From Big Meadow campground, the trail leads south across the road, through a stretch of forest, then across a very large meadow with a meandering stream. Beyond the field of green grass and colorful flowers is a horizon of imposing peaks. Re-enter the trees on the other side to continue through rolling hills of alternating forest and small meadows in the rolling hills at the foot of these mountains.
Pause to enjoy the tranquility of Round Lake, which sits nestled between steep slopes of granite, then continue through forest and meadows even more verdant than before, as you move gently up in elevation. Soon comes the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail, which the Tahoe Rim Trail joins for the next 50 miles. Follow the PCT northward, past the shimmering blue Showers Lake, climbing to the west rim of the basin.
Over the next several miles, the terrain becomes progressively more rugged and water sources less frequent as the trail traverses a high ridgeline. It then descends steeply off this ridge to meet US-50 at Echo Summit and continues a bit farther up to Echo Lakes.