Tahoe Ride Report (in words and pictures)
This past weekend, I was in South Lake Tahoe area, with my wife, Bonnie, who
was competing in the master's district road race. While she was off
pre-riding the course on Saturday, and then racing on Sunday, I did two mtn.
I wanted to do an easy, flat, pavement ride, since I did a hard mtn bike
ride on Friday, and was planning to do the Flume Trail (round trip) on
Sunday. I headed from the house, where I was staying in Meyers, with a goal
of visiting Fallen Leaf Lake, which was about 10 miles away.
I found a back way, with few cars, and a nice climb, but as I was about to
descend to Fallen Leaf, I saw an unmarked dirt road, with a big yellow sign,
"Share the Road", with a picture of a bike. This intrigued me, and I decided
to explore it.
I later found out that this road is called Angora Ridge Road. Here is a
description of it, from a website:
"You will first pass a meadow lined with aspen trees then, turning to the
west, you will begin to climb through a mixed forest of Aspen, Pine, and
Fir. After two mile of steady climbing, you will reach the Angora Ridge
Fire Lookout. From this overlook, you can see Fallen Leaf Lake, Lake Tahoe,
Mt.Tallac, far into Desolation Wilderness, The Carson Range, Heavenly Valley
Ski Resort, and much more."
Yeah, it was a narrow ridge, in places just as wide as the road, with great
views in all directions. The road ends at Angora Lakes Resort, built in
1917, which has a few cabins (booked through summer 2006), a main house
(serves lemonade), all on a spectacular alpine lake, ringed with cliffs.
Since the lake was less than a mile hike, from a parking lot, and very
accessible, it was crowded with families, kids, and teenagers jumping off
cliffs, into the deep water.
I saw only 1 mtn biker during the day, and it was Lorene Jackson, a woman I
know from riding in Marin. Lorene has a contract to write a guidebook about
mtn biking in Tahoe, and was up for the weekend, scouting out rides.
She invited me to do a ride with her the next day....
Tahoe Rim Trail- Big Meadow towards Echo Summit
This ride starts near Luther Pass, on Route 89, about 6 miles from where I
was staying. Unfortunately, this section of the rim trail, which is 17.5
miles, is only bike legal for about 5 miles, before it joins the Pacific
Crest Trail. However, even though it is an out-an-back, it is most
definitely worth riding. We added extra miles with a visit to another lake,
and attempt at making a loop out of the second half.
According to the excellent map, at the trailhead, "...the trail wanders from
meadows to lakes to creeks, and through dense stands of pine, fir, and
aspen. The roue loops past the jagged spires of ancient volcanic flows, and
past huge granite boulders.....(there is an) abundance and diversity of
We stopped at Round Lake, then continued to climb to a scenic meadow, where
it hooks up with the PCT (elevation 8,380'). This was a turn-around point.
The downhill on the return had a few technical challenges, but was mostly
one big YAHOO!. An additional out-an-back to Dardanelles Lake (3 miles rt)
was bike legal, with some hike-a-bikes, and worth the effort. I was
pleasantly surprised, when swimming in the lake, that the water temp was not
nearly as cold as I expected.
If you do this ride, I would suggest returning to the trailhead, going back
on the Rim Trail, but we tried to make a loop, going down Christmas Valley
Trail, but that was 3 steep miles of loose sand and rocks, and only a
downhiller would enjoy that.
(The Xmas Valley Trail is a fun, fun, fun tech descent that continues to
be enjoyed immensely by plain ole "trail riders" riding bikes that are
far from DH machines.
Xmas is a bit more technical than Toad's but I would highly recommend it
to folks who enjoy tech riding and who want something to warm up on
before hitting Toad's.)
Other than that section, and a short hike-a-bike in the very beginning, this
section of the Rim trail is mostly buff and great fun.
Some riders don't like out-an-back rides, only doing loops, but I would
suggest that if you are interested in an intermediate ride, with 2 lakes
for swimming, that this is a trail worth checking out.
For pics of Angora Lakes go to:
For pics of Tahoe Rim Trail, Big Meadows trailhead go to: