Springtime Mountain Biking

May 15, 2014 | Tim Hauserman

In recent blog posts I talked about paddling and hiking…now let’s move on to springtime mountain biking. North Tahoe and Truckee have some of the world’s best mountain biking, and fortunately, a good bit of it pops out from under the snow before some of the higher altitude hiking trails. Here are a few of my favorite springtime riding romps:

Emigrant Trail
This is a favorite early season trail not only because it is one of the first to emerge from the snow, but because it is not as challenging as some of the other favorites, giving your biking legs a chance to ease into the season. There are several potential trailheads north of Truckee on Highway 89. One is the Donner Camp site, about 4 miles north of Truckee. This one has lots of parking and a restroom facility, but the first mile has some challenging spots for beginning riders. If you have a few extra minutes, be sure and take a stroll on the interpretative boardwalk and learn some of the history of the Donner Party. My favorite starting point is a mile further north on Highway 89, at the dirt parking area just across the Prosser Creek Bridge. From here the trail heads to Stampede Reservoir in 9 miles.

Tahoe Cross-Country/Burton Creek State Park
The home of Tahoe Cross-Country Ski Area in the winter is prime mountain biking terrain in the summer and fall. There is something for everyone here. Long climbs which lead to technical riding and great lake views, and shorter loops of rolling fun. Tahoe XC also has a bike rental facility, food service, and restrooms in the summer. Go to www.tahoexc.org for more information and directions to the trailhead.

Page Meadows
Page Meadows are the centerpiece of a network of trails which span the area between Tahoe City and Alpine Meadows. There are miles of trails and a variety of starting points including Rawhide Drive in Tahoe City, Ward Creek Blvd. near Sunnyside, and Upper Bench Road in Alpine Meadows. To protect the fragile environment, wait until the meadows are dry before riding through them. Once they are dry, you will enjoy a spectacular display of wildflowers and views of Twin Peaks.