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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to be driving down to Fresno and thought I'd make a detour through Tahoe for a day trip. HITG has always been at the top of my list for the tahoe area, but the timing's never worked out. Has anyone ridden this trail yet? and if so what is the trail condition? Patches of snow? miles of snow? 10" deep? 2" deep? If it's not rideable yet what trails are similar (dist. and tech.).

Any info would be appreciated.

SS93
 

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Snow covered "Hole-in-the-Ground

steelstump93 said:
I'm going to be driving down to Fresno and thought I'd make a detour through Tahoe for a day trip. HITG has always been at the top of my list for the tahoe area, but the timing's never worked out. Has anyone ridden this trail yet? and if so what is the trail condition? Patches of snow? miles of snow? 10" deep? 2" deep? If it's not rideable yet what trails are similar (dist. and tech.).

Any info would be appreciated.

SS93
I just spent the weekend at Donner Lake. Local bike shops said the trail was covered in snow :eek: but I didn't get the particulars as to depth and miles. The east side of Truckee was great. Did some of the Tahoe Rim Trail and the Emigrant Gap Trail.

Kat
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Too bad

Thanks for the update Kat.

Anyone else attempt to hike or bike it recently. I'm wondering how conservative the shops would be.
 

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steelstump93 said:
Thanks for the update Kat.

Anyone else attempt to hike or bike it recently. I'm wondering how conservative the shops would be.
It was weird- we rode Truckee to Tahoe City a few weekends back. On the way (80) I passed up the exit to HitG, and wondered... :confused: Got to our ride, and only had to ride thru a couple of drifts. Hard to believe HitG is still socked in. :skep:

I think it's a plot, dreamed up by Gee Dubya's minions. :madman:

fp
 

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Numerous trusted reports say 3+ feet of snow remain on many miles of Hole In The Ground. Back in June earliest local estimates were saying maybe July 15th. Current best estimates have rolled that back a week later.

A couple of riders spoke to me directly around July 2nd, having just attempted to ride HITG. They had been assuming that, although there was deep continuous snow from before the trailhead to the top of Andesite Ridge, they hopefully would be able to hike their bikes over that first ridge (to what they considered the sunny side) and then enjoy the rest of the ride. But from the top of the ridge they saw many square miles of snow to the west. No go.

Sounds like many make that same guess every year. A good guide to guessing the condition of the trail overall from what you find at the trailhead: if the snow has melted down to where there are only occasional drifts, maybe up to a foot deep and only 20 feet across and only forcing you off your bike every quarter mile or so, then you'll probably be able to ride the whole Hole In The Ground loop without too much trouble. If you find snow that is deeper, more frequent and/or more continuous than that, it's a good bet that the main part of the ride is still well buried.
 

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Just rode Tahoe Meadows to Spooner and there was very little hike a bike on the north facing stuff... That was considered socked in as late as the last week of June. I'm sure there's more snow on HITG, but its going FAST. I'm planning on giving it a go next week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess I'll try Spooner to Kingsburry

It looks like HITG will have to wait for another trip. I'll be leaving from the spooner trailhead between 8 and 9 on Sunday in case anyone is in the area.

SS93
 

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Hole in the ground will have snow on that deep woods climb section for another month.

Spooner to kingsbury is more fun anyway......as is baldy, toads, glass mountain etc.

I've never understood the fascination with hitg.
 

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mtbikermom said:
I just spent the weekend at Donner Lake. Local bike shops said the trail was covered in snow :eek: but I didn't get the particulars as to depth and miles. The east side of Truckee was great. Did some of the Tahoe Rim Trail and the Emigrant Gap Trail.

Kat
Just got in from a week at Donner. Spoke with a local about HITG and he had just checked it out and its still buried.
I also tinkered around with Emigrant Trail and some bonus miles yesterday. Nice 20 mile jaunt. Beautiful stuff.
 

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Dawg Fu said:
Numerous trusted reports say 3+ feet of snow remain on many miles of Hole In The Ground. Back in June earliest local estimates were saying maybe July 15th. Current best estimates have rolled that back a week later.

A couple of riders spoke to me directly around July 2nd, having just attempted to ride HITG. They had been assuming that, although there was deep continuous snow from before the trailhead to the top of Andesite Ridge, they hopefully would be able to hike their bikes over that first ridge (to what they considered the sunny side) and then enjoy the rest of the ride. But from the top of the ridge they saw many square miles of snow to the west. No go.

Sounds like many make that same guess every year. A good guide to guessing the condition of the trail overall from what you find at the trailhead: if the snow has melted down to where there are only occasional drifts, maybe up to a foot deep and only 20 feet across and only forcing you off your bike every quarter mile or so, then you'll probably be able to ride the whole Hole In The Ground loop without too much trouble. If you find snow that is deeper, more frequent and/or more continuous than that, it's a good bet that the main part of the ride is still well buried.
It's pretty safe to assume that if you hit any snow on the way up to Andesite Peak, turn around. It's only worse on the north side of the ride.
 

