MTB around Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe offers splendid mountainbiking. Some of the best in the world. Most biking is done on the Tahoe Rim Trail, i.e., on trails that more or less follow the watershed around the lake, and trails leading to or from the Rim Trail. The  ecofascists have banned  mountain biking on the Pacific  Crest  Trail and part of the Tahoe Rim Trail is also part of the Pacific Crest Trail, so one section is closed to bikers. However, the rest is fully accessible and the biking is a lot of fun.

First we camped near Tahoe City, in the State Recreation Area, and biked the trails on the north side of Lake Tahoe, then we biked to the south side and camped at the Fallen Leaf Campground. They were lovely camp sites though we could hear the bears trying to open the trash cans at night.



Swimming in Truckee River


State Recreation Area Camping


Bear safe



Bear xing

Tahoe Rim Trail, North shore

On the north side of Lake Tahoe we road the Tahoe Rim Trail ascending via route 267, traversing the northern slopes of the lake on splendid singletrack, ending the day with a fine downhill run to Tahoe City.

Lake Tahoe

Views


Twisty singletrack



Watson Lake










This is why the trail is also know
as the ‘Cinder Cone Loop



Tahoe Meadows, Flume Trail

The trail from Tahoe Meadows and the Flume Trail via Marlette Lake are perhaps the most well known trails in the area. Geographically the trail is in Nevada not in California. One begins by ascending on road to Tahoe meadows. Then it is all singletrack following the watershed gaining and losing altitude according to the ridge line. There are staggering views into Nevada. From Marelette Lake one follows the famous Flume Trail, an ancient canal originally used to transport logs, it is extremely spectacular but completely untechnical, as one hardly loses any altitude before the Flume Trail ends into the Tunnel Creek Road, which is a steep and sandy fire road.



Catching the bus to Nevada


Lake Tahoe



The trail from Tahoe Meadows


Staggering views into Nevada



Close to Marelette Peak




Marlette Lake



A break for a swim


Flume Trail



Exposed




Kingsbury Grade — Armstrong Pass

The trail from Kingsbury Grade to the Armstrong Pass is partly in Nevada. One climbs up from the Kingsbury Grade to the ski resort ‘Heavenly Valley’ [sic!] and hits the singletrack there. It is splendid riding, largely the trail is on the west side of the watershed, with beautiful views into the Carson Valley in Nevada.  One gains a saddle and then crosses over to the other side of the watershed and climbs on a fine trail to Star Lake.  Beyond star lake one climbs again on exhilarating singletrack and then one descends to the Armstrong Pass. From the Armstrong Pass it is all downhill along the Armstrong Trail.

We had a fantastic outing.




On the west side of the watershed


Views into the Carson Valley



Carson Valley is deep below


Gaining a saddle



Climbing towards Star Lake



Star Lake













It never gets better than this


Upper section of the Armstrong Trail



Creek crossing at the end of Armstrong Trail


Our camp site at the Fallen Leaf Camp Ground

Kingsbury Grade — Spooner Lake

Another ride we did was from Kingsbury Grade to Spooner Lake. We passed the horrible casinos at the border and climbed the Kingsbury Grade and then followed the Tahoe Rim Trail north on fine winding singletrack that largely went right on the very watershed. Views were splendid, and the biking fun, we had a great day except for the ride back along the Route 50. The traffic was intense and outright frightening.



Climbing



Winding fine singletrack


On the very watershed




Burned out forest


Armstrong Pass — Mr Toad‘s Wild Ride

Our last day in Lake Tahoe we went up to the Armstrong Pass via the Luther Pass.  The ascent was rather steep. From the Armstrong Pass we followed the Tahoe Rim Trail south westwards along the ridge line, until we reached the famous Mr Toads Wild Ride, a steep technically very challenging downhill ride.



Climbing to the Armstrong Pass


Riding along the ridge


So much fun




View South


On the watershed


Freel Meadow


It is almost flat on Freel Meadows


Mr Toad‘s Wild Ride, sandy Switchback


Coasting down Mr Toad‘s Wild Ride


Lake Tahoe no doubt offered us the finest riding we had in California. We would go gladly go back!