wow! Im beat! We started at KBS and hiked to Star Lake first. Beautiful! Soaked our legs and had some lunch. Decided to press on an additional 2 miles to the base of Freel to camp overnight. We stopped at Cold Creek (1 mile past Star) and filled up all our packs/bottles with water. Found a great place to camp on the saddle protected by some trees. Super cool to watch the moon rise over Freel. First thing in the morning hiked up to summit. (1 mile up/ 1 mile down) Fairly reasonable trail considering the climb up is 1150 ft. Highlight of the trip! Unfortunately, smoke over the Tahoe Basin limited our views from the top. BTW The register book is pretty full- Bring a new notebook to add to it. We hiked back down, had breakfast, broke camp and headed to Grass Lake Spur, which we thought was going to be about 10 miles. Ended up being over 13 and was brutal. There were a few more small water sources within a few miles after Freel - after that really no more, so fill up. This second half seemed so freaking long- it was brutal with 35 lb backpacks. I think we had over 5000 ft of climbing. DONE!!

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Darwin Foote
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8/27/20, left 0600 while weather was cool. Hiked to Star Lake then down to High Meadows all of East side of cold creek. 9.5 miles to Star then 9.0 miles to end. First time walking from Stage Coach to Star lake. Really enjoyed it. Nice scenery, walking under Galaxy and Mott Canyon lifts. Nice soft trail, very dog friendly, 2 fresh stream water sources for your dog, the first stream about 4.5 miles into hike. I’ve done the Hike from Star down many times. Not a fan of the first 4 miles down, but I always enjoy the last 4.5 from high meadows to cold creek. Plenty of water on this section also. 7.0 hours, with 30 minute break at Star.

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Annmarie Liermann
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Backpacking

We hiked from Big Meadow to KBS 7/31-8/2. Parking at Heavenly Stagecoach (at the KBS trailhead) was easy and felt safe due to the nearby lodging. Took a Wanna Ride shuttle to Big Meadow. Intended to camp at Freel Meadow but only standing pools of water there. No water from near the trailhead to Armstrong Pass (10 miles), and even then, we had to hike 1/2 mile down the Horse Meadow Trail for water. Camped there. First 10 miles were unremarkable. Hike from Armstrong to Star Lake had awesome views with two good water sources. Star Lake itself had plenty of water, though it needed some serious filtering. Lots of campsites at the lake. Hike to KBS the next day had great views of the Nevada side of the mountain. Taking one star off for lack of reliable water sources. Looking forward to completing more segments of the TRT.

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Luke De
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Morgan Poindexter
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Olivia Lewman
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Hiking

We went backpacking 10/19. We started at Kingsbury south and ended at big meadows. We dropped our car off at Big Meadows trailhead first and got a ride through “Wanna Ride” a local shuttle service in South Lake Tahoe. It was below freezing at night out camel backs froze! It can easily be done in 3 nights/days. We camped by Star Lake. There are some flat spots there. Camp fires are not permitted. No permit is required to hike the trail . The scenery is beautiful. The birch trees are bright yellow during this time. There aren’t very many steep climbs, just steady switch backs up the steeper inclines. Beautiful hike with some brief views of Lake Tahoe

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Lori M
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Backpacking

Backpacked this section of the TRT with some friends on 9/7 and 9/8. We started at Kingsbury South trail connector and hiked to Star Lake where we camped for the night. The next day we finished up at Big Meadows. If I were to do again I would likely camp near the Freel Peak trail junction to break up the miles better.

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michael campa
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Backpacking

Completed my 4th segment of the TRT and as usual it was an amazing hike, difficult, but amazing. We started at the Big Meadows Trailhead and worked our counter clockwise towards Kingsbury South. We hiked through beautiful meadows and got to enjoy amazing views of Lake Tahoe, High Meadows, and Carson Valley, as well as what seemed to be thousands of Butterflies flying along the mountain side. We setup camp at the beautiful Star Lake that sits at 9,100ft and offers a nice area to reset for the night. Which we needed the break after tackling the Armstrong Pass switchbacks obstacles of gaining approximately 1,000ft elevation over 3miles to Freel Peak. We had read reports that the trail from Star Lake to Kingsbury was dry so we topped off 5 liters each of water, but were pleasantly surprised to find a nice running stream about 4 miles from Star Lake. It was a nice finish to the 9 miles on day two with mostly down hill trails and a cold beer waiting for us at State Line.

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Paul Remmenga
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Backpacking

Had an excellent day along this stretch of the Rim Trail. Went to the top of Freel Peak, although it didn't look as though it was taller than Jobs Sister. Maybe they should re-measure. Star Lake is beautiful, several people had set up camp nearby and looked quiet pleasant. Loved it!

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Paul Remmenga
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Hiking
First to Review

Had a great day completing my 5th section of the TRT. Had to take the time and spend the effort to see the top of Freel Peak. Once I was up there, it seemed that Jobs Sister was higher - contrary to all the maps and info. Star lake was gorgeous and several groups were camping near. Several small streams south of Freel peak.

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Stephanie Meyer
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Michael Burdette
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Val Longballa
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Nature trips
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Stacia Davis
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Kathy Ellam
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Julia Keefer
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Jeff Bosco
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Sadie and Matisse
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Ryan Benton
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Jerico Johns
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Margaret Donaldson
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Kimberly Broddrick
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Beverly Bergner
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Luke De
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Luke De
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Stacia Davis
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