Don't Forget The Bug Spray
Overview: This hike offers a variety of terrain, from an ancient forest it passes over a rocky treeless alpine ridgeline to a beautiful meadow. The elevation gain is moderate and family friendly and they will never tire of the endless panoramic views. A must do hike for appreciating alpine wildflowers.
History: The Meiss family emigrated to this country from Germany in 1842 and took up residence in California. In 1878 they bought 1,000 acres here for summer cattle grazing. The two story cabin and barn in the photos was completed in 1880. The family sold the property in 1936 and in 1965 the forest service acquired the property in a land exchange.
Hike: The hike starts out on a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail section J. The rocky start to the hike enters an ancient growth of cedar trees that appear to be growing out of each outcropping of granite. They are so grotesque that it appears they might start throwing things a la Wizard of Oz. Soon you come to the first of no less than twenty one stream crossings. You would not think of a hike at this altitude as being a water hike but be prepared as some of the crossings will get you wet. A big lake looms ahead. This is Caples Lake and its a tease. We won't be going there on this hike. Soon the trail turns northward and comes out of the forest. A treeless ridgeline lies ahead. The trail zig zags its way up the ridgeline to a nice small unnamed pond on the left. Ahead you can see Lake Tahoe in the distance. When you come to an unmarked junction bear left. The trail now descends into Meiss meadows. The meadows are lush but not overgrown and have a city park feel to them, like someone has manicured it. A large forest of trees lines the meadow on either side. At about three miles into the hike there is another junction. Take the side trip to the left and visit the two structures of the Meiss family summer residence, here since 1880. Returning to the main trail take the right fork and continue on. Soon you come to another trail intersection. This is the Tahoe Rim Trail coming in from the right and joining the Pacific Crest Trail. The meadow continues to a major crossing with the Upper Truckee River. There is an unmarked and inconspicuous junction here. Look along the right side bank of the river. This is where you leave the main trail and head for Meiss lake. The trail fades just in time for you to visually spot Meiss Lake on the horizon. Work your way over to Meiss taking the best path thru the wetlands. The picturesque lake is generally full of waterfowl, great for swimming and no fishing is allowed. When you have had your fill return the way you came.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.