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General Information: This ride is a South Lake Tahoe jewel. The Tahoe Rim Trail circles the entire basin, but this section takes you from the Stagecoach chair lift near Daggett Pass on Kingsbury Grade all the way to Armstrong Pass and down to the top of the Coral Loop and finally to Oneidas Road. Twenty miles and over 3700' of climbing make this a solid advanced ride. The ride can take anywhere from 3 1/2 to 7 hours depending on the condition and experience of the riders. There are sections that no one could ride as well as sandy sections, especially in late summer, that may try your patience. But lots of stellar views and wonderful downhill single track make this a "must ride" for advanced and expert riders.

Tahoe Rim Trail:_ South from Kingsbury to Oneidas Road: _Map and Profile

Where To Start: The ride starts at the Stagecoach chair lift on Heavenly Valley's Nevada side. To get there, head up Kingsbury Grade (just north of the casinos on US 50) all the way to the top. Turn right on Tramway drive. The road turns into a one way street and shortly after makes a hairpin turn. The chair lift will come into view. You can see the trail heading up the run above the lift. You will also see a blue, triangular Tahoe Rim Trail marker.

Trail Description: Even though you start at 7600', the first thing you do is climb, climb, climb. Some of this part of the trail must be walked, but much of it is ridable. The trail climbs to the east, then switch backs to the south. Along the way, you are afforded expansive views of the Carson Valley with the Pine Nut Range off in the distance to the east. The trail then begins to contour south passing through Mott Canyon then around toward Killabrew Canyon. All the while, the trail is mostly climbing. Some sections in this area are very sandy and must be walked. Eventually, you will arrive at Monument Pass at around 9000'. From here, you get a bit of flat to moderate downhill as the trail contours lower. The trail turns more steeply downhill after a few miles. At this point, you can see the massive High Meadow area with Lake Tahoe in the background. After losing many hundreds of feet, you must climb once again to Star Lake. Star Lake is a fine place for a rest and lunch. If you have a filter, you may want to refill your water bottles here, because it is a long, dry climb from Star Lake to the pass just northwest of Freel Peak. From 9000' at Star Lake, you climb to 9700' at the pass in just a few short miles.

From the pass, the fun begins. Most of the climbing is now behind you! Yippee! Over the next 9 miles you drop from 9700' to 6300', a vertical loss of 3400'. The trail is a fine single track for most of this, allowing you to ride virtually the entire distance. After about 3 miles, you will pass a trail junction (Armstrong Pass) where a trail heads left (south) towards highway 89. Keep going straight here for a few hundred feet where you will see another trail that branches right (north) off the Rim Trail. This is the Armstrong Pass trail. If you are still feeling strong, you can continue straight on the Rim Trail for another few miles to Tucker Flat and descend Mr. Toad's Wild Ride or some people shuttle a car to the Big Meadow parking lot and head there instead, but you lose out on 1500' of great single track downhill! But in this case, take the right turn and head down towards Fountain Place. The trail here is fantastic and fun! Eventually, the trail will cross a stream and pop out onto a paved road (Fountain Place Road). Follow this road for a couple of miles until it makes a left hairpin turn. Look right for a trail marker that stays "Coral". At this point, you can continue down Fountain Place Road to Oneidas, or to get more dirt, take the Coral trail until it intersects with the Powerline Trail. Turn left under the power lines and cross the stream. Just past the stream, take a left on a dirt road. Follow this road to the paved Fountain Place Road. Turn right onto the paved road and follow it to your (shuttled) car.

Congratulations! You just finished a heck of a ride!

Environmental Concerns: Lots of sand means lots of erosion. Please stay on the trail! It is less important that you "ride" a difficult section than it is to protect the trail. When in doubt...walk it! As always, keep it clean, pack it out, pick up after those who didn't, stay 200 yards away from steams and lakes when...you know...you've gotta go.

Advisory: This trail was initially closed to bikes...what a shame! To keep it open we must exercise extreme courtesy with hikers and equestrians. Bikers should slow down to a near stop when passing hikers and should pull completely off the trail and stop to allow horses to pass. Say hi, share a smile, and remember we all need to share our dwindling natural resources. The trail crosses close to private land. Please respect the owners property rights.

 

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NOTICE: While the information on this site is thought to be accurate and reliable, it is offered only as a guide and cannot replace sound personal judgement.

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