Meiss Lake and Meiss Meadow, a great day trip & place to explore.

Meiss Meadow is located off the PCT and TRT in the South Lake Tahoe Region. Referred to as Meiss Country, the Meiss Family used this area as Cattle Farmers and the summer ranch cabin and barn are still standing near the junction of the Tahoe Rim Trail and the PCT.

Meiss Lake is a shallow mountain lake that offers a warmer chest deep swimming experience to summer hikers.  Located Just South of Round Lake off the Tahoe Rim Trail. Meiss Lake and Meadow are easily accessed through either the Big meadow trail Head off HWy 89 ( Luther Pass)  or HWY 88 (Carson Pass).

Meiss Meadow has plenty of water and wildlife in the area.  If you are adventurous and good at navigating off trail you can also follow the Upper Truckee  River North West of the Lake back into Four Lakes.

Meiss meadow is a popular destination on the PCT as Backpackers head for Showers Lake above or come to see the Wildflowers which explode on the hillsides in spring and summer.




How to Get to Meiss Lake

HWY 88 TO MEISS LAKE: Moderate 4 miles one way. Follow directions from the previous hike to
Carson Pass. Park on the north side of Carson Pass. (There is a fee to park). Follow the trail up a hillside
covered with mules ears and sagebrush to a saddle, providing views of the surrounding peaks. At this point
the trail follows an old jeep route, crosses the Upper Truckee River and leads into a large meadow. Follow
the path to the right .6 miles down the gentle slopes to Meiss Lake. A shallow but scenic lake, Meiss is one
of the warmest lakes in the Tahoe area, making it a great place for chest deep swimming. Fishing is not
allowed in Meiss Lake. ~ Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Alternative Routes:

  1. Big Meadow Trail Head – Access Meiss Lake and Meadow by hiking through Big Meadow, past Round Lake and towards Meiss Meadow.  A Little more of a moderate Hike as it has a longer more gradual climb to the meadow.  But you get the experience more of the Tahoe Rim Trail including Round Lake.  Just over 5 miles from this spot.
  2. Christmas Valley Trail with Stop by Dardanelles Lake This route starts about a mile from the Big Meadow trail, down in Christmas Valley. Features a more aggressive climb out of the valley but is just a beautiful hike, a stop a Dardanelles is an extra mile to your hike but well worth it.  No official mileage here for you between 5-7 miles based on excursions.
  3. Echo Summit via PCT and Showers Lake – Another longer route would include starting on the PCT at Echo summit and hiking down to Showers Lake and then Down to the Meadow.  Roughly 9-10 miles we believe.