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Showers Lake – A Great Day Hike or Backpack Trip

Showers Lake Recreational Area

Showers Lake is described as one of the prettiest Lakes in the Lake Tahoe Basin. It, therefore, is also one of the favorite locations for local backpackers and Lake Tahoe visitors  along with a preferred destination for spring & summer wildflowers hikes

Showers Lake can be accessed by three different trail starts but is recommended to be accessed at the Carson Pass Trail Head for the easiest access point. Located on the PCT, Showers lake is a great day hike from Carson Pass at 5.1 miles (feels shorter) this day hike from the Carson pass includes two hills and a large meadow hiking experience which depending on the season will provide such different experiences.

Lake Tahoe From Showers Lake

Not an overly large lake, Showers Lake has plenty of camping spots around the lake for backpackers and sits on top of the summit giving visitors a fantastic view of South Lake Tahoe and Christmas Valley outside of Myers.

Backpacking & Fishing are popular recreations at Showers Lake.  Because Showers Lake is on the PCT, Mountain Bikes are prohibited from this area of the trail.

The wildflowers along the ridge up to Showers Lake are one of the regions favorite locations by locals to see the mountainside color display.

Early Spring and Summer also, however, are Mosquito Season on this trail so Mosquito Nets and spray recommended on this hike.

 

Hiking Trail sign

Official Trail Guide NF

PCT Meiss Meadow

The PCT Trail entering Meiss Meadow Region towards Showers Lake

Carson Pass To Showers Lake:
Moderate 5.1 miles one way. Take Hwy 89 to Hwy 88, turn right at junction. Drive 8 miles to Carson Pass. (There is a fee to
park.)

Follow the Pacific Crest Trail north through expansive meadows with views of
Round Top (10,381′), Elephant’s Back (9,585′) and Red Lake Peak (10,063′).The trail begins by winding upward through a
series of switchbacks for a mile. After reaching a summit, the trail drops down a into Meiss Meadows. When you reach a junction, take the left fork which will eventually lead you up a moderate hill, covered with wildflowers in the spring.
Reaching the crest, the trail descends to Showers Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in the Tahoe area. ~ Tahoe Basin Forest Management Unit

Alternative Trail Routes:

Showers Lake can be accessed through Four Trailheads

  1. Carson Pass (HWY 88) – Via PCT – see description above
  2. Big Meadow Trail (HWY 89 Luther Pass – This trail will lead you up into Big meadow, around Round Lake and by Meiss Lake before hooking into the PCT for a short 2-mile hike up to Showers Lake. Overall this route is about 7 miles in distance and includes a moderate climbing grade most of the trip.
  3. Christmas Valley Trailhead (Just Below Luther Pass off HWy89) – Similar to Big Meadow Hike, except you skip Big Meadow and instead hike up Christmas Valley and by the  Dardanelles Lake Trail before joining up with the TRT below Round Lake. After you Join the TRT it is the same Trail as the Big Meadow Meiss Meadow trail above. This Route is a bit longer and a bit steeper out of the Christmas Valley, But has a unique beauty and spectacular views back to Lake Tahoe along the hike.
  4. Echo Summit to Showers Lake Via PCT.  Hiking Down from the PCT at Echo Summit to Showers Lake is also a possible route. Approximately 7 miles to the lake.

Showers Lake

Trail Details: Carson Pass To Showers Lake: Moderate 5.1 miles one way. Take Hwy 89 to Hwy 88, turn right at junction. Drive 8 miles to Carson Pass. (There is a fee to park.) Follow the Pacific Crest Trail north through Meiss Meadow. When you reach a junction, take the left fork which will eventually lead you up a moderate hill, covered with wildflowers in the spring.

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