MTB Rides and Routes
This page started to publicize some of our favorite rides in the Lake Tahoe area. We have about a dozen favorite “epic” Tahoe rides that we’d love to share. Blogs evolve over time though, and this page has begun to expand to include riding outside Tahoe.
That said, we’d like to share some of our favorites from Tahoe and elsewhere. After years of exploring, dead ends, death marches, wrong turns and bushwhacking, we’ve come up with some pretty good rides. Local knowledge in putting together fun loops is key, and we hope to include the type of rides we’d want to draw inspiration from. All of our featured rides are in the strong intermediate to advanced level (due to terrain, time, and distance). Expect long climbs and descents, and technical trails. Expect great trails and epic views. As always, do your own reality check and go prepared. (I strongly recommend a paper map and compass if you are unfamiliar with the area- GPS doesn’t always work in canyons and trees).
I’m slowly working on writing up some of our favorite rides. Here are a few rides so far:
- Mountain Biking Tahoe’s West Shore
- Xmas Valley Loop (South Lake Tahoe 15-17+ miles)
- Mt. Waston- Western States Loop (North Lake Tahoe 27 miles)
- Hole in the Ground + Donner Lake Rim Trail (North Lake Tahoe- up to 34 miles out-and-back)
- Riding the Redwoods in Ft. Bragg and Mendocino (Northern California Coast)
- Dread and Terror on the North Upmqua Trail (Central Oregon)
Always practice Backcountry Trail MTB Ethics-
- Minimize car usage. Try to avoid driving your car to ride your bike. Ride to the trailhead whenever you can. Shuttling to the top sucks. Earn your descents.
- Park smart at the trail head. (When you do need to drive there). You don’t need to block the road or park right at the trailhead for a 2-hour+ ride. If it’s crowded, park down the road.
- Ride in Control. Everyone likes to rip it on the mountain bike. Don’t let your need for speed ruin another trail user’s experience.
- Ride it DON’T slide it! Locking up your rear wheel trashes trails and is an indication of poor riding skills .
- Pack it out. Never leave tubes or trash on the trail. Pack out someone else’s trash if you see it. Even banana peels, and bits of GU/powerbar wrappers have an impact.
- Yield to other trail users. Stop completely for all horses and communicate with their riders. Yield to hikers. Uphill riders have the right of way.
- Help each other out. Share directions, trail knowledge, and mechanical assistance.
- Set a good example. Your actions in the backcountry have a direct impact on future MTB access.
- Get Involved. You can help, even in small but important ways. Volunteer your time. Donate to advocacy organizations. Help keep trails open and clear. Clear trees and branches, drain standing water, move rocks. Every bit helps.