TYT: Meeks Bay Trail
ElevationAscent: 2,541' 775 m
Descent: -731' -223 m
High: 8,802' 2,683 m
Low: 6,275' 1,913 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 31% (17°)
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“A moderate run that delivers big with panoramic views and lots of alpine lakes.”— Eric Ashley
After the meadow, the climbing returns. At 3.3 miles, a double-log bridge facilitates a crossing over and away from the creek. A short climb up and around a depression brings the trail to a rocky outcropping above Meeks Creek. Just ahead sits Lake Genevieve, the first in a chain of several beautiful alpine lakes. At the intersection, continue along the left side of the lake.
There's a lot to look at for the next few miles as the trail passes Lake Genevieve, Crag Lake, Hidden Lake, Shadow Lake, and Stony Ridge Lake one after the other. Travel will either seem to go quickly because of all the sights, or it may slow because you'll want to do plenty of exploring.
The granite slope looming behind Shadow Lake signals the start of a challenging climb up to Phipps Pass. Several tight switchbacks lead up to Rubicon Lake. The route ahead never gets excessively steep, but it is rocky, narrow, and at times exposed, as it traverses striking granite walls and formations. Sure footwork is required in places.
Around the nine-mile mark, things level out as the trail continues around the summit of Phipps Peak. The western end of the trail zig-zags down though the trees to connect with the Pacific Crest Trail below ( PCT: Echo Lake to Highway 80 (Donner Summit)).
The view below the west side of the summit is worth a look, but most runners won't want to descend to the PCT if using the Meek's Bay Trail as an out-and-back. If completing as a point-to-point, consider exiting on the Eagle Lake Trail or Granite Lake Trail.
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Land Manager: USFS - Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Office