Dardanelles Lake makes a scenic spot
sprawling in the granite-studded landscape of Sierra Nevada's
Eldorado National Forest between
Lake Tahoe and Caples Lake. Situated at the headwaters of
the Upper Truckee River, flowing
into Lake Tahoe, Dardanelles Lake is great for fishing .
Hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders enjoy the
rock shelves and coves around the lake for resting,
picnicking and swimming—and overnighters will find
a suitable campsite [2-5].
North corner of Dardanelles Lake with conifers and
granite humps reflecting in the clear lake water
Along the trail to Dardanelles Lake some tall sierra junipers
can be admired. The lake is surrounded by open forest of pine
and fir trees.
Getting to Dardanelles Lake
The three main options to approach the lake are:
- from the Tahoe Rim Trail parking lot next to Highway 89
between Meyers and Hope Valley (4 miles, one-way, see
- from the Meyers Trailhead (about 5 miles) or Echo Summit Sno Park at Highway 50
(about 9 miles, one-way); and
- from Carson Pass northbound on the Pacific Crest Trail
and then via Round Lake (over 10 miles, one-way).
References and more to explore
Dave's Sierra Fishing:
Fishing Dardanelles Lake, El Dorado County
Horseback Riding Around Lake Tahoe:
Big Meadow to Dardanelles Lake
Tahoe Adventure Sports: Scott's, Dardanelles & Round Lake
Afoot & Afield,
Reno-Tahoe, A comprehensive hiking guide.
1st Edition August 2006, 2nd printing
2008, pp. 177-179.
Karen & Terry Whitehill:
Best Short Hikes in California's North Sierra.
The Mountaineers Books,
2002, pp. 229-231.
Map: Big Meadow Parking Lot to