Tahoe Bike Guide – Riding on the Roads and Trails of Lake Tahoe
Distance– 3 miles
This technical singletrack is one of the premier downhils on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore. The trail zigzags through rock gardens, drops, trees, and few sandy sections, ending in the Diamond Peak Ski Area parking lot. Riders on mtbproject.com rate the trail intermediate in difficulty. The trail descends close to 2,000 feet. The most challenging features can be avoided.
Directions: From the Mt. Rose Tahoe Rim Trail parking lot, head south on the Tahoe Rim Trail (see tahoerimtrail.org for restrictions) for nearly 1 mile. Tyrolean Downhill will drop from the first prominent vista.
Page Meadows Loop
Distance– 8 miles
A quiet trail just out of Tahoe City, the Page Meadows Loop is a fun way to spend an afternoon. The trail is within riding distance of many bike rental shops in the area. Without any major obstacles, Page Meadows is suitable for the whole family. Stop in the meadow for a picnic or ride the extra distance to Scott Peak for amazing views.
Directions: From Highway 89, turn onto Granlibakken Road. Take your third left onto Rawhide Drive. The road will eventually turn into a dirt fire road. Continue riding to the meadows. The trail will eventually link with the Tahoe Rim Trail which can be taken back to Tahoe City.
Widely regarded as the most spectacular mountain-bike trail area, the Flume takes riders high above Lake Tahoe’s East Shore. Though there are some challenging climbs, the Flume Trail, so named for the old logging flume that followed the route, is not especially difficult.
Directions: Most mountain bikers choose a point-to-point ride on the Flume. Shuttles and bike rentals are available through Tunnel Creek Station. The Flume Trail connects to the Tahoe Rim Trail to the north and the North Canyon Creek Trail to the south, which eventually reaches Spooner Summit. Offshoots of the Flume will spit you out at Tunnel Creek or Chimney Beach.
Tahoe Meadows Tahoe Rim Trail
Distance- 1.5 miles
The Tahoe Meadows section of the Tahoe Rim Trail is mostly recognized for being the connector to the Flume Trail, but it’s a nice little trip on its own. Cycling is only allowed on even-numbered days (visit tahoerimtrail.org for full regulations). Mountain bikers can connect to Tunnel Creek Road or do a quick out-and-back jaunt.
Directions: From Incline Village, follow Highway 431 toward Mt. Rose. Parking will be on your right, just before the Mt. Rose Campground.
Painted Rock Loop
Distance- 18.1 miles
Another tie-in to the Tahoe Rim Trail, the Painted Rock Loop is a hearty chunk of riding for fairly fit cyclists. The trail climbs more than 2,300 feet to its apex and the dirt is, well, mostly rocks. Another challenge of the 18 mile loop is finding the route. This area has numerous trails, so wrong turns are a real possibility.
Directions: The start of Painted Rock is not too hard to find. From Carnelian Bay, head south on Highway 89. Turn right on Fabian Way, then take your first right on Village Road. Turn left on Country Club Drive. Park at the Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area. Look for beginning of the trail on the opposite side of Country Club Drive.
Antone Meadows Loop
Distance- 8.5 miles
The Antone Meadows Loop is the quintessential quiet Tahoe trail ride. It’s relatively easy. The singletrack is in great shape. The trail climbs a few hundred feet to its highest point, just under 7,000 feet elevation. The second half is a downhill cruise through the grassy meadow and over Burton Creek. The trail is well marked by signage, so don’t worry about getting lost on this one.
Directions: From Carnelian Bay, head south on Highway 89. Turn right on Fabian Way then take your first right on Village Road. Turn left on Country Club Drive. Park at the Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area.
Distance- 15 miles
The out-and-back Emigrant Trail is one of the first trails to open up after winter snows. The 15 miles of singletrack is fast and flowing, though you won’t find any white-knuckle downhill. Nonetheless, it’s a good trail ride for those who want to enjoy wide-open views and some solid pedaling. Dive into Stampede Reservoir before pedaling back to the car.
Directions: From Truckee, take Highway 89 north. Turn left on Alder Creek Road. Park where Alder Creek Road and Carpenter Valley Road meet. For a shorter ride, park at the Donner Party Picneic Area off Highway 89 or even farther north where Highway 89 crosses Prosser Creek.
Sawtooth Ridge Trail
Distance- 10 miles
With easy access from Truckee, Sawtooth is popular among locals. The singletrack route is fairly gritty, with a handful of sections that will make your teeth chatter. But the 10-mile loop doesn’t contain any major climbs. There are a few sections that provide a nice overlook of Squaw Valley and Highway 89.
Directions: From Truckee, take Old Brockway Road south. Turn right on Palisades Drive and continue onto Ponderosa Drive. Turn right on Silver Fir Drive then left on Thelin Drive. Stay to the right onto 06 Fire Road. Parking will be on your right and signage will mark the start of the trail.
Truckee River Bike Trail
Distance- 33.1 miles
Running from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley, the Truckee River Bike Trail has to be the most fun paved path in the area. The entire length follows the Truckee River. Dozens of swimming holes, beaches, and even bars can make this a full day’s outing. Bike shops and bike rentals are at both ends of the path.
Directions: Though you can park almost anywhere in Tahoe City and ride to the bike path, there’s plenty of space at the 64 acres Tahoe Rim Trail Trailhead parking lot. Or drive north on Highway 89 and ride a shorter section of the path.
West Shore Bike Path
Distance- 12 miles
There are few better ways to enjoy the scenic west side of the lake than the meandering path from Tahoe City to Meeks Bay. Swing by Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park to check out the historic Hellman-Ehrman Mansion or for a dip in the lake. If you’re looking for a place to camp, lay over at Kaspian Campground, where bikes aren’t charged a vehicle fee for the night.
Directions: The path parallels Highway 89. Hop on the trail pretty much anywhere between Tahoe City and Meeks Bay.