Local Lake Tahoe Bike Trail Tips | Best Bike Trails and Paths in Lake Tahoe

A guide to perhaps the best bike paths in Lake Tahoe including excellent local bike trail tips & some of the less well known "hammer havens" in the Sierras. Weekend warriors should enjoy the quick access to the best trails without all the crowds. See the "Bike Paths" page for the more recreational and paved bike paths around Lake Tahoe.

Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, & Truckee River Canyon

From the intersection of Alpine Meadows Road and Hwy 89 you can access many trails in the Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, and Truckee River Canyon areas including The Tahoe Rim Trail, The Western States Trail and many out and backs, semi-loops, and loop trips.

Alpine Meadows

Loop Trip - Alpine Meadows/Granlibakken
  • This trail is a favorite, offering to get a good climb out of the way fast, scenic views of Paige Meadows, great vista views ( 42kb). of the Truckee Canyon, and several miles of lush single track.
  • 13.5 Miles
  • Approx. 1100 Vertical Feet
  • Starting at the intersection of Alpine Meadows Road and Highway 89 bike up Alpine Meadows Road approx. 1 mile and turn left on Snow Crest Road. Follow Snow Crest Road up another 0.4 miles to a closed double track access gate. Construction of a new home has left many rocks piled around the area, but the construction material does not block access. The trail starts here ( 58kb) heading south at approx. 6470 feet in altitude. Cross the road closed gate up a double track road approx. 0.4 miles to where the double track tees into a wide single track. The kicker to the tee is now boulders due to the spring runoff and floods. The stream has carved several feet out of the stream bed which criss-crosses the 100- feet vertical, 0.1 mile horizontal kicker. The trail splits east (92kb) and west ( 74kb) at 6780 feet. Take the trail up ( 63kb) due east, the trail will level off somewhat after a 1/4 mile and bend toward the northeast ( 32kb) for another 3/4 mile before twisting toward the southwest for another mile. Enjoy the views... ( 66kb)
  • Trail Mark 48a : At this point the trail will continue toward the southwest ( 46kb) or turn northwest( 73kb) at trail marker 48a (last trip up the sign was gone). The trail northwest leads to the Lakeview Ski Lift. You will have climbed approx. 1100 feet over 3.6 miles, about an hour's climb.

    The trail to the southwest (to Granlibakken) is 4.6 miles (mostly due east), is single track flash, very few Baby Heads, with the only Rock Garden and Powder Run on the descent into Granlibakken. As you bike east ( 79kb) the trail gently loses about 300 feet of altitude during the next 3 miles around Paige Meadows. There are several Y's in the trail, stay left or straight heading east or northeast. This stretch (85kb) of single track ( 89kb) can be fun as there are very few rocky sections and plenty of opportunity for air.

    The last 1½ miles of single track ( 92kb) drops 600 feet heading first north, then northeast, and finally north. It includes a 1/2 mile stretch ( 84kb) of a somewhat steep rocky section that requires some technical skills. The descent is a powder run marked by baby heads. You will reach Granlibakken Road at approx. 8.3 miles from your start. Take the access road west to West Lake Blvd. and turn left onto the paved bike trail to 64 Acres Park. Again turn left through the park and turn left at all Y's. Cross the bridge, again turn left and approx. 3.4 miles later you will be back at River Run.

To Alpine Meadow's Lakeview:

If you turn right at the 48a trail marker you will start a more advanced trail up to the Alpine Meadows Lakeview ski lift. This single track trail is very technical in places and you will have climbed an additional 1000 feet in elevation when you arrive at the lift. The Scott Chair access road down is run able except for the switchbacks and leads down toward the Weasel Ski Lift. At Weasel you can turn left to head back to Tahoe City, or turn right and follow Weasel back to the Alpine Meadows Ski Resort. Take care near the bottom, it is not steep but there are some very loose spots. When you arrive at the Alpine Ski Area take Alpine Meadows Road back down to River Run.

