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Trying to figure out a 4 to 5 day trip to the Lake Tahoe area this summer. Have never ridden up there so I am pretty clueless. I am coming from Arizona and will meet my 30 yr old son there (He’s lives in San Francisco).

Looking for a few fun moderate/intermediate rides. Nothing too technical or too physical. 2 to 4 hour rides would be good. Where should we stay? Truckee? NorthStar? South Lake Tahoe? We would just get a hotel or airbnb or something like that. In addition to some bike rides we would like to drink some craft beer and eat some good cheap food (like tacos). Anything else we should do while in the area? What suggestions do you guys have? Thanks
 

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just another bleepin SSer
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Flume Trail is a can't miss. Few options on how to do it, including with a paid shuttle if you don't want the miles. https://flumetrailtahoe.com/ for shuttle info. https://flumetrailtahoe.com/trail-info/ for some other info. Or google flume trail.

Oh, hopefully you are looking at a trip in July or later, as there is still lots of snow...
 

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last year we stayed at fallen leaf lake campground. The Angora trails are right there, ride from camp and are not too chunky. Probably call them intermediate. Also had a nice beach swimming area.

We shuttled with Over the Edge right off Ski Run Blvd. They are great folks and you might want to give them a call if you are looking at south shore.

North shore and south shore are quite a haul from each other and if it is a summer weekend forget it as traffic is pretty bad. You may want to pick one or the other.

There is a lot of great riding in north shore and the flume trail would be easier accessed from the north shore. I haven't ridden north shore so someone else might comment.

Still a lot of snow in the upper elevations. Our summer here hasn't materialized yet and there was more snow falling yesterday. So, might want to plan on at least middle July or later. Some more informed mountain folk might be able to comment on that.

Good luck
 

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A couple things to keep in mind irrespective of where you ride: it can be very hot in the afternoon and altitude can be a factor. I would recommend giving yourself a wide margin of error with regard to time, water, food, and level of exertion. Even the Flume trail can be no joke in the summer starting from Spooner Lake.
 

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J-Flo
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Nobody mentioned Toads yet. That’s a must.

Note that the Flume Trail is not really about the trail. It’s about the mind-boggling views.

If you have five days I would stay in two places and split the trip between North LT / Truckee (could also add Downieville, it’s only about an hour and a half from Truckee) and South LT.
 

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Rollin 29s
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Tahoe Rim Trail from Tahoe Meadows to Tunnel Creek is nice and relatively flat with great views on both sides of the rim you traverse. Looping back Northbound on Flume to Diamond Peak Ski Resort and then a short ride to where you parked on Mt Rose Hwy.




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A couple things to keep in mind irrespective of where you ride: it can be very hot in the afternoon and altitude can be a factor. I would recommend giving yourself a wide margin of error with regard to time, water, food, and level of exertion.
What he said! Morning rides are the best around here, wind is typically calm, and since most people like to sleep in on their vacation even if it's a busy time you generally have the trails to yourself. Mid-day heat plus altitude can be very punishing.

First thing is basically decide: North lake or South lake. With a few small exceptions the trails are generally clustered at either end so the best places to stay are either somewhere around South Lake Tahoe, or Truckee/Tahoe City/etc. South Lake is definitely more crowded and IMO has a bit more of a "party" feel to it, probably because of the proximity to the casinos. North lake/Truckee IMO has a more pleasant "outdoorsy" mountain town feel to it. Both get extremely busy with tourists in the summer.

Whichever you pick, North or South, it's not really gonna be worth it to wade through summer traffic over an hour or so each way just to get to the other end. But each end has plenty of stuff to entertain you for 4 or 5 days.
 

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RIDDLELDDIR
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Tahoe has seen a near record amount of snow this season. I've ridden Oneidas the past few days back to back and Tahoe Mtn as well, and wow, the snow... Oneidas is clear from the parking lot all the way to Corral, and beyond the second gate. Until the last long climb to Armstrong, the road is clear. As soon as the road turns flat and you approach the parking area at the upper trailheads, the snow drifts start. That is at 7500'. Most drifts are in excess of 3' deep and mostly over 100' long and require substantial walking. Access to TRT, Freel Peak, Toads, etc are all bound by deep snow. Basically, anything above 7500' is going to see abundant snow. I would imagine the lower gate to Corral OHV would be open this or next week, and the upper gate would open late June, and be hard pressed to open by July 4th with the amount of snow that is there. The upper gate being closed is great, because the shuttling vehicles will be relegated to the lower areas, leaving the peace and quiet to those who prefer to pedal.

