When you’re ready to move up from gentle gliding to steeper climbs and descents, this 4-mile (round-trip) ski via High Meadows Road is an ideal place to practice your skills. This snow-covered dirt road begins with a gentle climb through pine and fir forest, a warm-up for the workout to come. At 0.7 mile, a signboard marks the route to High Meadows. Stay straight to cross a bridge spanning Cold Creek, then pass a small cabin on your right.
The grade increases from here, and your quads will feel the burn. In 0.5 mile, a boulder-lined meadow attracts the midday sun, thinning the snow cover. The next mile is the steepest of the day—dig in with your poles to give your legs a little help. At the summit, veer left off the road to gain a high clearing with a picturesque view of Lake Tahoe. Choose a snow-free boulder, have a seat, and revel in the snowy Sierra scenery. Then enjoy the fast-and-furious descent back to your car. You earned it.
Trailhead: From US 50 in Meyers, turn east on Pioneer Trail and drive 3.2 miles to High Meadow Trail. Turn right and drive 0.8 mile to the end of the road. There are a number of gear rental options, including Lake of the Sky Outfitters, Sierra Ski & Cycle Works, Powder House, and Tahoe Sports LTD. Note: Check weather report before embarking on this adventure. Dog-friendly!