Ward Canyon to Page Meadows – Lake Tahoe Hiking Trails
The popular Page Meadows are a series of five interconnected meadows host to brilliant wildflowers and views of the lofty peaks along the eastern edge of the Granite Chief Wilderness. The route that leads upward Canyon has a smooth climb and the best single-track, and it’s a mere 1.4 miles round trip. For about the first half mile, the trail leads steeply uphill through a forest of Jeffrey Pines, sugar pines, and white fir. At the top of the hill, the route opens up to sweeping views of Ward Canyon, Ward Peak, and the Sherwood chairlift in Alpine Meadows.
Soon you’ll be at Page Meadows, where the views are excellent and the flowers abundant. Though Tahoe isn’t exactly New England, when you see the aspens surrounding the meadows popping with eye-catching hues of red, yellow, and gold, you just might be fooled. For this reason, the hike is certainly a must-do in autumn. And if the impressive flora of the area alone doesn’t do it for you, the meadow also plays host to some glimpses of Twin Peaks, Grouse Rock, Ward Peak, and Scott Peak in the distance. While you’re there, wander and explore in all of the meadows – each has its own views and personality. Wildlife also plays a big part in the meadow ecosystem and it’s not uncommon for hikers to spot hawks, blue grouse, golden eagles, raccoons, coyotes, or perhaps even a bear. This makes the area popular for bird watching as well.
In the fall, this is a favorite spot for mountain bikers (check out bikesguider), as the meadows and the trails surrounding them are excellent. If you do choose to bike here, try to aim for a time when it hasn’t rained recently, as when the trails are wet, it is best for bikers to stay out of them in order to prevent damage to the delicate ecosystem. Page Meadows remains popular in the winter because as the paths get covered in a layer of crisp snow, it becomes a cross country skier or snow shoers wonderland. To get to Ward Canyon, drive south on Highway 89 to just past Sunnyside, turn right on Pineland Drive, then left at the “Y” where it says Ward Valley. Follow the trail 2 miles to the Tahoe Rim Trail trailhead on the left. Take the TRT trail on your right and head north to beautiful Page Meadows.