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I too don't understand why HITG is such a Tahoe favorite. I have ridden it a number of times and found it fun, but not my Tahoe favorite. Now if and when you can combine HITG with a single track back down to Truckee, then that could be the SH*T!

My favorite Tahoe ride is up Western States (starts between Squaw and Alpine) to the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT). Take that to the Fiberboard to Watson Lake. Pick up the TRT back towards Tahoe City. Cross over the service road at the top of the Wall and stay on the TRT. Turn right to Missing Link. At bottom of Missing Link turn right and go a couple hundred yards to Western States. Bomb down Western States and you are done. Totals are about 25 miles, 3500 feet.
 

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justbob said:
I too don't understand why HITG is such a Tahoe favorite. I have ridden it a number of times and found it fun, but not my Tahoe favorite. Now if and when you can combine HITG with a single track back down to Truckee, then that could be the SH*T!
Already possible, very nearly.

At the Castle Valley end of HITG, cross the meadow to hop on a spur to a very short section of the PCT (technically illegal but you'll hike most of it, it's rocky) to a trail that takes you to Summit Lake. A short section of fire road links you up with the Donner Rim Trail and you ride excellent singletrack all the way to Tahoe-Donner. In TD, you can find dirt connections down into town if you know where to look.

This summer the friends of the Donner Rim Trail are building a legal, rideable singletrack bypass for that one section of PCT. Volunteers are needed for trail building days most weekends in July, August, September. I'll add more contact info when I find it. It's going to be such a great link-up.
 

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Location, location, location! The ride I described I can ride from my house in Alpine Meadows, so I understand. Less driving to the trailhead is preferred. Hope for continued warm weather to melt the snow.
 

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Dawg Fu said:
Already possible, very nearly.

At the Castle Valley end of HITG, cross the meadow to hop on a spur to a very short section of the PCT (technically illegal but you'll hike most of it, it's rocky) to a trail that takes you to Summit Lake. A short section of fire road links you up with the Donner Rim Trail and you ride excellent singletrack all the way to Tahoe-Donner. In TD, you can find dirt connections down into town if you know where to look.

This summer the friends of the Donner Rim Trail are building a legal, rideable singletrack bypass for that one section of PCT. Volunteers are needed for trail building days most weekends in July, August, September. I'll add more contact info when I find it. It's going to be such a great link-up.
Just rode most of that today, but in the opposite direction. Started in TD, rode to the top and then down a section of the Donner Rim Trail. Sweet piece of trail. Rode up to Summit lake, and then to the rest stop on 80 (I think that's still the DRT) and on a less traveled trail that comes out near Boreal where you start the dirt part of HITG. From there we went down to the Snow Lab and on to some other stuff (including the old train tunnels) ending in Donner State Park, but it would be a he!! of a ride to instead do HITG. I was really imressed with the sections of the Donner Rim Trail I rode.
 

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justbob said:
I too don't understand why HITG is such a Tahoe favorite....
HITG is like a 3 day high Sierra backpack:

- alpine pass
- alpine lakes
- deep into the wilderness (risk awareness and ego modulation :) : ie; don't %#[email protected] up )
- vast vistas

bonus material:
- technical downhills
- boulder playgrounds
- challenging terrain

Beer at the end. :thumbsup: oh wait, that is every ride....

But everyone has their favorites, HITG is mine so I had to speak up, it's all good.

Just rode Rose to Flume last Friday and the snow made it barely rideable in the first climb. Surprisingly, it was the tree shade that kept the snow around. Drifts of 4-5 feet were in the shape of the tree's shadow in the afternoon. Lot's o hike a bike. Mostly clear after the initial climb. Saw 5 people Rose to Flume to lake T, 25 miles :thumbsup:

P
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Great Ride

Spooner to Kingsburry turned out to be a great ride, but Kingsburry back to Spooner was painful (not enough saddle time beforehand). This was one of my main reasons for wanting to try HITG, 17 miles vs. 25. Hopefuly I'll get back next year.

For those of you that might be interested and haven't ridden the trail yet here's a quick description:

From Spooner trailhead it's pretty solid climbing for 5.5 miles to the viewpoint (highest elev.). The trail is fairly smooth, w/ no major tech. sections. The last hundred feet up to the viewpoint the trail gets rocky and loose and stays that way as you ride along the top (~1mile). The next 6 miles down to kingsburry is a combination of smooth fast ups and downs, and several rocky technical sections (especially towards the end). For me this was the highlight of the ride. All but 1 or 2 sections were rideable. Even going back up this section was fun (all but 5 or 6 sections were rideable, for me anyway), up until the point that my back pain became close to unbearable.

If I were to ride the trail again, and I wasn't in any better shape, I would start from
Kingsburry ride the 7miles up to the viewpoint and then ride back. You don't miss much by not doing the spooner side IMO.

SS93
 

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Conditions?

So back to the original point of this thread... has anyone tried riding HITG over last weekend (7/15/7/16)? Conditions?
 
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