Big Meadow Trailhead to Dardanelles Lake
ElevationAscent: 1,309' 399 m
Descent: -1,309' -399 m
High: 8,080' 2,463 m
Low: 7,251' 2,210 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 34% (19°)
Popular runs nearby
Winnemucca Lake and Elephant's Back
6.8 mi 11.0 km • Loop • 1,112 ft Ascent 338.84 m Ascent
Round Top Loop
6.9 mi 11.2 km • Loop • 2,162 ft Ascent 658.89 m Ascent
3.3 mi 5.4 km • Out and Back • 682 ft Ascent 207.94 m Ascent
Fontanillis Lake Loop
11.1 mi 17.9 km • Loop • 2,542 ft Ascent 774.82 m Ascent
Tahoe Rim Trail - Kingsbury to Star Lake
18.2 mi 29.3 km • Out and Back • 2,729 ft Ascent 831.82 m Ascent
Daggetts Loop and Castle Rock
7.7 mi 12.3 km • Loop • 1,475 ft Ascent 449.46 m Ascent
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“A pretty, forested climb to beautiful Dardanelles Lake.”— Amy Hikesalot
Cross Big Meadow and climb gently through a conifer forest. Occasionally you'll pass by a meadow or run by a sage and aspen dotted slope. Reach the top of the ridge and glance down at the beautiful panorama of the mountains around Dardanelles Lake.
A well-graded descent takes you to another junction. Take the Lakes Valley Trail and continue through a beautiful forest of aspen, pine, and fir. After 0.2 miles, a junction to Dardanelles Lake is reached. Turn left toward Dardanelles Lake and cross a small creek on stepping stones.
After a small, brief ascent, Dardanelles Lake comes into view. Across the beautiful lake, there are gorgeous views of a striking ridgeline. On the south end of the lake, sheer cliffs drop into the clear, shallow water. The whole lake is ringed with white granite, perfect for relaxing and camping.
Run this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Runner Notes, History & Background
Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.
Land Manager: USFS - Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Office
Jan 22, 2020: Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team Year-End Review
Jan 15, 2020: Prescribed fire operations continue around Tahoe Basin