Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Trail

Hike Route: Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Loop with optional spur on the Tahoe rim trail

This is less of a hike and more of a very gentle walk around a fantastic alpine meadow on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (Carson Ranger District). There are a bunch of other hikes in the area, but on this day we needed just a casual "walk". The hike is very easy with a wide trail even suitable for wheelchair access - but remember you are almost at the top of the Mt. Rose. The elevation level for this hike is 8740 feet.

The hike starts from the Tahoe Meadows Trailhead parking lot, right off Nevada Highway 431. From Incline the entrance is on the right hand side a 1/2 mile -before- the Mt Rose summit. Its well marked, with lots of extra parking off the highway.

The Trailhead is well marked with a nice interpretive signage and a big map showing the area.

Along the way, you will pass a number of signs talking about the local wildlife and plants. The trail varies a bit along the way, but for most part its very flat and well maintained.

We chose to add an out and back to this hike since it was so easy. We took the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) to the Mount Rose campsites. This part of the trail is very easy, but only meant for hikers -- no wheelchairs or strollers.

This part of the hike as really the best since its off the beaten path. Plus it allows you to get a bit closer to the trees and flowers in bloom during the summer. The trail is well defined and in great shape.

At the point of the Mt Rose campsite road, turn back and rejoin the Tahoe Meadows Interpretive trail loop.

The loop trail basically goes around the Tahoe Meadow over a number of walkway and bridges. You do cross some gentle creeks, but there are no waterfalls or streams to see here.

The whole area was very green with lots of flowers in bloom -- even though it was mid-July and about 80 degrees.

This is a great getwaway from the lake and an easy enough walk for most folks. No real uphills or tough parts, just a nice flat loop around. There are no lake views from the hike, but thats ok since its very pretty otherwise.

If you are coming from Incline, be sure to stop at the Vista Point on the right as you leave Incline (well before the Tahoe Meadows area). This is the "photo stop" for a great picture of the Lake.

Be sure to bring water, hats, sunglasses and suntan lotion -- and maybe bug spray. We didnt need the bug spray on this day.

More info on the area and the Tahoe Rim trail

View Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Loop Trail in a larger map

Area - Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (Carson Ranger District)
Trails - Loop Trail => Tahoe Rim Trail (out and back spur)
Map - Tahoe Meadows Area Map
Length - 1.2 miles Loop, with additional 0.7 optional spur on TRT - Easy Hike
Trail - Well maintained dirt trail, some wood walkways, bridges
Dogs - Yes, on a leash
Bikes - Not allowed
Views - This hike is ALL Views
Getting There - From Incline Village take Highway 431 toward Mt Rose/Reno.
Fee- None, free parking
Weather - Full sun
Other Trails - The Tahoe Rim Trail is connected with this loop
Facilities - restrooms at the trailhead/parking lot. Additional facilites at the Mt Rose Trail parking lot about 1/2 mile up the mountain on Highway 431