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Level: Intermediate
Length: 165 mi (265.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +673/ -575 ft
Total: 166 riders

Mountain Biking Tahoe Rim Trail

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#3 of 1,003 mountain bike trails in California
#37 in the world

The Tahoe Rim Trail encompasses the ridge tops of the Lake Tahoe Basin, crossing six counties, and two states. The trail overlaps with approximately fifty miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. On this trail you will find awesome technical singletrack that weaves around all of Lake Tahoe.

First added by dppaladino on Apr 25, 2005. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Trailheads for the Tahoe Rim Trail: Brockway East (off of Forest Service Rd 16N56) Tahoe Meadows Trailhead (Hwy 431) Plus Parking is available at the summit on a limited basis Spooner Summit (North or South) Kingsbury Grade (North or South) Big Meadow Trailhead (Hwy 89) Echo Summit sno-park (Hwy 50 at the summit) Echo Lakes (upper parking lot) Barker Pass (Forest Service Rd 15N38)
System trails (10)
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Tahoe Rim Trail Trail map

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Local Info

Trail checkins

stillfat (on Oct 20, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Dry (on Sep 26, 2020)
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Camping & Lodging

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Tahoe Rim Trail videos

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Mountain Biking The Tahoe Rim Trail
Tahoe Rim Trail Aug 2010
Tahoe Rim Trail Aug 2010
Tahoe Rim Trail 50 Miler 2009
Lake Tahoe Rim Trail part 2
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Tahoe City, California

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Rider questions

Q: We're from Europe and like to discover some singletracks in California (this is one handy website!). We would like to ride a part of the Tahoe Rim trail... Impossible to bring our own gear from Europe (bikes and so...). Are there any recommendations to rent some quality MTB gear in the neighbourhood of Lake Tahoe? Thanks for the replies. Grtz, K.

Q: What is the best time of year to ride Tahoe?

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  • kuala_tahan

    Rode this in reverse, Brockway Summit to Tahoe City. Got shuttled to Brockway. Absolute blast. Mix of climbing (smooth and technical), and great, challenging descents. The trail's pretty rocky, so it'll beat you up some and you need to be on your game the whole time. Not for beginners, you need to be in good shape and know how to ride techie stuff. The final (long) descent into Tahoe City is good & rocky, so when you're tired you gotta fight through it. I think you drop about 1000 more feet than you gain going this direction. Great views. Solid Rim-job.

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  • Orinda8

    This section of the Rim trail follows a paved road (fibreboard freeway) so I find it more fun to start at Brockway summit on hwy 267 and bypass the first turnoff to the rim trail that goes north of the paved road. I ridenthenpaved road west over about one mile climb 11-14% grade then look for the rim trail as it crosses to the south side of the road. Here you start a downhill ride over one mile of very rock trail seemingly more rocky than in prior years. I very often have mechanical issues in this section and sometimes have to walk out for repairs. After the first mile the climbing starts again but over just occasional rocks and at 5% grade. After about three miles you cross a fire road that leads back to the paved road for those who have had enough otherwise cross the fireroad and start a steeper climb still with many rocky sections. Trail is in good condition After arriving at Watson Lake I advise taking the paved road back, free all you are working at 7-8,000 ft elevation

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  • chrisfroelich

    Great trail for those with good lungs. Elevation is mostly between 7500' and 8200' with a top elevation of 8400'. Combine that with some moderate climbs and it can test your fitness. If your going to shuttle, I prefer starting on the Spooner side and ending at Kingsbury parking lot. The trail seems directional to me when it comes to the technical aspects. As an intermediate rider, I can ride from Spooner to Kingsbury without bailing on all but a few features. From Kingsbury to Spooner, I have to get off my bike a couple dozen times. Weird, but true. You do give up descending about 3-4 miles of tasty flow that is on the North end when you ride this direction but that section is quite popular with hikers which interfere with the Zen like ride anyways. When you start at Spooner, be ready for some climbing to start. It's not beastly in grade, but it's fairly relentless. When you see the "bench" (literally, a log bench overlooking the lake), rest, hydrate, eat your Goo and enjoy the view for a moment. Then continue on my friends for incredible single track goodness. It's really a beautiful stretch of track. Stretches of flow, some shorter climbs, rocks, trees, views, exposure.... It's all here. Enough to keep your rapt attention, but nothing you need to be a pro or expert to finish.

    Now, if I'm not going to shuttle, I prefer to start my out and back on the other side. I go from Kingsbury to the "bench" and then turn around. That's the section with most of the fun and you don't start off with a killer climb that way. In fact, you lose it altogether. Along with the corresponding downhill, I know. But honestly, if I'm looking for flow trail after a climb there's better alternatives very close by (aka. Coral trail). Another bonus is that, except for the 0.5 miles from the parking lot to the TRT proper, this doesn't seem like a popular spot with hikers. Probably because the trailhead isn't on a major US highway.

    They have also recently completed the Sierra Canyon Trail that starts about 5 miles along the trail from Kingsbury. If you can, do it! After the best 5 miles on the regular trail, turn East at the trail marker for 9 miles of downhill pleasure. You drop about 4000' into the town of Genoa and then it's only a 15 minute drive to shuttle back up to Kingsbury. It's about 40 minutes to shuttle to Spooner from Genoa.

