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U.S. Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Region Viewing Area


Meeks Meadow. Meeks Meadow. Photo by Chip Allen.

View of White-flowered bog orchid. White-flowered bog orchid (Platanthera leucostachys). Photo by Mike St. Michel.

Meeks Bay Trail

Forest: Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Description: The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Both Forest Service land and Lake Tahoe straddle California-Nevada state line. The lake's elevation averages 6,225 feet, and surrounding peaks reach heights of up to 10,880 feet. Relaxation and recreation abound in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Please come and enjoy one of your national treasures.

Meeks bay trail parallels Meeks creek, which flows through a meadow. The trail starts at Meeks bay and goes into the Desolation Wilderness. The first 1.4 miles is along a gentle gated road and parallels Meeks meadow, which meets a trail that reaches the Desolation Wilderness in an additional mile.

Viewing Information: The meadow is easy to access as the trail starts across from Meeks Bay Resort. Mallow, iris, meadow aster, buckwheat, wandering daisy, yarrow, yampah, phlox, scarlet gilia, monkshood, flax and lupine are just some of the flowers that one can see in bloom. Peak flowering time is in late June-July. Please be considerate and stay on designated trails and roads.

Safety First: Travel to the trail is on paved roads. If parking at Meeks Bay Resort use caution when crossing the road to the trail head as traffic is often very busy. The road portion of the trail is on gentle terrain, when you leave the road onto the hiking trail the terrain steepens. Since this is a gated Forest Service road, government personnel will be driving on the road occasionally. This is a high elevation area, so beware of altitude sickness.

Directions: From South Lake Tahoe, take Hwy 89 north to Meeks Bay Resort. The trailhead is on the left side of the road after crossing the creek, by an old cabin. Walk past the gate onto the road. The meadows, as well as the wildflowers start shortly after walking on the road.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

Closest Town: Meeks Bay, California.