Tahoe Tramping

Dardanelles Lake

“We are in the mountains and they are in us …”

If you are looking for a moderate, relatively short hike with a variety of habitats and a good swimming lake as your destination, then Dardanelles Lake would be a good choice. This trail is about eight miles out-and-back, and gains a little over 1,000′ in elevation.

The hike starts from the TRT Big Meadow trail-head just south of SLT on Hwy 89 heading towards Luther Pass and Markleeville.  The parking area is on the left hand side of the highway, about five miles south of the Hwy 50/Hwy 89 intersection in Myers.

Look for the information panel in the lower, left hand portion of the lot and take a short trail segment to cross the highway.  The main trail initially switchbacks up through granite boulders, enters and crosses Big Meadow, and eventually climbs through forest and scattered meadows up to a ridge-line before dropping down a steep segment to the Dardanelles Lake cut-off, 2.5 miles from the trail-head, and 1.3 miles from the lake.

From this last junction, head right for 0.2 miles to another trail post, andthen go left down to a crossing of a creek.  Once on this segment of trail, you will pass through wildflower filled meadows, and forest areas of Jeffrey Pine, White Pine, Red Fir, Lodgepole Pine, and Sierra Juniper.  After crossing a few more creeks, you will pass up through a draw filled with granite boulders and slabs until you arrive at the lake on the right hand side of the trail.

So get out those hiking shoes, pack a lunch, bring water, and enjoy a beautiful mountain day in the tranquil setting of Dardanelles Lake.