Exploring Tahoe Meadows

Hiking / Biking on Mt Rose HWY- North Lake Tahoe to Reno

At 10,770′, Mt Rose Stands at the Edge of Reno like a beacon to the high country and Lake Tahoe’s North Shore.

Calling explorers, hikers, bikers and visitors just looking to take in nature close to the city, MT. Rose Highway (431) is a well traveled section in the Reno Tahoe Region all year round. For the non skiers in winter and all types of outdoor enthusiast in the other seasons Tahoe Meadows located just to the West of Mt. Rose Pass is a paradise of possibilities in recreation.

Lake Tahoe Chickadee Ridge view
View from chickadee ridge near Tahoe Meadows

Hiking Tahoe Meadows

For many, exploring the Tahoe Meadows region begins on foot. hiking Tahoe Meadows has something for everyone. Experience life on the Tahoe Rim trail heading south or North West. Or bring your bird seed and search for the ever elusive Chickadee birds that have made this region infamous. For families not looking to get too far out, the boardwalk and meadow trail networks provide great photo opp, streams, color and mountain airiness. Hiking Tahoe Meadows also provides peaks to climb including the Mt Rose summit hike.

Personally, I love hiking just west of Tahoe meadow up along Chickadee Ridge. The views of Lake Tahoe and the North East shorelines are sublime. The forest management in this region is exceptional as well so hiking around the rocks and tree line is easy traveling for those who enjoy a little off trail experience.

Hiking the Tahoe Meadow Trail System will provide you with an easy 2.1 mile interpretive experience including a boardwalk, the Tahoe Rim trail and seasonal spender with in the meadow life from May-October typically. In the winter season this region of North Lake Tahoe is also a great place to snowshoe and Cross country ski, as well as family sledding.

Tahoe Rim trail near Tahoe Meadows

Tahoe Rim Trail

Hiking Tahoe Meadows can be so much more for first time visitors. The Tahoe Rim Trail System crosses the Mt Rose Hwy and intersect with the Tahoe Meadow. Visitors and locals alike can set out on a out a back day hike of the Tahoe Rim trail and take in so much more of the Tahoe Meadow area.

Catch the Tahoe Rim Trail at Tahoe Meadows and follow the trail to Diamond Peak Ski resort. Called the Trail Explorer Route on the TRT. This route will travel out of Tahoe Meadows to Chickadee Ridge and follow the ridge approx. 4 miles to a large stone out cropping and staircase by the ski resort. This is the turn around point for this beautiful hike. Experience breath taking vista views of Lake Tahoe, abundant wildlife possibilities, fresh smells of pine, and manzanita.

Alternative routes head North/West of Tahoe Meadow, hiking up Tamarack peak in a moderate 6 mile loop hike that may not look as exciting as some of the taller peaks in the area, but is beautiful hike and destination for first time visitors looking to gain a little more elevation. With less than 500 ft of elevation gain and a beautiful waterfall in the middle of the hike, this s a popular cant miss hike for visitors to Lake Tahoe.

Mountain Bike Tahoe Meadows / TRT

The Tahoe Meadows area is a staging area for both day riders and through riders on the TRT. This section of the trail is usable by Mountain bikes but does have restrictions.

Mountain bike rides from Tahoe Meadows to Tunnel Creek is a popular route. There is a bike advisory in place between Tahoe Meadows and Tunnel Creek Road. The land managers request that bikers only ride the trail on even-numbered calendar days. From Tunnel Creek riders can also continue on to Spooner Summit if they like to make a very aggressive yet rewarding day of riding. This is know for its flowy ride descriptions with epic views and multiple options.

The Trailhead at Tahoe Meadows starts at 8’750 and slowly climbs to right about 9’000 in the first mile and a half. From this point the trail has very few climbs as it winds in and out of valleys and over ridges. Some technical areas, some rock steps thrown here and there an a few switchbacks scattered throughout the next 7 miles, a fairly fast and challenging trail even for experienced riders.

Excerpt from SingleTracks.com

At nine mile mark you have options of return trips, trips into Tunnel Creek etc. Shuttle services are also available in this area for bikers to consider. Check out details at Tunnel Creek.

Lake tahoe from chickadee Ridge
Lake Tahoe from chickadee Ridge Winter

Exploring Tahoe Meadows in the Winter

Ok so hiking Tahoe meadows in the winter is not ideal. the area receives a large amount of snow fall every winter and becomes a regional favorite for family fun in the snow. Grab a pair of snowshoes and enjoy a magical day exploring out to Chickadee ridge on snow shoes. The terrain is gentle enough and the views from Chickadee are incredible in winter. Views of Diamond Peak ski resort and North East Shore lines of Lake Tahoe are a cant miss. This is a short 2 mile trek from the meadow and well worth every visit.

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