Choosing where you ride is more than determining the geography and skills needed. Day of the week matters as there are definitely more riders on weekends. Paved bike paths are busier than dirt trails and travel is often at a relaxed pace. Riding a road bike versus a mountain bike. Other elements may include scenery during the ride, burning calories, the ability to safely talk while riding and fitness goals.
Lots of Choices!
Places to Ride at Lake Tahoe
The Pope – Baldwin Bike Trail is a paved 3.6 mile gentle, rolling path that winds from 15th St in South Lake Tahoe to Spring Tract on Hwy 89. Along the way it passes Pope Beach, Camp Richardson, Kiva Beach, the Taylor Creek Visitor Center and Baldwin Beach. All offer additional opportunities. Anderson’s Rental is located at the beginning and has bikes that range from full suspension mountain bikes to kid bikes to kid trailers.
Riding around Lake Tahoe is a right of passage for many cyclists. The highways around Lake Tahoe are narrow and there aren’t many sections with bike lanes. Traffic is much heavier on weekends and the Emerald Bay area is always crowded, but the scenery is . Riding in an event Like America’s Most Beautiful Ride or Tour de Tahoe are good introductions as support staff are available along the way.
The trails adjacent to the Corral Loop and Power Lines trails offer mountain biking for just about every skill level. The climb up to the paved road to Corral Loop and Sidewinder will get your heart rate up (Unless you’re a downhiller riding in a vehicle to the start!). There’s also a connector to Armstrong Pass. Lots of features have been built into the trails by Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association volunteers in cooperation with the USFS. Fun trails for those with intermediate plus skills. Family fun can be found on the Railroad Grade. The trail head is a short, mostly flat ride from the parking lot. It’s a terrific introduction to single track trail and there are options off it, too.
Testing your big boy or big girl bike skills is a snap on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. A primary trail begins at the summit of Luther Pass at an elevation of 7740’ and climbs to 8950’ before plunging down 6 miles through pines, over boulders and finishing on banked (exfoliated granite) dirt turns to the Tahoe Basin. There are a number of exit points. There are a lot of ways to make this ride more punishing / challenging. Have at it!