Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tahoe Meadows Loop Trail System

Tahoe Meadows is rich in loop trails. The Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Loop Trail is a nature trail in the northern section of Tahoe Meadows. In the south, next to the upper trailhead of Ophir Creek Trail, there are three more loops, completing the Tahoe Meadows Loop Trail System. They are named Lower, Middle and Upper Loop. Their lengths are 0.8 mi, 2.3 mi and 3.0 mi, and their typical grades are given as 3.5%, 5.2% and 5.7%, respectively. These loop trails are mutually sharing trail sections with each other and also with the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) and Ophir Creek Trail, which descends to Davis Creek County Park. The loop trails take you in and out of the shade of the pine forest along Tahoe Meadow's southern fringes. Some parts are limited to hiking and dog walking. Others are open to mountain bikers and equestrians. Through the meadowland, signs remind you to stay on the trail, since the creek and meadow area is closed to protect natural and cultural resources. And having so many trail choices, there really is no need to trample one's own trail.

Getting there
Follow the directions to the Tahoe Meadows Trailhead. From there, instead of going east to the interpretive loop, hike the TRT in opposite direction. For a short distance, TRT almost merges with State Route 431, but then veers off to the left. Very soon you'll reach a bridge over Ophir Creek, where the Lower, Middle and Upper Loop Trails intersect and you are going to start your looping experiences.

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