Lake Tahoe's must-ride mountain bike trails
The mountain bike scene in Lake Tahoe has exploded over the last few years. On both sides of the lake, downhill and cross-country trails are in perfect condition. The shuttles are running. The shops are humming. Rentals are easy to come by. Grab your bike and jump on some of the area's world-class dirt. If you're looking for other mountain bikers to ride with or would like to learn more about the area's trails, consider becoming a member of the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association.
Lake Tahoe's marquee trail, the Flume is likely the most beautiful ride around. Cruising the ridge on the East Shore, the trail offers riders expansive views of the lake. Though there are a few solid climbs and some sandy spots, the Flume Trail is not the most technical or difficult. Shuttles and rentals are available at Spooner Lake and at Tunnel Creek.
Now open for the summer season, Northstar California's mountain bike park is for beginner to hardcore downhillers. Whether you're looking for insane ladders and big jumps or a quiet ride through the forest, let the resort's lifts take care of the hard part. Northstar has all the rental gear you'll need and lessons and tours of the mountain are available.
More a series of trails than a single loop, the Corral trails are popular among South Shore cyclists. A few log rides, jumps and drops keep it interesting for experienced riders while mellow whoops and turns are great for those getting used to pedals. Cyclists can ride or drive to the top of the trail. There's also a few connections to other area trails, if you're looking for more of a cross-country ride. Check out the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association page for detailed directions.
Tahoe Meadows / Tahoe Rim Trail
Though only open to bikers on even numbered days, the Tahoe Meadows section of the Tahoe Rim Trail is a classic Tahoe ride. Starting at the Mount Rose summit parking lot, the beautiful stretch rolls through beautiful alpine meadows and down to Tunnel Creek. Because of the elevation drop, this is usually done as a one-way ride.
Mr. Toads Wild Ride
Not for beginners, Mr Toad's is a tricky downhiller with rock sections that would confuse a geologist. The South Shore ride drops through huge granite boulders and beautiful stands of Sierra pine forest before connecting with Oneidas Street or trails back to Meyers. For a real challenge, check out TAMBA's "Uber Punisher," a 60-mile schlog from Mount Rose to Mr. Toad's.