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General Information: This hiking along this trail takes the visitor through some of the nicest stands of mixed conifers in the basin. Home to a wide variety of firs, pines, and cedars, the trail is an arbolists delight. The hike itself is also very pleasant, especially on a hot summer day when the shade of the big trees is welcome. A steady climb on a well maintained trail leads to several beautiful lakes the first of which, Lake Genevieve, is just 4.5 miles from the trailhead. If you have the time and inclination, you can get deep into Desolation Wilderness, and in fact, this is one of the gateways to that area.

Click here for a trail map and vertical profile

Where To Start: Meeks Bay is located on Tahoe's west shore just 20 minutes from the South Lake Tahoe "Y" on Highway 89 or about the same drive south on 89 from Tahoe City. The trailhead is located a few hundred feet north of the fire station at Meeks Bay on the opposite (west) side of the highway.


Trail Description: Not a lot to say here. The first mile or so is along a wide dirt road and passes along the meadow and marshland of Meeks Creek. A trail marker for Desolation Wilderness signals the beginning of the actual trail and it begins to climb steadily for the next 3.5 miles. The trees along this stretch of trail are large and healthy and include Douglas Fir, Red Fir, many types of pines, and, we think Sequoias! There is beautiful understory here as well. After you cross a bridge over Meeks Creek, you know you are getting close to Lake Genevieve, a fine alpine lake surrounded by rocky mountains. You can continue on the trail past Crag, Stony Ridge, Rubicon, and Grouse Lakes and then on to Phipps Pass. This adds several miles and 1400' of climbing to the hike but is well worth the effort. Once at Phipp's Pass, it is an easy scramble to the top of Phipp's Peak

Environmental Concerns: Just the usual. Pack it in, pack it out.

Advisory: None.

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