Mary West: Exploring Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Trail
Take a stroll through Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Trail. I found a wonderful change of pace while tackling a portion of the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT). I tend to start at the foot of a mountain and climb to the top to enjoy the view. Or I hike a trail down to the bottom of a ravine to enjoy the river. The Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Trail is neither up nor down but a wide flat trail that opens to a meadow with views of Mount Rose, Slide Mountain and more.
While walking the decomposed granite path I recalled the feeling of riding my bike as a kid. Remember when you could let go of the handlebars and just peddle? That is what this trail felt like. No effort to climb the big hills, no caution given to steep drop offs. This is an easy trail to relax and enjoy.
The meadows host wetlands covered in green vegetation. The large ponds are home to a variety of birds, wildflowers and grasses. In mid-September the area was lush and thriving where lower elevations are dry and brown.
Several trails lead from this Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest trailhead. Take your pick. The Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Trail is a highly maintained 1.3-mile loop trail. The Mount Rose Summit Trail is a five-mile trek. The Tahoe Rim Trail segment from Tahoe Meadows to Spooner Summit is 21.8 miles. The entire Tahoe Rim Trail, around the lake, is 165 miles.
To get there take Interstate 80 east to exit 188B for CA-89/CA-267 South toward Sierraville/Lake Tahoe. Turn left onto North Lake Blvd. Exit onto NV431. In less than 7 miles parking for the trailhead will be on your right.
Mary West is author of the book series Day Hiker – Gold Country Trail Guide I, II and III (2nd edition Available on Amazon). The books are a collection of the Day Hiker columns where West shares her longtime love of the outdoors, favorite hikes in Northern California’s Gold Country and beyond. West was the recipient of the 2017 and 2019 CRAFT Award for Best Outdoor Column and the 2020 Craft Award for her second book in the series-Day Hiker Gold Country Trail Guide by the Outdoor Writers of California. You can follow West on Facebook and Instagram
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