There are few communities that have as many readily accessible mountain biking trails as South Lake Tahoe. The South Lake Tahoe mountain biking mecca is a community located in the southern portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Lake Tahoe is noted as the second clearest alpine lake in the world and separated by two states: California on the west and Nevada on the east. It consists of the City of South Lake Tahoe and bordered by Douglas County, Nevada to the northeast and El Dorado County, California to the southwest.
Single track trails have been an important Tahoe recreational resource for decades. Thanks to the efforts of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association (TRT), who in the early 80’s set out to build a single track hiking trail surrounding the entire lake. This trail is now 164 miles around the perimeter of the entire Lake of which 100 miles is open to mountain biking.
These efforts are made possible with the support of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU), the regional USFS division, who owns nearly 80% of the land in the Tahoe basin.
In more recent times, the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) has picked up the shovel to work in collaboration with TRT and LTBMU to improve these trails and build new ones. They and others share a vision of connecting communities with a basin-wide network of single track trails for mountain biking and hiking. There are currently well over 125 miles of single track trails for mountain biking in the region and growing.
South Lake Tahoe Mountain Biking Trails Information
Here in South Lake Tahoe, you can ride a network of single track mountain biking trails ranging from easy skill levels meandering through the forest to more strenuous trails that can challenge your stamina and technical skills. In all, there is a trail to match anyone’s interest and skill level for days on end riding without duplication.
By design, South Lake Tahoe mountain biking will take your breath away. You will experience vistas of majestic peaks like Mt. Tallac, Pyramid Peak, Freel Peak and Jobs Sisters, (each near or over 10,000 feet of elevation). Plus, you can enjoy the added bonus of unparalleled Lake and valley views, and a number of high alpine lakes to enjoy fishing, camping, or just relaxing and connecting to the outdoors.
To grasp the scope and abundance of the South Lake Tahoe mountain biking mecca take a look at the most popular trails mentioned below. (Keep in mind, this is not a complete list of South Tahoe trails as there are many more local connecting trails). Perhaps the most helpful way to navigate South Lake Tahoe mountain biking options is to locate key roadway access points. These access points are key arterial roadways for getting around South Tahoe and connect to many trail-heads.
Here is a mountain biking trail list segmented by geography and arterial roadways (View complete bike trails listings):
Northeastern Boundary – Kingsbury Grade (Nevada State Highway 207)
• The Bench
• Sierra Canyon
• Pony Express
• Van Sickle Connector
• Monument Pass
• K – K
Midtown – Ski Run Blvd & Pioneer Trail (Pioneer Trail is an important roadway bisecting South Tahoe)
• Cold Creek
• High Meadows
• Star Lake
• Armstrong Connector
• Incense Cedar
• Railroad Grade
• Mr. Toads
Southwest – Lake Tahoe Blvd, North & South Upper Truckee Road
• Tahoe Mountain
• Mule Deer Connector
• Angora Ridge
• Angora Lake
• Gun Mount
• Washoe Meadow
• Hawley Grade Mr. Toads
• Christmas Valley
• Round Lake
• Scotts Lake
• Dardanelle Lake
• Mr. Toads
You can see there are many South Lake Tahoe mountain biking trails that make up the mecca. But you may be wondering what is the distance of all these trails from the downtown Stateline tourist lodging corridor? The Stateline area marks the border of California and Nevada with a bed base of over 4,000 beds. The distance from Stateline to the northeast boundary of the Kingsbury Grade base is one mile. Midtown Ski Run Blvd. and the beginning of Pioneer Trail is one mile from Stateline, and another 7 miles to the gateway of the Corral network of trails.
The Southwest area from Stateline is 8 miles accessing great mountain biking at the Tahoe Mountain and Valley View areas and beyond. The furthest reach of South Tahoe mountain biking for Mr. Toads, Christmas Valley Downhill, Round, Scott and Dardanelles Lakes is 15 miles to the trail heads.
Many South Lake Tahoe mountain biking trails are easily ride-able from your lodging property. To access other South Lake Tahoe trails without the need of your vehicle, you can use Tahoe Transportation District’s buses with bike racks or hire a local bike shop shuttle service that can transport you to the furthest reaches of South Lake Tahoe trails.
Getting more specific trail details for the South Lake Tahoe mountain biking mecca, and other trails in the region, is easy with a great local nonprofit Bike Tahoe where you can get interactive Google maps, ride details, photos and videos for many of the trails listed above.
If you have never been mountain biking in South Lake Tahoe it is recommended you prepare for your visit and ride by checking out the resources on the website. When you are here you can also check in with a local bike shop to get some of the most current suggestions and updates on trail conditions.
Have fun. Stay safe and make smart decisions as a member of the mountain biking community.