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Cascades at Squaw Creek Offers Gourmet Breakfast And Dinner Buffets

Address: 400 Squaw Creek Road Olympic Valley, CA 96146
Squaw Valley

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Visit Mountain Pizzeria at Squaw Creek for Delicious Italian Cuisine
Address: 400 Squaw Creek Rd Olympic Valley, CA 96146
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Six Peaks Grille at Squaw Creek Is A Lake Tahoe Favorite for Fine Dining

Address: 400 Squaw Creek Rd Olympic Valley, CA 96146

Alpine Meadows/Squaw Valley/Tahoe City

Western States Trail to Upper Junction

There are two trailheads to the Western States Trail at Midway Bridge. One is underneath the bridge and the other is on the west end of the bridge. From the west end of midway bridge bike up the Western States Trail and follow the trail heading mostly due west toward Squaw Valley. Upper Junction is approx. 2 miles up the trail and the climb is approx. 800 ft.

Powder runs are usually located at all switchbacks and trail intersections. The only Rock Garden is on an out and back near High Junction.

From Upper Junction you can flash the single track down, ride a 2 mile gentle downhill double track, flash the semi-loops on Juniper Mountain Trail, or take one of two trails leading into Squaw Valley.

Paved Bike Path... Squaw Valley - Tahoe City - Dollar Point - Sugar Pines State Park

Located in the region west and northwest of Lake Tahoe are three popular paved bike paths that are collectively called the Tahoe City Bike Paths or the "Bike Trail" if you are a regular on the North Shore near Tahoe City. A popular route is the Bike Path between Squaw Valley / Olympic Valley and Tahoe City along the Truckee River. This is a beautiful ride and perfect for families with kids. The route also runs down the West Shore to Sugar Pines State Park and east along the North Shore toward Dollar Point.

Conveniently located at the beginning of the bike trail, Factory Bike will get you on your way quickly and easily. Factory Bike is Lake Tahoe's premier bike rental, sales and service center. See more on Factory Bikes here (click on green button).

Best single track

My vote for the best single track close to Tahoe City goes to a section of the Tahoe Rim Trail. The trailhead is across from the Family Community Center on Fairview Dr. The trail up from this trailhead is steep and strenuous. Fortunately there is an easier way to the top another 1/2 mile away. Continue up Fairway Dr. and turn left at Bunker. Near the top of Bunker is a Forest access road on the left.

Ride up the access road mostly due north until you reach a fork that splits straight west, or continues northeast. Turn left (west) and continue to the top. The road will bend toward the southwest. At the top, the road will intersect with the TRT. You will have climbed about 1500 feet in this several mile stretch of intermediate climbing. Here take the single track laid out in the shale on your left that is marked with a "closed to motorized vehicles" signpost.

This excellent single track starts rock garden shale which sounds like broken glass as your ride over it in a westerly direction. After approx. 1 mile the rock garden ends and the real fun begins. The remaining several miles of single track leading down to the TRT trailhead contain a variety of challenges. There are flashes of hi speed powder runs that twist and turn through the tall pines and small rock gardens that provide good technical challenges. The trail intersects a runoff ditch, all baby's heads, just cross over it to begin a dabbing kicker back to the TRT trailhead on Fairview Dr. Definitely the best ride of the season!

South Lake Tahoe (really the East Shore)

The Flume Trail

Location: Nevada
Nearest Town: South Lake Tahoe
Directions to Trailhead: From So. Lake Tahoe, take Hwy. 50 north to Hwy. 28. Left on Hwy. 28, continue approx. 1/4 mile, and turn right into Spooner Lake Campground.
Trail Description: Scenic mountain fire road and single track along the eastern side of Lake Tahoe. Incredible views of the lake. Trail Length: 22 miles
Trail Type: Singletrack & Fire Roads
Skill Level: Intermediate

Tahoe Rim Trail

The Tahoe Rim Trail is one of the world's premier trails and is marketed as a 165 mile loop trail. In reality, it is longer and for thru-hikers, you must include road sections. So, for planning purposes, the total mileage is closer to 164 miles.

It is a trail that offers something for everyone. Hiking, horseback riding and skiing are allowed on all portions of the trail.

Click here for more info....

Things to Do Tahoe's Best Travel Info

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South Shore (CA)

Fantastically Fun Lake Tahoe Fishing Charters

Address: 900 Ski Run Blvd Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

All Summer Rafting close to Lake Tahoe!

Address: 10068 Hirschdale Rd. Truckee, CA 96161
North & West Shore (CA)
North Lake Tahoe's most luxurious spa resort…! Spa lodging packages available.
Address: 400 Squaw Creek Road Olympic Valley, CA 96146