A new hybrid approach to model high Reynolds number wall-bounded turbulent flows is developed based on coupling a two-level simulation (TLS) approach (Kemenov and Menon, 2006 , 2007  in the inner region with conventional large eddy simulation (LES) away from the wall. This new approach is significantly different from previous near-wall approaches for LES. In this hybrid TLS-LES approach, a very fine small-scale (SS) mesh is embedded inside the coarse LES mesh. The SS equations Capture fine-scale temporal and spatial variations in all three Cartesian directions for all three velocity components near the wall. The TLS-LES equations are derived using a new scale separation operator that allows a smooth transition between the two regions, with the equations in the transition region obtained by blending the TLS large-scale and LES equations. New terms in the hybrid region are identified. The TLS-LES approach is used to study the near-wall features in canonical turbulent channel flows for a range of Reynolds number using relatively coarse large-scale (LS) grids. Results show that the TLS-LES approach is able to capture the effect of both the LS and SS features in the wall region consistently for the range of simulated Reynolds number. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.