The Big Meadow to Round Lake trail is a 6.1 mile hike in El Dorado National Forest, near South Lake Tahoe. Round Lake is absolutly gorgeous, and is a great day hike or beginner backpacking trip.

The Big Meadow to Round Lake Trail is accessible year-round as it can be snowshoed in the winter. The trail is surrounded by dense wilderness, and the silence from the forests is a beautiful sound. Dogs are allowed on this trail! This is also a great location for fishing or trail running. 

In the spring, the buttercups and asters are in full bloom. Keep your eyes peeled for nesting bald eagles at Round Lake. At the far end of the lake, turn right and you will find a small cove with a cute island. 

Photo: John Getchel

Pack List

  • Sun protection (hat, sunscreen)
  • Water / water filtration
  • Hiking boots, hiking socks (wool), trekking poles
  • Snacks, food and cookware
  • Backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad
  • Medications / first aid kit
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
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RT Distance 6.1 Miles
Elevation Gain 1184 Feet
Activities Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Swimming Hole

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Backpack Showers Lake

The Showers Lake Trail winds through beautiful meadows, with the majority of the elevation gain occurring at the very beginning and end of the hike.

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TRT Big Meadow to Echo Summit

Between Big Meadow and Echo Summit, the trail wanders from meadows to lakes to creeks, and through dense stands of pine, fir and aspen.

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Hike to Freel Peak


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