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General Information: This wonderful Tahoe view ride gets less publicity than its cousin to the north, The Flume Trail, but has many of the same features. Beautiful views of Lake Tahoe, peaceful riding through alpine forest, and a fantastic single track descent...oh yea, and if done from Kingsbury Grade to Spooner Summit you get 500 extra "free" feet of downhill.

Where To Start/End: We favor the Kingsbury start as you gain 500 feet of downhill going this direction. The trail starts near the top of Kingsbury Grade (Nevada State Route 207) which intersects Highway 50 just north of the Stateline casinos. Make a left turn from Kingsbury Grade onto North Benjamin and follow this to the end of the road. You will see a parking area and sign board for the Tahoe Rim Trail. Start the ride here. If you are in a hurry, you can continue up the Forest Service Road...but it is, well, a road, so why bother?

The ride ends at Spooner Summit near the elevation sign. There is a parking area on the south side of the highway. Most people like to shuttle a car to avoid 18 miles of road riding and 1400' of climbing back up Kingsbury Grade and North Benjamin to their car.

Click to see a trail map and elevation profile.

Trail Description: This ride utilizes a section of the newly completed Tahoe Rim Trail which circumnavigates Lake Tahoe. The trail is a nice single track but does have many areas of rock steps that all but the insane will walk. Still, the trail is rideable most of the way. The trail starts in Pine and Red Fir forest typical of the Tahoe Sierra. Along the way, you'll get lots of filtered views of Lake Tahoe, and in some places, grand vistas open towards the Lake and the Crystal Range beyond. The ride climbs in spurts as it contours around the side of the mountain. You will pass several fire roads along the way, but stay on the Tahoe Rim Trail which is always a single track and usually marked with the blue Rim Trail marker. At about 5 miles, the trail will turn away from the lake and flatten. Ahead and slightly to the east you'll see above you an open, treeless slope, this is the top of the climb. You'll cross another fire road and just when you start to think the climbing is over, you'll begin to ascend, first gently, then more steeply over rocky terrain until you realize, "I'm going to the top of that slope!" And you'll be correct. The trail tops out at 8816 feet on a wind swept slope with a large bench cut from whole logs on which to sit, eat a snack, and enjoy some of the best views Tahoe has to offer.

You are now 7 mile into the wilderness and have 6 miles and over 1600 feet of descent to look forward to! As you head down the other side toward Spooner Summit, the trail is at first rocky and technical, but after a mile or so, turns into a fairly smooth track. Still, it is steep and requires caution. Again the trail will intersect several fire roads (as well as an old fire!) but the trail always picks up again just across the road. The last 3 mils of the descent are the best following a windy smooth single track that allows for some fast riding. (Watch out for sharp turns though!) The trail finishes in the Tahoe Rim Trail parking lot where, hopefully, you parked your shuttle car!

Enironmental Concerns: None.

Advisory: This trail is used not only by mountain bikers, but hikers and equestrians as well. Several sections of the Tahoe Rim Trail have been closed to mountain bikes so be especially courteous to the people you meet on the trail. This includes slowing WAY down when you pass hikers and stopping to let horses go by!

 

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