By Kathryn Reed
TAHOE CITY – Something about meadows is mesmerizing. These vast grassy areas seem to appear out of nowhere. Such a contrast to all the conifers that dominate Tahoe hikes.
Page Meadow was not a disappointment; especially considering I had heard so much about this North Shore area that is part of the Tahoe Rim Trail.
A month ago today five of us and the wonder dog AJ explored the area for the first time. For a summer weekend it was surprisingly uncrowded. We ran into a woman who lives nearby; this is her regular route for exercise. And no wonder – it would undoubtedly be one of those locations that would seem to change with the seasons.
In mid-August a few wildflowers still dotted the terrain. The grasses were full of life, some golden, some verdant. They didn’t look dead or even dying. The actual meadow was more like fertile grasslands reminiscent of the Midwest. It was inviting in the sense part of me wanted to run through it. I knew better. It seemed almost sacred. I didn’t want to ruin the beauty for others.
Mountain bikers, too, kept to the trail that skirts around the perimeter of the meadow.
I would imagine with fall in the air now that the foliage will soon be turning yellow and orange.
Winter must be spectacular in there for snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
Even in late summer water was an issue in one spot. Fortunately someone had laid down what looked like a homemade ladder only it was a foot bridge across the boggy area. This might be the only section anyone would really need/want hiking poles.
We were thankful for the fellow hiker who told us to look to our left for this crossing.
Signage is spotty. Multiple connector trails intersect with the main one. On the one hand this is good because it disperses users, it also means more options for accessing the meadow, as well as being able to lengthen the trek if so desired.
Starting out we were on what seemed like a road – wide enough to walk alongside someone. No aspect of this approximately 5-mile loop is steep. It’s a gentle meander up and down, and around.
From South Lake Tahoe, take Highway 89 north. Not too far after Sunnyside, turn left on Pine Street. Go right onto Tahoe Park Heights Drive. Then go right on Big Pine Drive. Go left on Silvertip Drive. The trailhead is at the end of Silvertip.