Big Meadow to Echo Lake
▲ Open meadows with wildflower displays
Segment DescriptionBetween Big Meadow and Echo Summit, the trail wanders from meadows to lakes to creeks, and through dense stands of pine, fir and aspen. The trail heads south from Big Meadow trailhead across a gently rolling landscape of grassy meadows and fragrant conifer stands. The shaded shores of Round Lake is nestled beneath high cliffs. Further on, the TRT merges with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) and swings north through flower filled Meiss Meadows and alongside the cool head waters of the Upper Truckee River. The trail then climbs past granite lined shores of Showers Lake and through a rocky bowl where seasonal creeks tumble down steep ridges into lush meadows. Further north the landscape becomes more rugged and much drier, and opens into occasional views of Lake Tahoe. The trail drops over a granite ridge in a long steep downhill traverse before leveling off. A small stream outlined with ferns and flowers provides a refreshing respite before the short ascent to the Echo Summit Trailhead.
Big Meadow: On Hwy 89 5.3 mi S of junction with Hwy 50 in Meyers. Paved and horse trailer parking, vault toilets.
Echo Summit: On S side of Hwy 50 at Echo Summit in Sno-Park lot. Paved parking, no facilities.
Echo Lake: Turn N off Hwy 50 0.5 mi W of Echo Summit and follow Echo Lake signs 1 mi to paved lot. Vault toilets. Seasonal store has limited supplies.
Most of the trail from Big Meadow (7,300’) to Echo Lakes (7,525’) maintains a 10% or less grade, but there are steep rocky sections.