I don't think toads will be clear to ride until late June, early July.
 

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Nobody mentioned Toads yet. That's a must.

Note that the Flume Trail is not really about the trail. It's about the mind-boggling views.

If you have five days I would stay in two places and split the trip between North LT / Truckee (could also add Downieville, it's only about an hour and a half from Truckee) and South LT.
S Lake is too technical per his description. I would stay N lake and then daytrip Downieville.
 

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F*** it
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For South Lake, I highly recommend Armstrong Connector to Corral and/or Sidewinder (all moderate tech). The climb up Fountain Place is steep in parts, but paved. At the bottom you have the option to pedal halfway back up for whatever you missed. Also, the Christmas Valley loop--including Dardanelles Lake--is pretty awesome.

You can find an airbnb around Myers (go to Divided Sky post-ride) if you like it quiet or closer to the lake if you want more options and crowds. Bijou Bike Park is also worth checking out. Check the TAMBA and Over the Edge sites for more trail info.
 

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... Also, the Christmas Valley loop--including Dardanelles Lake--is pretty awesome.
I like Christmas Valley, but if the OP is looking for "moderate/intermediate rides. Nothing too technical or too physical." I suspect they might want to avoid climbing TRT as part of that loop, and probably avoid an out and back to Dardanelles, but they can see how it is going at that point anyways. Not really sure what level of tech they are looking for here.
 

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Wēk Sôs
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FWIW, I didn't find Armstrong Connector to be worth the effort. I actually found it sucky. Corral top to bottom is good.

Tahoe Mountain is OK too. Not too hard, I think it should fall into your criteria.
 

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Some good advice in here, and lots of bad advice, too. Plenty in South Lake or North Tahoe to suit you. Wouldn't be hard to check out both, just don't do the drive around the lake in the middle of the day, not a big deal, might as well see as much as you can while you're here. As mentioned, later in summer when the snow is melted will give you most options, but there will be plenty of riding available by the end of June.
Don't ride Toads. Yes, it's a rad ride, but not what you are looking for, lots of other options you'll find more enjoyable. Freel Pass (up Cold Creek, down Armstrong) would be a great ride for you if you are up for a big day, lots of miles and vert, but incredible views and not too techy. Flume is kinda boring, but amazing views, would be worth it to do from Tahoe Meadows (Mt. Rose) and either return to Rose or arrange a shuttle and drop down to Chimney Beach. Infinite options in North Tahoe, start at Tahoe XC and use Trailforks to get up to the Rim Trail and ride as long as you like. Downelivlle is also highly recommended, not too tough to do a couple runs if you plan it right.
Summer in Tahoe is perfect camping weather, pretty easy to jump in the lake or a creek to rinse off, but if staying indoors is more your style, plenty of accomodations all over. Please avoid the airbnbs and stay in a hotel, locals would appreciate it. Good eats all around, as well as a few breweries both north and south and in Truckee. Plenty of off-bike stuff to entertain you, too. Floating the Truckee River outside Tahoe City is good mellow fun, or hook up with one of the rafting companies for a guided trip if you want some whitewater. Plenty of places to rent a paddleboard or kayak or jet ski and get on the lake. Lots of festivals and concerts all summer, often free, so probably something going on somewhere while you are here.
Enjoy!
 

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Y
Tahoe has seen a near record amount of snow this season. I've ridden Oneidas the past few days back to back and Tahoe Mtn as well, and wow, the snow... Oneidas is clear from the parking lot all the way to Corral, and beyond the second gate. Until the last long climb to Armstrong, the road is clear. As soon as the road turns flat and you approach the parking area at the upper trailheads, the snow drifts start. That is at 7500'. Most drifts are in excess of 3' deep and mostly over 100' long and require substantial walking. Access to TRT, Freel Peak, Toads, etc are all bound by deep snow. Basically, anything above 7500' is going to see abundant snow. I would imagine the lower gate to Corral OHV would be open this or next week, and the upper gate would open late June, and be hard pressed to open by July 4th with the amount of snow that is there. The upper gate being closed is great, because the shuttling vehicles will be relegated to the lower areas, leaving the peace and quiet to those who prefer to pedal.

I don't think toads will be clear to ride until late June, early July.
I wonder what this snow pack will do for the Tahoe MTB festivals ride?
 
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