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near Nebelhorn, California (United States)
Big Meadow to Dardanelles Lake via Tahoe Rim Trail is a 8.4 mile heavily 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 October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
The trailhead is at the lower end of the parking lot. The flat trail takes you a few hundred yards before crossing Highway 89. After a short climb through pines and aspens, you'll reach a signed junction. Take a hard right on the trail to Meiss Lake and ascend to aptly named Big Meadow.
Cross Big Meadow and climb gently through a conifer forest. Occasionally you'll pass by a meadow or hike by a sage and aspen dotted slope. Reach the top of the ridge and glance down at the beautiful panorama of the mountains around Dardanelles Lake.
A well-graded descent takes you to another junction. Take the Lakes Valley Trail and continue through a beautiful forest of aspen, pine, and fir. After 0.2 miles, a junction to Dardanelles Lake is reached. Turn left toward Dardanelles Lake and cross a small creek on stepping stones.
After a small, brief ascent, Dardanelles Lake comes into view. Across the beautiful lake, there are gorgeous views of a striking ridgeline. On the south end of the lake, sheer cliffs drop into the clear, shallow water. The whole lake is ringed with white granite, perfect for relaxing and camping.