Tahoe Cross Country All levels | Varied terrain
Tahoe Cross Country offers marked mountain biking and hiking trails in the Burton Creek State Park area just north of Tahoe City. Trail access is free and the terrain is ideal for beginner and intermediate mountain bikers. Advanced riders can find challenging terrain on the Tahoe Rim Trail and around Mount Watson. (530) 583-5475 | tahoexc.org. Bus.
Western States Trail Strenuous | 11.6 miles RT
This is a challenging and exhilarating ride (sometimes referred to as Three Bridges Trail) that will afford you a fun downhill swoop and beautiful mountain views. You can ride it either way, starting on either side of the Midway Bridge between Alpine Meadows and Olympic Valley off Hwy. 89.
Flume Trail Strenuous | 14 miles
There are several mountain biking trails off the Flume Trail, but if you follow the Flume Trail the whole way you will be rewarded with magnificent views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra. The Flume Trail rises 1,600’ above the East Shore of Lake Tahoe. At the end of the Flume Trail, there is a 3-mile, 1,600’ descent down to Tunnel Creek Station on Hwy. 28. It is a moderately difficult ride at 7,000’ to 8,000’ in elevation with more than 1,000’ of climbing and 4.5-miles of single track. It has several steep sections.
Shuttle available at Tunnel Creek Café off Hwy. 28 in Incline Village to Spooner Lake State Park. Info (775) 298-Call for shuttle schedule.
Mount Rose to Spooner Lake Strenuous | 20 miles
The beginning of this beautiful section of the Tahoe Rim Trail is at 8,700’ above the Sheep Flats (aka Tahoe Meadows) on Mount Rose. The first part of the trail parallels the highway and then descends through the meadows and briefly joins the Ophir Creek trail. Look for Rim Trail signs, then after a quarter-mile up and to the right of the Ophir Creek trail (don’t stay on the Ophir Creek Trail). After a 300’ climb out of the meadows, you begin to contour your way to the Tunnel Creek road. At 9 miles, you will come to the Tunnel Creek Road. Follow it a half-mile with the Flume Trail on the right. Continue straight for an 800’ switch-backing climb. Near the top of the climb, consider taking the vista trail to the Sand Harbor overlook.
Once at the top, the trail winds down past the Marlette Peak campground to Hobart Road. The Rim Trail past this point is closed to bikes, so your only path back to Spooner is along this road to the right and down to Marlette Lake. A short, but tough climb leads out of the Marlette basin and then it is downhill back to Spooner Lake. Mind the speed on this descent due to heavy equestrian and hiking use. Shuttle (775) 298-2501. Call for schedule.
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
Bijou Bike Park bijoubikepark.org
The 5-acre park features pump tracks, BMX Track, strider-friendly pump track, jump lines and loop trail. Dawn-dusk.
Corral Area Trails All levels | Varied terrain
Corral area trails include Sidewinders, Cedar and Armstrong Connector. This area has a high density of trails for all ability levels and serves as the unofficial hub of mountain bike activity in the South Shore. Featuring log rides, jumps and rock rolls including the new jumps, berms, rollers and hips. The trails all run parallel to the Fountain Place paved road. These trails link to Armstong Trail, the Tahoe Rim Trail, Powerline, Railroad Grade and this is also where Toads ends.
Mr. Toads Wild Ride Moderate-Strenuous | 6.2 miles
Mr. Toad’s heads mostly downhill from the Tahoe Rim Trail with several options for making a loop. The upper section of this trail is much more technical than either section of the TRT and has many big drops and sections of nothing but rocks. There is also a huge stair step section that comes up on you quickly.
BMX Track (530) 582-7720 | tdrpd.com
The BMX track is at River View Sports Park in Truckee. Practice Tues. 5-6:30 p.m. and Thurs. 5 p.m.-dark. Free. Races Tues. 6:30 p.m.-dark. $10 plus ABA membership.
Emigrant Trail Moderate | 15+ miles
Offers rolling, wide, single-track through high desert, winding through sagebrush, seasonally wet meadows and Jeffrey Pine forests. North of Truckee on Hwy. 89 to Donner Camp picnic area. If too wet, proceed 2.5 miles on Hwy. 89 to Prosser Creek Bridge pullout. 15 miles to Stampede, but can continue on to other areas.
Coldstream Valley Easy to moderate | 6 miles RT
This loop offers a mellow ride offering views of the Sierra Crest, has nice flowers in the spring and circumnavigates a series of ponds. From Donner Pass Road, take Coldstream Road, which alternates pavement and dirt. After a short climb up the old terminal moraine of the glacier that once filled this valley, the valley opens up. Proceed on this road until you come to private property signs at the last pond, then turn left on the dirt road and return on the east side of the valley. Park outside the white gate on Coldstream.
Northstar California All levels | Varied terrain
Northstar’s Mountain Bike Park boasts more than 100 miles of trails for mountain biking including its signature trail, LiveWire, and the most extensive life-accessed trail network in the Western United States. The park features Skill Development Areas and terrain features including jumps, rails and bridges. Rentals available in the Village at Northstar. Afternoon rates and season passes available. Downhill Mountain Bike Race Series and Cross-Country Race Series open to everyone. Bike Academy offers classes and private lessons. (530) 562-2268 | northstarcalifornia.com. Bus.
Truckee Pump Track (530) 582-7720 | facebook.com/truckeebikepark
At River View Sports Park in Truckee, the track features berms, whoops and jumps in various circuits built into the track with a Pump Park, Pump Course and Pump Track, with a small start mound for kids with push or strider bikes
Kirkwood (209) 258-7277 | kirkwood.com
The mountain bike park offers a network of lift-accessed trails for all levels with 22 trails in the valley, and 12 accessed by the lift, with 11.5 miles of single track. The bike park features log rides, pump tracks and other terrain features.
