If you’re looking for a pretty tough trail to run this summer, the trail from Saddle via Keller to Kingsbury is definitely one to try. The trail is known as “K to K” or “Keller to Kingsbury”, but it actually starts from Saddle Road and I guess isn’t actually considered an official trail. It feeds under the Heavenly Gondola starting near the California Lodge off Ski Run and continues through the burn area. The trail starts at an elevation of about 6,600 feet.
I ran this trail on Sunday. This was the first time I had ever been on the trail and honestly wasn’t sure what to expect or where I was specifically going to turn out. I started running downhill for a little less than a mile, going underneath the Heavenly Gondola, before I hit the split to the Van Sickle Trail. The Van Sickle Trail goes down left, while the other trail continues straight and so I continued straight. At this point I was climbing pretty constantly. Here you have some amazing views of Lake Tahoe, Heavenly Village and the Casinos. I continued through this section climbing before I turned around. The trail is a mixture of rock, dirt and sand. It started to get pretty strenuous the further I went. I ran for a total of a little over 30 minutes. Next time out, I’ll need to run for a bit longer to explore more.
So, to get to the “trailhead”, you’ll want to get onto Pioneer Trail and make a left or right, depending on which direction you are coming from, onto Keller Road. Take Keller towards the California Lodge and make a left onto Saddle Road. Continue up Saddle and right after you pass Keller on the right you will want to make a right onto a road that’s only about 75 yards. You’ll see a gate and that’s where you’ll want to start. Below is a picture of the start.
I’ve been told the trail continues to Kingsbury, hence the name, but I didn’t go that far. I believe it’s a total of about 3.5 miles one way, but I will definitely need to explore this trail a little bit more. Have you biked, run or hiked this unofficial trail before? I’d love to find out more information on it, although this summer I definitely will investigate it more! Either way it’s a great trail to run and I can’t wait to get the running shoes back on and tackle it again. Also, if you’re in need of a new pair of running shoes like myself, TMS in Kings Beach is a great place to purchase them. Leave a comment below and follow me on twitter @sberei!