Hole-in-the-Ground

Hole-in-the-Ground Single Track ride. Intermediate to advanced, 3-4 hours, moderate pace. Start on Highway 80 at Boreal Ski area. Excellent ride! This is a higher elevation ride. As soon as the snow clears, it's rideable. Whether that is late June, July or even August, really depends on the winter. This ride can be done as a shuttle. The extra riding for a full-loop takes about 30 more minutes.

Step 1) Drive west of Truckee and get off at the Boreal exit. This is Boreal Ski area, but you are going to stay on the North side of the Highway by turning right. The road ends in a few hundred yards, so park and suit up there. Ride up the main fire road, with views of Castle Peak (picture taken at start) emerging off to the right. After only a mile or two, you'll find the Hole-in-the-Ground Single track on your left, with a small staging area and a large wooden sign. Don't miss the trail! It's easy to ride right by it as you are enjoying the scenery and flowers on this fire road.

Step 2) The Hole-in-the-Ground single track starts with steep switchbacks. You'll get good traction with the help of buried cement blocks and no rocks, so be patient and look forward to excellent views in about 30-45 minuets. At the top of the climb you will see the entire Castle Peak (picture taken form top) area before bombing down into the woods on a technical single track trail for about 10 miles of turns, creek crossings, meadows, small lakes, and more! The trail crosses a fire road once or twice, so just cross them and stay on the trail until you get dumped out on a wide fire road - where the single track obviously ends.

(Note: This meadow is after descending a rather steep technical single track from the previous high point. Bro feeling pretty happy to having made it to this point.
If you look on the Trailmap you will see a note "Don't miss these lakes". We stopped to take a break and take some pictures. Al took a picture of
me by the lake.)

Step 3) It's kind of obvious to turn left here, and continue down hill towards highway 80. There is a short hill climb on this fire road. You'll take a left onto another fire road, and now you're heading straight for the Sugar bowl fire station. Look for a single track on your left, which takes you directly to the parking lot, but you'll find it even if you miss this turn and stay on the fire road.

HOW TO DO THE SHUTTLE: Leave a car farther west on HWY 80 to the Soda Springs/Sugar bowl exit, just past the fire station on the North side of the Highway. Lock up this car, hop in your other car and drive back to the North side of Hwy 80 at the Boreal exit where you start the ride. The shuttled ride is about 14 miles, and takes about 2 - 3 hours to ride.

HOW TO MAKE IT A LOOP: If you have planned on making this a full loop from the Boreal exit start, here's what you do when you end up at further down the highway at the fire station. Go over HWY 80 and through a traffic light, which is Soda Springs Rd. aka Old Hwy 40. Turn left onto a power line jeep trail with a sign that says "Snow Study". As you go up the road it will veer right and then fork, take the left fork. In a few miles, you will be dumped out into the parking lot of the Boreal Ski Area, where you ride through the parking lot, and underneath HWY 80 to find your car. The total Loop should take you 3-4 hours, and is about 20 miles.

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