Meiss Saddle


Difficulty 3 Intermediate
Length 2.0 miles round trip
8550 feet
+350, -350 feet
Navigation Map
Time Several hours
Season Mid-December through mid-April
Snowmobiles 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.


The broad, barren saddle to the northwest of the Meiss Sno-Park is the first landmark on tours to Meiss Lake and other destinations north of Highway 88 near Carson Pass. The tour to the saddle is listed separately because it is a good destination in its own right for those seeking a short, moderately steep climb with excellent scenery and south-facing slope to descend on the return. New snow on the south-facing slope consolidates fast and in spring corns-up quickly.

Take a break and enjoy the views once you reach the saddle. Round Top dominates the horizon to the south. To the north is a view of Lake Tahoe with the Upper Truckee River flowing toward it..

There are two excellent extensions of this tour that do not descend into the Meiss meadow area. One is a climb of nearby Red Lake Peak. The other, a tour along the windswept ridge to Little Round Top, is a long haul but you can ski as far as you desire and turn around.

Note: You will not find the name "Meiss Saddle" on any maps.

Mileage Log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

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.

Miles: 1.0 - 2.0
Elevation change: +50, -300 feet

Retrace the route for 1.0 mile back to the trailhead (1).

Elevation Profile
Elevation profile
Link to elevation profile
Link to waypoint data
Link to full page map
Link to see and submit reviews and corrections about tour