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Secluded Sierra Forest and Meadows Outside Tahoe City

Burton Creek SP

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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6.5 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview:  It's been described as Lake Tahoe’s secret state park. Burton Creek is a spectacular watershed of over 2000 acres tucked away in the... more »

Tips:  Location:
Burton Creek State Park
Hwy 28 North Shore Lake Tahoe
Tahoe City, CA 96145
(530) 525-7232

Latitude/Longitude: 39.1950 / ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Entrance Road

The entrance to Burton Creek SRA is poorly marked but it is adjacent to the Tamarack Lodge at 2311 North Lake Blvd. Tahoe City, California 96145. Look for the Tahoe City side driveway to the Lodge just past Star Harbor Ct. (if traveling from Tahoe City) and across the Hwy.

Rather than pull into the Lodge parking, continue up the shared road.

... More

2. Road Junction and Private Residence

The road "Y's" at a private residence, follow the road to the left.

There may or may not be a Park Sign. On this visit it was a small hand painted sign leaning againt a tree.

Up the road we reach another "Y" with a Park sign. Park here.

3. Trailhead and Park Marker 1

Follow the road to the right (Northeast) to a gate. The old logging road will head up a valley and into the Burton Creek watershed.

4. Gate

Pass around the gate and head up the road. This first leg gets fairly steep for approximately 0.4 miles as it runs through open forest.

Burton Creek is entirely second growth having been logged between the late 1800's through to the 1950's. The Park is crisscrossed with numerous logging and service roads as well as trails. Aquired in 1978,... More

5. Park Marker 2 and Junction

Park Marker 2. At this Junction the road heading north will head out to Polaris Road across from North Tahoe High School.

Continue on the Westerly (left fork).

6. Junction

Old road junction. Continue through on the main route.

7. Views of the lake.

At the top of a rise there are some broken views of Lake Tahoe through the trees.

8. Meadow

The trail breaks into Burton Meadows, long and narrow with Burton Creek running its length. There are a number of paths down to the creek itself.

Be mindful to stay on any strong path you find. The vegetation and soils are delicate, struggling to recover after over a century of both logging and cattle grazing.

Besides logging, these lands were... More

9. Junction and Park Marker 7

The meadow generally pinches out as the creek travels up the valley with Burton Creek meandering across the floor at times running quickly, at others spreading out in level areas. At these spots, underbrush tends to be lush with riparian shrubs around the creek.

Consider using the insect repellant!

Another old road and Park Marker 7. Continue... More

10. Old Quarry?

With the trail gently climbing the valley side we will approach what appears to be an old quarry in a large outcropping at a canyon junction.

11. Junction and Park Marker 9

Junction and Park Marker 9.

The side road heads out to an old Dam and Pond and on to Point 17 (0.3 miles). It's a nice side trip and pretty place for a break.

Should time be short, this can be used as a shortcut of which will cut off Antone Meadows. Cutting off the meadow will cut 2.5 miles from the walk but will force the missing the best views... More

12. Dam and above the pond, Antone Meadows

An old concrete dam holding back a sizable pond.

After returning to the trail, continue up the valley. The trail will shortly begin to skirt the edge of Antone Meadows while staying just inside the tree line.

Through the trees, the meadows simply open up to generous views across to the forested slopes on the other side. Even knowing the meadow... More

13. Junction

Another junction with smaller single track trails heading up into the hills.

14. Footbridge

A short footbridge across a creek draining into Antone Meadows.

After the bridge, the trail dives into a heavily forested slope above the meadows.

15. Old Pond

Stretching across the meadow one can make out an old pond filled with grasses and shrubs. As it turns out, the upper portion of the Meadow is a large marsh and not a place to journey without waders.

Considering the "Recovering" nature of Antone Meadows, stay on the trails and give this gem a chance to heal.

16. Bridge

A bridge at the head of Antone Meadows over Burton Creek.

After the bridge the trail continues skirting just upslope the southerly side of the meadows. After a few hundred yards, forest takes over blocking views for the next 1.4 miles to the next junction.

17. Junction and Park Marker 11

This junction is the other end of the road to the dam back at WP 11 and 12.

Another 0.4 miles to the next major junction through open forest as the trees get taller.

18. Junction and Park Marker 12

Entering a large junction of 4 trails ant Park Marker 12.

The East-West groomed road is part of the Fiberboard Freeway. The "Freeway" is a roughly 23 mile path running from Brockway Summit on HWY 267 westerly to Watson Lake. A 12 mile portion is paved (not in Burton Creek). It's a run popular year round!

19. Junction

Part of the extended junction at WP 18. Head on the road south. To help orient to the correct road out of the junction.

0.7 miles to the next major landmark; a water tank over the Rocky Ridge Condos.

20. Junction

Junction, more logging roads.

East of the trail we've just traveled are several additional trails and an area that has been recently harvested, selectively cut timber. There is plenty of fire damaged trees in that area remaining.

21. Water Tank

After leaving forest cover and out onto a grass hill face a water tank is encountered. In this area there are several access roads down toward the lake and adjoining residential areas down slope.

22. Junction and Park Marker 19

Park Marker 19 at junction. Service roads for the water tank. Follow the road leading around the hill at the base of the grasslands.

0.6 miles to Park Marker 15.

23. Junction

The trail joins part of the unimproved section of Rocky Ridge Road.

Rocky Ridge Condos down this road is a private area and no public access is allowed. Help the parks be a good neighbor by staying on park property in this area.

24. Dry Creek Crossing

Short Bridge crossing a gully creek bed.

25. Broken Views over Lake Tahoe

Views over Tahoe through the trees as the road heads gently down slope.

26. Park Marker 15

0.5 miles to the trailhead as the road continues generally down slope through open forest over Tahoe.

27. Bridge

Another bridge crossing Burton Creek.

28. Gate and Trailhead

Through the gate and down to the parking area.

29. End of Trail

Return to the "Y" at the parking area.