This trail is located south of Lake Tahoe. Aspen and alder trees along the trail make this an exceptionally scenic hike during the fall. The first half mile of this trail climbs steeply from the highway through Jeffrey pine and white fir to Big Meadow. When the trail forks approximately 1.5 miles past Big Meadow, take the right fork. In less than a quarter mile, take the unmarked trail to your left which crosses the creek. The trail winds through rolling hills and past willows before crossing two more streams. Look for the giant seven foot in diameter juniper along the way. A short climb up a small hill leads you to Dardanelles Lake, surrounded by picturesque granite cliffs on one side and flat granite shelves on the other.
Directions from South Lake Tahoe: Take Highway 50 southwest to Highway 89. Go south on 89 to the Big Meadows parking lot on the left. Follow the trail at the lower end of the parking lot approximately 200 yards, where it intersects with the highway. Cross the highway cautiously and look for the trailhead signboard.
Spring through Fall .