Ah, yes summer is looming! That means it’s time to start pulling out your mountain bikes. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced mountain biker, the Corral Loop Trail or its connector trails have something for everyone. The connector trails include the Sidewinder Trail, Incense Cedar Trail and the Armstrong Connector. The ride will probably take about 1-2 hours depending on your speed and can be between 4-9 miles depending on what trails you take. It’s very easy to get to. The trailhead is of off Oneidas Road from Pioneer in South Lake Tahoe. Oneidas Road is about 1 mile from the intersection of Pioneer and Highway 50 near Myers.
I have to admit that I am not the best downhill mountain biker. The Corral Loop Trail is not necessarily the most difficult downhill trail, but it was one of the first one’s I did after I started mountain biking. Not knowing any of the hits and rocks, or potentially where to avoid some I managed to injure myself pretty good. I came off a rock much quicker than I should have, landed and went flying off my bike. I ended up bruising my hip bad and had some pretty gnarly scratches. Nothing bad enough for the hospital though, like when I broke my collarbone on the Rim Trail discussed in another one of my blogs, The Ultimate Trail in Tahoe. I’ve ridden the trail several times after that and it’s become one of my favorite trails to bike.
The Corral Loop Trail is actually one of my favorite trails to train on because you get a serious uphill in the beginning with a pretty technical downhill towards the end. And it’s not terribly too long. You’ll start on a paved road and climb, climb and climb some more. Once you reach the top, you’ll notice the dirt trail and it’s time to head down. In the summer when the gates are open, most riders like to shuttle up the paved road. I enjoy the workout myself! The trail consists of some technical riding and a few rock gardens near the top. It gets a bit easier towards the middle where there is a bridge for a creek crossing and flattens out more towards the bottom. There are some nice hits throughout the trail, but they can be avoided if you’re not into that type of thing. I really like this about the trail. One of the coolest parts of the trail is a steep rock slab near the middle section shown below!
The next three sections I’ll discuss are the connector trails from the Corral Loop. The Sidewinder Trail can be seen about 100 yards into the Corral Loop on the right. It has high bank berms with optional log rides. It connects back to the Corral Loop just above the creek crossing. The Incense Cedar Trail is a mellow trail with a short climb in the beginning. This trail will bottom out at Powerline Road where you can then connect back to the bottom of the Corral Loop. Finally, the Armstrong Connector connects at the top of the Corral Loop to the top of Fountain Place Road. It’s an intermediate trail with several terrain options and traverses through large boulder sections. Below is a map of the Corral Loop Trail and the connectors.
The Corral Loop Trail is not in terrible shape each summer, but it can definitely use an overhaul, especially if it gets the opportunity. Bell Helmets and the International Mountain Bicycling Association have offered the “Bell Built” Grant of $100,000 to three types of trails: pump tracks/bike parks, flow trails, and downhill trails to help build them. The Corral Loop Trail is a finalist under the flow trails category. You can vote HERE to help determine which trails will win. Do it before voting closes April 12th! Below provides a little more detail.
Loop the Corral Trail, but I hope you’re in shape if you’re going to bike the whole way! If you have any more information on the Bell Grant, have ridden the Corral Loop Trail or any of its connectors, make a comment below! Also follow me on twitter @sberei!