Alpine Lakes



Star Lake Ride

Classification: Strenuous

Distance: 17.6 miles round trip (alternate access is available from Armstrong Pass)

Highlights: Star Lake and great vistas of Freel Peak.

Location: Kingsbury South trailhead

Access from: South Shore Lake Tahoe

Description: For the first two miles, you will travel on a mix of steep sections, gentle switchbacks, and short dirt road stints, all through a forest of red firs and Jeffrey pines, over saddles and under Heavenly ski lifts. After 2 miles you cross Daggett Creek, and begin a 2.5 mile gentle climb through a more open forest with views to the east of Carson Valley and the ranges beyond. The trail follows a maintenance road for a short but steep descent into Mott Canyon, under another ski lift and over another creek. After 5 miles you reach Monument Pass and cross from the Carson side of the ridge to the Tahoe side. The next 2 miles are a gentle sandy path with mostly open terrain and dramatic views of Freel Peak. For the final 1.8 miles, the TRT rises to lovely Star Lake at the base of Job’s Sister through a fairly thick tree cover. Relax and enjoy the cool lake water, but make sure to leave enough time for your return ride.

Round Lake Ride

Classification: Moderate

Distance: 6.4 miles round trip

Highlights: Round Lake, Big Meadow, and wildflowers in early summer.

Location: Big Meadow trailhead

Access from: South Shore Lake Tahoe

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. Soon you will reach Big Meadow, with great views of the surrounding mountains enjoy the sights before continuing. In a little over 2.5 miles you will reach Round Lake which is rimmed by the lava and ash of Dardanelles cliffs. This is a fantastic lake for swimming; enjoy a dip before returning back to the trailhead.