Reflections in Dardanelles Lake

North corner of Dardanelles Lake with conifers and
granite humps reflecting in the clear lake water

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 [1]. 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].

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:
  1. from the Tahoe Rim Trail parking lot next to Highway 89 between Meyers and Hope Valley (4 miles, one-way, see map [6]);
  2. from the Meyers Trailhead (about 5 miles) or Echo Summit Sno Park at Highway 50 (about 9 miles, one-way); and
  3. from Carson Pass northbound on the Pacific Crest Trail and then via Round Lake (over 10 miles, one-way).
Dardanelles Lake Wall

Sheer granite cliff at south side
of Dardanelles Lake

Dardanelles Lake turtle rock

Turtle-shaped rock at shoreline
of Dardanelles Lake

References and more to explore

[1] Dave's Sierra Fishing: Fishing Dardanelles Lake, El Dorado County [].
[2] Horseback Riding Around Lake Tahoe: Big Meadow to Dardanelles Lake [].
[3] Tahoe Adventure Sports: Scott's, Dardanelles & Round Lake [].
[4] Mike White: Afoot & Afield, Reno-Tahoe, A comprehensive hiking guide. Wilderness Press, Berkeley, California, 1st Edition August 2006, 2nd printing 2008, pp. 177-179.
[5] Karen & Terry Whitehill: Best Short Hikes in California's North Sierra. The Mountaineers Books, Seattle, Washington, 2nd Edition 2002, pp. 229-231.
[6] Map: Big Meadow Parking Lot to Dardanelles Lake [].

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