Meiss Lake

Summary  Link to more information about summary

Difficulty 3 Intermediate
Length 7.0 miles round trip
8550 feet
+850, -850 feet
Navigation Map
Time Full day
Season Mid-December through mid-April
Snowmobiles Use Not permitted [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Carson Pass and Caples Lake
Start Meiss Sno-Park, 0.1 mile west of Carson Pass on Highway 88.

Description   Link to more information about description

Meiss Lake, located in the Upper Truckee River drainage, is a wonderful tour of varying terrain and scenery. You will find the initial climb to a broad saddle moderately steep, the following descent less steep but you are confined to a relatively narrow drainage, and finally a kick and glide across a meadow to the lake.

A cabin lies in the Upper Truckee River drainage 1.4 miles north of the saddle and 1.1 miles south of Meiss Lake. It was once operated as a ski hut by Sierra Ski Touring.

Meiss Lake is the first stop on more difficult one-way tours to Echo Summit, Big Meadow and Caples Lake.

Mileage Log   Link to more information about mileage log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 1.0
Elevation change: +300, -50 feet

From the Meiss Sno-Park (1) work your way west for 0.5 mile while climbing gradually and then ascend northwest for another 0.5 mile until you reach the obvious broad saddle (2). Early and late in the snow season you may find the south-facing slopes leading to the saddle partially barren. Also, take care to avoid the slopes beneath the southwest ridge of Red Lake Peak, which may be avalanche prone.

Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 1.0 - 2.4
Elevation change: -400 feet

Descend north down the gully for 1.4 miles until you reach two old buildings (3). You lose nearly all the elevation in the first half of the distance. You will probably find the skiing easiest on the side-slope east (right) of the creek. Once down in the meadow-like terrain you will want to stay on the east (right) side of the creek.

Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 2.4 - 3.5
Elevation change:
-100 feet

Continue generally north through meadow-like terrain for 1.1 miles until you reach Meiss Lake(4).

Return to trailhead
Miles: 3.5 - 7.0
Elevation change: +550, -300 feet

Retrace the route for 3.5 miles back to the trailhead (1).

Print version of map for tour