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Lake Tahoe
2006

 

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I was blown away with the beauty of the area and learned that not everything revolves around the lake. There are lots of cool places outside the lake basin. The Tahoe Rim Trail is just amazing. It will encircle the entire lake and will be 150 miles when its finished. Having a few extra days this time(10 days instead of 7 or 8) really made a difference and I see a Spokejunkie trip here down the road. Without a doubt, this was the most climbing I have done on any trip so far. But the rewards were justified by the scenery and the impending downhill. When you are climbing up to incredible vistas and have a 9 mile downhill in front of you the climbing is tolerable if not enjoyable.

Highlights:
* The longest downhill of my life in Downievlle(15 miles) that took 2 hours to get down.
* Going 10 straight days(6 rides,4 hikes) and saving the hardest ride for last. For pics and a report on my last ride Click HERE
* Seeing two bears on two different rides!
* Taking a dip in an alpine lake in the middle of a ride.
* Riding the famous Mr. Toads Wild Ride that I had been hearing about for years.
* Doing a 10 mile hike while ascending 2800 feet and seeing many lakes and snow capped mountains.

Lake Tahoe Rides

Most of the shots were taken on parts of the Tahoe Rim Trail. I will note in the caption if it is not on the TRT. The TRT is huge and there are many different sections of it as it encircles the entire lake. Here are some notes on some of the Rides we did:

Emigrant Trail - A nice "little" first warm up ride to get used to the elevation. (about 6500 - 7000 feet) Out and back we did about 25 miles. Nothing to steep or hard and rolling terrain. Some fast sections particularly on the way back.

The Flume - Not technical, but amazing views overlooking the lake. The best way to ride it is to get shuttled and do the 9 mile section before the Flume on the TRT. That section was as good as, if not better than the Flume itself. Then ride back to your car. There's a bike shop there that provides shuttle service on weekends.

Mr. Toads Wild Ride - The most technical Trail in the Tahoe area. Also known as Saxon Creek Trail. 9 miles downhill. Can you handle that? There are many ways you can ride this but we took the TRT up,up,up to the ridge through Armstrong Pass and then down Toads. Thankfully, we got a ride up the 5 mile road where we parked. That would have been a buzz kill otherwise. The loop was about 16 miles.

Downieville Downhill- Have you ever gone 15 miles downhill? Can you even imagine? Lets just say you'll be stopping due to hand cramps several times. Technical at the top, fast singletrack through pine forest in the middle, and fast off camber singletrack near the bottom overlooking a creek 100 feet down(serious exposure) with the clearest water you've ever seen. It'll take you about 2 hours and you'll drop about 5000 feet. Wicked!

Lake Tahoe Hikes

We did 4 hikes total. The biggest hike we did was by Emerald Bay. This was the second best hike I have ever done(the first being Goat Lake in Sun Valley) It was a 10 mile Hike ascending 2800 feet going into Desolation Wilderness and ultimately turning around at Velma Lakes. On the way down we went by Eagle Falls. This hike provided stellar views of The Lake and Emerald Bay.
Another day we hiked Cascade Falls Trail which was very cool. There were many opportunities to play around on the open rock face after doing the main trail.
On the next to last day I hiked a portion of the PCT(Pacific Crest Trail) up to Barker Pass. Some incredible views up there! There is so much to hike in the area you would need months and months to hike it all.

I would say that the riding in Tahoe is as good as anywhere I have ever ridden. My current favorite spot, SW Utah, still holds the edge because of the variety of terrain whereas Tahoe's terrain was similar. But the riding there is absolutely stellar.
I must thank James Ehlers(aka Hayduke) and his wife Laura for making our vacation way better than it would have been otherwise. James knew many of the routes and cool spots and drove us around all week in his truck to the rides. Thanks guys!

Biking Pictures
Hiking Pictures

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