Meeks Creek Falls, California

In the search for waterfalls, there are three main outcomes: 1) You find the waterfall you’re looking for; 2) You don’t find the waterfall at all; or 3) You find something different than what you were looking for. Outcome 1 has happened a lot, and Outcome 2 has happened more than one might expect. Option 3 happens every once in a while, and Meeks Creek Falls happens to be one of those examples.

The other waterfalls that were more popular were clearly more popular the weekend I visited the Tahoe area! Eagle Falls was extremely busy, so I didn’t stop, and instead decided to try Meeks Creek Falls. As I started on the hike, I can clearly remember that it was warm (without much shade) and that the horse flies (or whatever pest they were) were out in force. After about the first mile, though, you enter a more wooded area, it cools down, and the flies aren’t as abundant.

After that first mile, you start hiking uphill, and you’re very close to Meeks Creek. And apparently somewhere along the distance I hiked is a rather tall (85′ or so) waterfall. I had absolutely no luck finding this waterfall. I HEARD waterfalls, but couldn’t seem to find any trail that led to the main objective. (There are no signs to the falls.) So I kept hiking and hiking, probably more than I needed to. I’m one of those hikers that need to have a goal, and once I felt the goal was out of reach, I got bored. So I turned around.

I was still convinced to find something, though, and luckily Meeks Creek has a lot of drops on it! I found one ~20′ waterfall, and it might have continued on downstream, though I wouldn’t have any clue.  There was another ~8′ drop I found, though I don’t remember if it was above or below the first fall. I was just cool with finding something. The moral of the story…Who knows?


  1. From South Lake Tahoe, take CA-89 heading northwest.
  2. About 16 miles from the point you started along CA-89, you will come to the Meeks Bay Resort (on your right). Just across from this is the Meeks Bay Trailhead (on your left).
  3. Park in this area, which has a lot of spaces along the highway. You’ll find the start of the trail pretty easily. I’m not sure how long the distance to the main waterfall is…I probably walked 5 or so miles round-trip.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: ~5 miles round-trip

A drop on Meeks Creek (late May 2013)

Another drop on Meeks Creek

Where in the World is Meeks Creek Falls?


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