Mountain Biking Lake Tahoe
December 22, 2020
Mountain Biking in Lake Tahoe covers the spectrum with dreamy lake views, technical downhills, and cross country tours. The Tahoe mountain biking community is flourishing, so you can expect to meet an energetic crowd ready to hit the trail at any local honeypot. If you’re in need of gear upon arrival, you will find plenty of local bike shops ready to assist with repairs, gear, and info.
No matter what part of the Lake you are visiting you will high quality trail systems at your fingertips. We are going to breakdown a few of our favorite trails around Lake Tahoe and Truckee to help you hit the ground running (or biking).
North Lake Tahoe
Hole in the Wall
You’d better be in shape for this one! A classic 17-mile loop, Hole-in-the-wall offers of a scenic tour off Interstate 80. It starts with a lung buster climb and brings you to top notch vistas of Castle Peak and surrounding ridgelines. Rocky and Technical, you will want to be prepared for anything on this ride. One bonus – you’ll pass some alpine lakes along the way to cool off during the summer heat.
Tahoe Rim Trail
A classic for many reasons, with the most obvious being a trail the circles Lake Tahoe in a stunning 168 mile loop. The first think to note is that bikes are not allowed on all segments of this trail system so study up to find what works best for you and your location. This trail really has it all – from cross country sections to burly downhills requiring complete control, the Tahoe Rim trail may be the most well-known trail system in this region.
South Lake Tahoe
Mr. Toads Wild Ride
Get Ready for an epic and technical 6 miles descent on Mr. Toads. Dropping from the Tahoe Rim trail you will be rewarded with rock drops, well built berms, and a forested setting straight out of a book. This is a classic in South Lake Tahoe and one not to miss if you’ve got what it takes to keep your wits about you.
Maybe South Lake Tahoe’s most popular Mountain Biking Trail, Corral is ready to offer up the goods. Features are the name of the game here and you’ll be hit with banked turns, rock hops, table top dirt jumps, log rides and much more. If you’re in the South Lake area this is the trail not to miss, so get your crew together and get ready for a few laps on this gem!
More cross country in nature, this trail is best known for its fall foliage. Accessed from Tahoe City, you will weave and wind your way through a thick pine forest before entering into wide open, aspen filled meadows. Hitting this at the right time in the fall is key to catch those fiery reds and oranges we all love! You’ll be glowing on the downhill as you descend back to the car after this one.
Stamford Rock Loop
This trail, outside of Tahoe City, has recently been re-worked and made into a mountain bike focused single track. Accessible for any level, there are alternates for more advanced riders to enjoy more technical features. A trail that was once overlooked, is now a local favorite after its recent makeover. Go and get it!
Spooner to Marlette
If you’re not quite ready to tackle the 14 mile trip on the flume trail you still have some great options starting from Spooner. Marlette lake is a beautiful alpine lake and a great destination for shorter rides. Still expect some climbing at the beginning, but this out an back will give you a good sense for what to expect on the Flume trail proper.
If you’re looking Lake Tahoe vistas as you ride – look no further. While this 14 mile (one-way) trail does start with a decent climb, you’re mainly in for a cross-country style ride once you plateau. The trail is stacked with East Shore views that will keep you coming back for more. Coved beaches, aqua marine water, and 360 views, make this trail our favorite for Lake specific riding.
You’ll find the locals running post work laps on this 4 mile loop, and for good reason. Jackass is accessible, quick, and contains a variety of well-built features. After about 2 miles of moderate climbing, it’s time to drop that seat and get ready for a fast, flowy, and featured filled downhill. Although there are some more technical features on this trail, most can be ridden around, which allows for a group with mixed rider levels to enjoy. Want to add some milage? Get the local intel on many extensions including Yogi Bear and Jellystone.
Donner Lake Rim Trail
The younger brother to the Tahoe Rim Trail, the Donner Lake Rim trail was an obvious, yet recent addition to the Truckee trail system. A mix of flowy and technical, this trail offers a nice variety while soaking in views high above Donner Lake. While not 100% complete, this trail will offer a 12 mile loops around Donner Lake, offering a 360 view of Truckee’s Alpine vistas.