Wildflower Hikes


Ophir Creek Loop Hike

Classification: Easy

Distance: 1.5-4.5 miles round trip

Highlights: There are exceptional wildflower displays in early summer and year round stream.

Location: Tahoe Meadows trailhead

Access From: North Shore Lake Tahoe

Bikes Allowed: No

Description: The trail begins at the kiosk at the far west end of the parking lot. Follow the trail for .5 miles as it parallels Hwy 431 and begins to meander out toward the meadow until you reach Ophir Creek Bridge. There are three loop options 1) a .5 mile loop, 2) a 2.25 mile loop or 3) a 3.25 mile loop. Determine which loop you prefer. Enjoy views of the meadow and Mt. Rose. Once you complete the loop it will return you back to Ophir Creek Bridge to access the Tahoe Rim Trail and return to your car.

Big Meadow Hike

Classification: Easy

Distance: 1.4 miles round trip

Highlights: Large open meadow with potential to see stunning wildflowers in early summer.

Location: Big Meadow trailhead

Access from: South Shore Lake Tahoe

Bikes Allowed: Yes

Description: A trail leads 200 yards from the end of the parking lot to Hwy 89 — cross with caution and look for a trail marker on the south side of the highway. The trail climbs somewhat steeply to the south over rocky terrain, through a thick forest of Jeffrey pine, western white pine, and fir. After 0.2 miles, you will pass to the left of Big Meadow Creek, a large stream dotted with huge granite boulders and lined with aspen trees. After another 0.1 miles, the trail flattens and arrives at a junction — be sure to continue straight ahead on the TRT. Soon you will reach Big Meadow, with great views of the surrounding mountains enjoy the sites before returning to your car.

Page Meadows Hike 

Classification: Easy

Distance: 1.4 miles round trip

Highlights: Page Meadows area with great wildflowers and terrific fall colors.

Location: Ward Creek Boulevard Trailhead access from Barker Pass to Tahoe City section.

Access from: West and North Shore of Lake Tahoe

Bikes Allowed: Yes

Description: The trail heads east for 0.2 miles, then joins a northwest climbing dirt road. For the next 0.5 miles, you will follow this road steeply uphill through a thick forest of white fir and Jeffrey pine. Near the top of the hill there is a break in the trees, allowing for views of Ward Canyon, Ward Peak, and the Sherwood Chairlift of Alpine Meadows. At the next dirt road be sure to turn left and stay on the TRT. Page Meadows is actually a series of five interconnected meadows, which provide spring wildflowers, colorful drifts of aspen leaves in the fall, and great mountain views all year long. Make sure to remain on the trail as meadows are very fragile ecosystems! After enjoying your meadow experience, turn around and return to your car.

Barker North Vista Hike

Classification: Moderate

Distance: 3.5 miles round trip

Highlights: Amazing views of Lake Tahoe and the Desolation Wilderness, open fields full of mule’s ears and other wild flowers.

Location: Barker Pass trailhead

Access from: West and North Shore of Lake Tahoe

Bikes Allowed: No

Description: For the first mile, a moderately steep walk heads west around the south side of Barker Peak, through open fields of mule’s ears and past eastward views down Blackwood Canyon to Lake Tahoe. After another 0.25 miles, you will cross a beautiful stream bordered with asters, delphiniums, tiger lilies, columbines, paintbrushes, and other wildflowers. At 0.5 miles gentle trek up through open volcanic terrain and red fir forest leads to two lofty volcanic plugs which provide excellent wind protection for a picnic and sightseeing. The TRT continues from here, but if you go further make sure to give yourself enough time to get back to your car before the sun sets.