BIKE PATH RULES
Pedestrians must yield to bikes
Don’t stop on the trail; move to the side
No motorized vehicles
Cyclists call out when passing pedestrians
Lakeshore Boulevard Easy | 5 miles RT
Runs along Lake Tahoe and connects to Hwy. 28 at each end of Incline Village. Park at Preston Field on Hwy. 28. TART
Tahoe City to Dollar Point Easy-moderate | 5 miles RT
First 2.5 miles mostly level with a half-mile climb up Dollar Hill. Access to Tahoe State Park, Burton Creek State Park, Skylandia Park, Pomin Park, Lake Forest Beach, Lake Forest Boat Ramp and campground, fishing, picnicking, playgrounds and athletic fields. Public parking at 64 Acres, Commons Beach and Jackpine. TART
Truckee River Canyon Easy | 9+ miles RT
4.5 miles from the Tahoe City wye to Alpine Meadows Road, with trails continuing to Olympic Valley. The trail is scenic, separate from the highway, and is mostly flat terrain with a few short, gentle grades with trout fishing, river rafting and picnicking along the way. Connects with Squaw Valley Road or continue to Truckee. Public parking at 64 Acres and Squaw Valley Park at Squaw Valley Road. TART
Village Boulevard Easy | 7.4 miles RT
Bike path runs along Hwy. 28 through Incline Village. Access to shopping and parks. Park at Preston Field on Hwy. 28. TART
Tahoe City to Sugar Pine Point State Park Moderate | 22 miles RT
Mostly separate from the highway, the trail includes a few miles of highway shoulder and residential streets. Terrain is varied with a few steep sections. Access to picnicking, beaches and playgrounds. Public parking at 64 Acres. TART
Olympic Valley Easy | 4 miles RT
A 2-mile trail runs beside Squaw Valley Road to the ski area from the Squaw Valley condos to Victoria Road, with views of the meadow and surrounding peaks. Public parking at Squaw Valley Park or Village at Squaw. TART
Truckee Legacy Trail Easy | 3.25 miles RT
1.8-mile stretch from Truckee River Regional Park to River View Sports Park. Park at either park. TART
Around the Lake Strenuous | 72 miles
This challenging route is a scenic trip around Lake Tahoe. A mix of flat spots, rolling hills and some steep climbs. Heavy traffic through South Lake Tahoe. Amazing views.
Barker Pass Moderate-strenuous | 10 miles RT
Barker Pass is one of the most beautiful rides in Tahoe, if you don’t mind a little climbing with 5 miles and 1,700 vertical feet. But if you’re up to the task, and your bike has low gears, you will be rewarded with pristine wilderness, spectacular alpine views, snowfields, smooth pavement and almost no traffic.
You will pass through lush meadows, aspens, Lodgepole pines and several varieties of fir. In the early season, the streams are rushing and snowfields at the higher elevations keep things cool. Look for mule ears in bloom.
Take Highway 89 south of Tahoe City to Barker Pass Road for about 4.2 miles. Look for the brown sign on the right for Blackwood Canyon/Kaspian, and shortly afterward you will see the Forest Service road.
You will ride about 2.5 miles on fairly flat to slightly uphill terrain, through large stands of timber and some meadows. You will then cross a bridge over Blackwood Creek, and the climbing
begins. At first the grade is mellow, about 5 percent.
After another 2 miles it gets steeper, and by about the 4-mile mark it gets up to around 10 percent. You will come to some sharp hairpin turns, and the grade is steeper than 10 percent in places.
The pavement ends at the top of the pass, and becomes a dirt trail for those with mountain bikes. If not, your effort will be rewarded by a sweet downhill run, but watch the bumps near the top of the pavement is uneven.
Boca-Stampede Moderate-strenuous | 20-25 miles RT
Great out and back ride at any time of year, with scenery that goes from high desert to meadows and big pines, with views of Boca and Stampede reservoirs. From Interstate 80 Reno, take the Hirschdale Road exit and go left. When you get to the Boca Dam, you will see a small parking area to the left. Start the ride along the lake shore. The road is generally flat, with a few short uphill climbs.
At the north end, descend into a canyon made by the stream, and then to your first hill. After a short climb, you reach a long, flat section with nice views of the stream and surrounding meadows. At the end, you come to a climb about a half-mile long at a mellow grade. You’ll then see Stampede dam to the left and another climb, with a half-mile 6 to 8 percent grade ahead. After another mile or so of rolling terrain, you will get to another short climb, and then the end of pavement.
On the return, you can add some mileage and more climbing if you turn right onto Stampede Dam Road. At the end of the dam, you will hit a good climb, then rollers for the remainder of the paved road. At about 2.5 miles from the main road, you hit dirt and it’s time to head home.
Olf 40 to Cisco Grove Moderate-strenuous | 39 miles RT
This route is one of the easiest to follow, and one of the best. It has it all the views, a good climb, a technical descent, a restaurant en route, Donner Lake and miles of lightly traveled roads. From downtown Truckee head west on Donner Pass Road until it dead-ends in Cisco Grove. Then turn around and head back. Upon leaving the lake, you begin the long and challenging, but scenic, grind up the summit. This climb has a vertical rise of less than 1,000’. From the top of the summit, it is a rolling downhill along the Yuba River all the way to Cisco Grove. The descent down to Donner Lake is a technical one. Watch your speed, and make sure your brakes work. Parking at West End Beach and boat ramp.