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  • Brian K. Holder
    Reviewing Rose to Toads:

    Mt. Rose to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is THE Tahoe area ride. Having the Toad's section, with its technical rock gardens and drops, the last 8 miles is pure evil genius. 100k is a lengthy ride. Do not come unprepared. The distance to help, should you injure yourself, is arduous and long. Not recommended for solo travel.
    The route does afford exceptional views of Lake Tahoe, and you get to see vistas from the North to the South. Water caching will be necessary for anyone attempting to ride the trail in a day.

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  • Hunter411   ✓ supporter

    Super awesome Epic Ride. Take shuttl up to meadows and ride to Marlette Lake. Many options we dropped down and did Red House Flume Trail to Marlette, I took Flume Trail back to Tumnel Creek. 24 miles of pure bliss.
    TRT is open on even days only. Call flume trail bikes for shuttle reservations. Intermediate and above. Not a beginner due to length, altitude and technical sections.

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  • Jane Garrison

    We did the "bench trail" and it was very technical. You start at the top of North Benjamin which is off Kingsbury. Drive to top of No Benjamin and park in the lot right before the fire road. Take the trail head not the fireroad. After about the first mile of uphill there is a fork. For the bench trail go to the right toward spooner lake. We did not make it to the bench since someone was shooting a gun in the woods and it spooked us. Besides that the ride was fantastic! It is single track the whole way and very technical with rock gardens and roots to ride over. There were many spots that we just walked over the rocks. You are truly in the pines with with views of the lake.

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  • Sierradirtslayer   ✓ supporter

    One of my favorite trails in Tahoe. This one has lots of techinical riding involved. I suggest leaving a car at both ends or your looking at a big out and back I parked in Kings Beach at the Safeway and when I ended in Tahoe City I took a bus back for $1.

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  • Rydeordie

    Can only ride this on even days. Difficult to do as a loop. Fun to ride from here to spooner then shuttle back. Spooner downhill can get sandy and busy during the summer months. The trail starts at the end of the meadows just before 341 turns down to incline. Park there and the trail heads south climbs a bit 1.5 ,miles then descends to the intersection with tunnel and the flume trail.

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  • justin70

    Snowed overnight in Tahoe City, and some snow at the resorts.
    Have never ridden on snow before, so took my AM bike out anyway - knowing it was going to be sketchy.
    The first couple of miles out of Tahoe City were lung-busting but mostly rideable. After that, the snow was more continuous and the riding wasn't. Would be good on a fat bike perhaps, but not with 2.3" tyres.
    Enjoyed the views though - beautiful scenery and forest

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  • tlongpine

    Why is the TRT rated "intermediate", but each of the segments here are rated black diamond.

    As a whole, the trail is easier than it's parts? Please explain.

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  • LouD

    I recently rode the TRT from where it intersects with fire road 16N53 down to highway 89 in Tahoe City. It was spectacular. I have been Mountain Biking since April 2012 and found this to be the most challenging trail yet. Lots of Rock Garden, sweet single track and awesome views. While I was stopped after a challenging climb through some very loose shale three other MTB riders buzzed past me making long for improving my single track technical skills. I had a blast!

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  • *****

    One of my overall favorite rides in the entire Tahoe basin. Bring extra water, extra sunscreen, and an extra de-railer. One of the only areas I've seen Mule Deer in the summer. while Mt. Biking. Im pretty sure this ride is much more than 13 miles. * Review edited 7/15/2012

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    I only rode a portion of this trail (about 20 miles), and it was amazing the entire time! High alpine singletrack, great views, great climbs, great descents... I don't know what else to say besides this is a truly epic route, a truly epic experience. I need some time to process and find words to describe this.

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  • abegold

    This trail is long and beautiful, either overloking the lake, the forest or the valleys.
    Not a big fan of the Flume section as it was pretty easy doubletrack, but the views are sweet. Southern sections I rode were more fun and singletrack thru forests and meadows.* Review edited 6/3/2012

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  • dcluley

    Unparalleled for scenery and holy crap views. . . Half the time when you are riding, you want to just stop and take a picture or soak it all in! Not the best ride in the world. I went north, and the climb to get up there was hell for a weekend warrior from flatland. The long sustained climb and elevation factor made me have to actually walk some sections, I think what the guy at the shop referred to as "cardiac hill." Once you get up there, it's a lot of fun. We stopped at Marlette lake to take it in, recover, eat some energy bars/blocks, and then on to the flume. Turns out you didn't need the energy after that. The Flume trail was not hard or technical at all, with the exception of some areas where you are close to the edge and the treacherous section they make you walk. It is all worth it for the view though! After that it is bombing down the other side with some erosion table jumps and sketchy corners with sand when you are going that fast! Best ride in the world? No. Worth it for the view, experience, and crossing a legendary top 10 trail of your bucket list? Definitely!* Review edited 2/18/2012

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  • slparker77

    Really fun trail but definitely not as gnarly on the downhill as described... Any intermediate rider with a full suspension rig should be able to clear most of it the first time. It's also not that steep... That being said, it's a great rolling ride with a few tech sections. Well worth a ride!

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