Posted on 10/26/2018

Bike Trails of North Lake Tahoe & Truckee

Let's Hit The Trails.

As the weather gets cooler and the leaves begin to change, North Lake Tahoe transforms into a paradise for mountain bikers. When you look at the many bike shops, well-maintained trails, and beautiful views in the area, it is no wonder why. The region is full of world-class trails that offer everything from scenic beginner-friendly rides to heart-pumping advanced terrain that will test even the most skilled riders. In this blog post, we will talk about the best bike shops in the area and our top three favorite mountain bike trails in North Lake Tahoe.

Shop At These North Lake Tahoe Bike Rentals

First thing first: if you are traveling from any sort of distance to Lake Tahoe, chances are you probably won't want to haul a bulky bicycle with you. Luckily, there are some excellent bike shops nearby that can help you get outfitted with bikes for the whole family.

  • Olympic Bike Shop: There's something for everyone at this Tahoe City store! They have a wide selection of bicycles available, from kid-friendly to more advanced models. If you're traveling with little ones, this is your best option. They offer trailers, kid seats, and tandem bikes, so you will be able to adventure no matter what! Their rates range from hourly to multi-day and are very reasonable. If you're bringing your own equipment, they have a full-tune shop that can help you with any repairs or maintenance.
  • The Back Country: The staff at The Back Country is what makes them stand out from the competition. Aside from offering bike rentals, this shop is an excellent resource on the best trails in the area and bike tours. If you're looking for a particular type of bike, reach out to the store ahead of time, and they'll try to help! Visit the Truckee store or head to their sister location in Olympic Valley.
  • CyclePaths: a premier bike shop in Truckee known for its extensive range of bicycles and gear tailored for the area's diverse landscapes. Whether you're seeking a leisurely ride or an off-road adventure, Cycle Paths is equipped to meet your needs, ensuring a seamless cycling experience in Tahoe.

The Best Bike Trails In Tahoe

Flume Trail

The Flume Trail is perhaps the most iconic mountain bike trail in North Lake Tahoe. This 14-mile trail offers breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains, making it a must-do ride for anyone visiting the area. The trail starts at Spooner Lake State Park and climbs up to Marlette Lake. From there, the trail follows a ridgeline high above Lake Tahoe, offering stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

The Flume Trail is a challenging ride, with steep climbs and technical sections. However, the views are well worth the effort. The trail is mostly singletrack and is best ridden in the summer and fall when the weather is dry.

Tahoe Rim Trail

The Tahoe Rim Trail is a 165-mile trail that circles Lake Tahoe, offering some of the most stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. While the entire trail is a multi-day adventure, there are plenty of sections that are perfect for day rides.

One of the best sections of the Tahoe Rim Trail for mountain bikers is the section that starts at Tahoe City and ends at Brockway Summit. This 22-mile section is mostly singletrack and offers challenging climbs and thrilling descents. The views of Lake Tahoe are spectacular, and the trail is well-maintained and marked.

Emigrant Trail

If you're a beginner mountain biker looking for a fun and easy trail in North Lake Tahoe, then the Emigrant Trail is a great option. This 4.5-mile trail is located in Truckee and offers a relatively easy ride with minimal elevation gain. The trail follows the path of an old railroad grade and features a smooth and wide dirt path, making it an ideal ride for beginners. Along the way, you'll enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and pass through beautiful meadows and forests. The trail is well-marked, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the scenery. Plus, the trailhead is conveniently located near the historic downtown area of Truckee, making it easy to grab a bite to eat or explore the shops after your ride.

Truckee Bike Park

The Truckee Bike Park is a haven for bikers of all ages and skills. With an array of features including pump tracks, skill sections, and jump lines, the park is designed to cater to everyone from beginners to advanced riders. It's a fantastic community spot to learn, practice, and enhance biking skills in a fun and safe environment.

Northstar California Bike Park

For those craving adrenaline, the Northstar California Bike Park offers an unparalleled downhill and cross-country biking experience. With a wide variety of trails accessible by lift, riders can enjoy everything from smooth, banked turns to challenging descents. The park serves as a comprehensive biking destination for enthusiasts seeking thrills amidst the beauty of Tahoe's landscapes.

Happy Face Trail

Embark on the Happy Face Trail, a 4-mile loop that treats riders to a moderate climb up the scenic Bald Mountain. Revamped in 2021 for sustainability, the trail begins across from the Sawtooth Parking area, sharing its initial path with the Timber Cruise Trail before veering left into an ascent. The climb is gentle and non-technical, leading to exhilarating downhill sections marked by fast, flowy descents, jumps, and berms for a thrilling ride. While the trail is rated moderate due to its loose soil and rocky features, it's a delightful challenge that promises a 'happy face' at every turn. Note that the trail is also popular with dirt bikers, adding to the dynamic experience. To reach the Happy Face Trail, start off the 06 road opposite the Sawtooth Trailhead Host spot and follow the signs for a counter-clockwise adventure to the top of Bald Mountain.

Stay In A Home From Tahoe Truckee Properties

After you've explored these bike trails in Tahoe, return to Tahoe Truckee Properties for a relaxing stay. We have the most beautiful rental homes in North Lake Tahoe, including the most dog-friendly properties of any other vacation rental management company in the region. When you book a home with us, you'll have access to a wealth of local knowledge, making it easy to plan the ultimate lakeside getaway. Check our full selection of homes and book today. We look forward to having you.

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