Trail Run Project Logo

TYT: Meeks Bay Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (8)

A moderate run that delivers big with panoramic views and lots of alpine lakes.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

10.4

Miles

16.8

KM

90%

Runnable

8,802' 2,683 m

High

6,275' 1,913 m

Low

2,541' 775 m

Up

731' 223 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers

Travel in the area requires a self-serve wilderness permit that cab be issued at the trailhead. No open campfires are allowed in the Desolation Wilderness.

Runner Notes

There are lots of beautiful lakes and views along the steady moderate climb. The final portion of trail would be hazardous to run due to the rocky terrain and narrow, exposed trail.

Description

From the trailhead parking, follow the dirt road 14N42 - Meeks Bay Trail Access for about 1.3 miles to where the singletrack begins. On the other side of the the road from a good-sized pond, the trail heads uphill onto the northern reaches of the Tahoe Yosemite Trail (TYT). The climb proceeds steadily before leveling out where it reaches the side of Meeks Creek as it cascades downhill. For just over 1.25 miles, the trail remains within sight of the creek, including through an open meadow near the start.

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Eric Ashley with improvements by Bruce Hope and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 8 votes

#9

in Lake Tahoe

#5645

Overall
  4.5 from 8 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#9

in Lake Tahoe

#452

in California

#5,645

Overall
24 Views Last Month
5,055 Since Aug 24, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
63%
0%
38%
0%

Photos

A view down to Stony Ridge Lake.
Aug 24, 2016 near Tahoma, CA
Rubicon Lake.
Aug 24, 2016 near Tahoma, CA
A glimpse of shadow lake from the Meek's Bay Trail.
Aug 24, 2016 near Tahoma, CA
Up close to Stony Ridge Lake
Aug 24, 2016 near Tahoma, CA
Lake Genevieve
Oct 5, 2018 near Tahoma, CA
Rocky going on the way up to Phipps Pass.
Aug 24, 2016 near Tahoma, CA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

none