It’s the Tahoe Rim Trail by far! The Rim Trail has something for everyone. It is a multi-use trail that can be used for day hikes, backpacking, mountain biking and equestrian. The trail loops around Lake Tahoe and is 165 miles long. Hiking is allowed through all 165 miles with biking and equestrian only on specific sections. There are several segments of the TRT that I will touch on in more detail below.
One of the best parts about the Rim Trail is that there are several other trails that interconnect with it, so the adventures are endless. The Rim Trail near Incline Village is actually part of the Xterra Off-Road Triathlon, an awesome event that takes place in Incline Village each August. I took a pretty bad fall in the rocky section while training for the triathlon last summer. After flying over my handlebars, I was able to ride my way down to my car parked on the shoulder of the road in Incline Village. Unfortunately, to find out the next day I had broken my collarbone. With that said I’m excited to get back out on it next year.
As I mentioned above, there are several sections to the trail. Some include, but are not limited to: Tahoe city to Brockway Summit, Big Meadow to Echo Lake and Spooner Summit to Kingsbury North. One of my favorites is Tahoe Meadows to Spooner Summit up near Incline Village. This stretch is 23.1 miles long encompassing conifer stands along with flower strewn slopes high above Lake Tahoe and Marlette Lake. You can access the trail from:
- Spooner Summit North: The north side of Hwy. 50 at Spooner Summit with limited paved parking.
- Tahoe Meadows: On Hwy. 431, 1 mi. west of US 395 and 1 mile west of the Mt. Rose Summit Welcome Plaza with vault toilets and paved parking. Closed due to snow in the winter.
- Alternate Access: Tunnel Creek road climbs 3 miles from Hwy. 28 with shoulder parking, to intersect the TRT 13.1 miles south to Spooner.
Information on each section can be found in this section of the Rim Trail website.
Spending a day hiking on the trail, whether in the winter or summer can be surreal. The trail varies across the 165 miles with rocky slopes, fields of conifers and flowers along with dirt flattened trails. With so many miles of available hiking, one of my favorites is at Kingsbury Grade North. It’s an easy one mile hike with views of Castle Rock, Emerald Bay and Mt. Tallac. This is a great winter hike with snowshoes because it’s not steep or long. The trail is an open forest of jeffrey pine and white fir trees with rolls up and down. The trailhead is at the end of Andrea Drive, off North Benjamin off of Highway 207 or Kingsbury Grade. For more information hiking the Rim Trail visit this section of the Rim Trail website.
Mountain biking is also a great activity on the trail. Not all of the trail allows mountain biking however, as about 50% of the trail allows access. The section I am most familiar with is Tahoe Meadows to Spooner Summit. I mentioned how to access the trail earlier. The first 9 miles of the TRT starting from Tahoe Meadows only allow bikes on even numbered days. The rest of the trail to Spooner is restricted to hiking only, but you can access the Flume Trail. I’ll discuss this trail in a later post, so keep reading, but other sections include Spooner Summit to Kingsbury Grade, Barker Pass to Tahoe City and Big Meadow to Echo Summit. To find out where else you can mountain bike on the trail, go to this section of the Rim Trail website.
I’m probably a little bias towards the South and East Shore because I live there, but what is your favorite section of the trail? Leave a comment if you have any tips or have a story about the Tahoe Rim Trail! Also follow me on Twitter @sberei!