This 13 mile loop covers about 8 miles of trail and 5 miles
of pavement, most of which is on the scenic Truckee River bike trail. The
ride climbs 1100 feet in the first 3.75 miles so it's not for the faint
of heart but after that it is mostly downhill or flat. The steepest part
is early on just after
To start the ride the best place to park is near the Alpine
Meadows Road. We park south of it in a parking lot that's on the south
side of the rafting center off Hwy 89 (N39.11.0440 - W120.11.7301). It
will be the first turn, almost a u-turn to the right, maybe 200 yards south
of the Alpine intersection.
You can also park in Tahoe City and ride the Truckee River Trail to Alpine
Meadows Road first but we like to save Truckee River Trail for last.
After leaving the car, head north on Hwy 89 to the Alpine
Meadows Road, where you can only go left. Go up the road for almost a mile
where you'll come to Snow Crest Road, you'll go left there. Climb up it
for less than a half a mile then look for a gated fire road on your left.
Go around the gate and begin hard part of the climb.
The fire road heads up and southwest for a bit before it turns
hard left back to the east. Go with it, not up to the right or onto
the single track that comes in from the left on the inside of the turn.
Continue on up the fire road, it’s a steady climb, with great views
of Alpine and Squaw to your left. After the turn it will be just under
a mile to a view point and the trail turns to the right heading south
river. You can't
see the river because of the trees but it's about 700' below. You will
climb some more then pass by a road and a single track
(N39.10.1558 - W120.12.1468) going off to the right but ignore them and
continue on for another 1.3 miles. Stay left of anything going right
until you come to the intersection of the trail to
Granlibakken (N39.09.3305 - W120.12.2160), which
right but you want to go
left. Most of the single track on this trail looks
similar to this.
In just over a half a mile you come to another intersection
(N39.09.2868 - W120.11.5650) that you'll stay left at continuing on the
TRT (Tahoe Rim Trail). The sign at the intersection will say Tahoe City
Ward Creek Road 2 miles.
In another 1.2 miles there is another trail going off to the right with
a sign that reads Tahoe City 2 and Ward Creek Road 3 miles, go figure,
stay left on the TRT (N39.09.1598 - W120.10.2706).
Things get steep going downhill for a little over
a half a mile then you come to a fork that you'll go left at (N39.09.3485
- W120.09.6547). After this the trail is fast and comfortable all the way
to the river (N39.09.7178 - W120.09.2344) where there is a single track
that runs along the river. Go right here to a gravel road
then go left and then back right. A little further along hop onto the paved
trail that leads to the bridge that crosses the river.
After crossing over the river you can take a short trip to
the right over to the headwaters of the Truckee River. Standing on the
upstream side of the bridge just below the dam look down in the river to
see the tuna sized trout. If tuna sized trout don't do it for you then
go left on the Truckee River Trail (paved) for about 5 miles back to the car.
(NOTE:) Remember all mileages and GPS waypoints may not be
accurate as my equipment may not be calibrated like yours so always be prepared
by talking with locals and/or picking up a map from one of the many local
bike shops before you venture out.