Back to index Lake Dardanelles and Round Lake Hike
Trip Date:  07/15/2012

: 11.9 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1700'

Group Size: 1
Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard   Strenuous
Lake Dardanelles Hike
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Lake Dardanelles and Round Lake Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 47.367, W 120 00.017     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 89 south from Meyers (Hwy 50) or north from Pickett's Junction (Hwy 88) to the parking area for the Big Meadow trailhead on South Upper Truckee Road on the north side of the highway.  Park in the paved parking area and find the trail starting across the road.
Hazards of Note:   Crossing highway 89 near the start of the hike, bears, bikes on the Tahoe Rim Trail section to Round Lake

Crowd Factor:   High.   This is a popular hike for wildflowers in the summer, as well as snowshoeing in the winter.  Expect to have a lot of company on this trip.  
General Notes:
From the parking area head south to the Highway 89 crossing to pick up the Tahoe Rim Trail on the other side of the road.  The first section gains elevation pretty quickly with switchbacks on rocky terrain, and then it will straighten out until you come to Big Meadow.  There is a trail junction right before the meadow itself, which you will head to the right toward Round Lake and the Tahoe Rim Trail.  If you go left you will be on the Scott's Lake trail toward Scott's Lake and Waterhouse Peak.   Head across the pleasant meadow, which is bursting with wildflowers in the mid summer time.  The trail will once again begin to pick up elevation pretty quickly as you head through forested trail for the next mile and a half.  At this point you will come to a junction in the trail, where you will turn right on the Lake Valley trail to head toward Lake Dardanelles.  It is another mile and a half down this trail to reach the lake.  Make sure you take the junction to the left across a small creek to head to the lake and not just continue on the Lake Valley trail all the way to Christmas Valley where it ends.
For an optional visit to Round Lake head back to the junction of the Lake Valley Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail, turn right (to the south) and climb up the trail for less than a mile to reach the eastern shore of Round Lake.

Big Meadow at the start of the hike. Big Meadow
Lake Dardanelles and Little Round Top mountain. Lake Dardanelles
Lake Dardanelles with a rocky outcrop behind it.
Granite Dardanelles outcrop
Dardanelles mountain behind Lake Dardanelles. Dardanelles mountain behind the lake
Granite spires behind the lake. Dardanelles rocks
Stopping for lunch at Round Lake along the PCT. Round Lake lunch spot
Little Round Top mountain behind Round Lake. Round Lake
Looking up toward Steven's Peak. Eastern Peaks
Mt. Tallac from the TRT. Mt. Tallac from the TRT area
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike