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
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
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.