|This little treasure of a lake lies off the Tahoe Rim Trail southeast of South Lake Tahoe City. It is high in the Sierras at 8090 feet and is a 4.4 mile hike in and out for a total of 8.8 miles round trip. The elevation gain(total vertical feet) was 1450. All in all a good days work as our joints and feet attest.The trail ascends a rock strewn ridge of pine trees to a crest and then drops down into a beautiful valley of verdant green grass bordered by willow bushes now turned a gorgeous fall yellow. The trail then climbs another ridge and descends in steep switchbacks toward a rapidly flowing creek in a gorge below. We passed beneath many spectacular pine and cedar trees. A tricky offshoot from the rim trail leads to Dardanelle Lake. We missed it at first and walked an extra .4 miles before realizing the mistake. Someone had knocked the cairn over and scattered the rocks across that trail as if it were a sign the trail was closed. Anyway we found our mistake and headed in towards the lake. Immediately we ran into a group of 20-25 hikers heading out -a busy lake indeed-"urban camping". The trail ascended up and over another shorter ridge and the gorgeous lake unfolded before our eyes. An unusual chiseled rock mountain formed the back wall of the lake. It was clear a glacier had carved the whole area. Mammoth rocks scarred and worn lined the whole area. We could understand why it was so popular. On our way back we ran into numerous hikers accompanied by their dogs-a parade of breeds. We were even passed by a gorgeous Indian Paint Horse and a troop of mountain bikers. Holiday traffic in the mountains. There are just too many people in the world! Lunch was at Passerettis Italian Restaurant next to the RV park after we spotted the many mile long traffic jam of cars heading out of Tahoe back to their homes,work and school.