Tahoe City Trails: Ski to Hike to Mountain Bike

Lakeview Trail with Mule Ears

Our patience has been rewarded and the expansive network of trails heading out from the Tahoe XC lodge are now mostly snow free, with the last of the white stuff on the highest elevation spots soon to be gone. I’ve headed out on a few rides in the last few weeks and found wonderful conditions, and now the mules ears, larkspur, lupine and snowflowers are popping up like crazy giving lots of color to gander at.

Where to Ride?

Heading out from Tahoe XC you will find a wide range of opportunities for just about every mountain biking skill level. If you have all day and can take on some super technical, challenging trails like the Big Chief Trail you can go all the way to Truckee (you can perhaps, but that would be a no thank you for me personally). On the other hand, there are lots of beginner, intermediate and advanced loops to be done closer to the lodge.

Maps can be found at some of the intersections and if you are a regular cross-country skier you will certainly recognize most of the trails closer to the lodge. A short loop would be around the Green Trail, a bit longer would be around the Orange trail, and then go out and explore the area around Antone Meadows (Red Trail and the long lost sunny Red).


More great spots are at the top of the Kevin’s Crest on the Lakeview Trail. Enjoy the view from the bench. If still energized head up the Lakeview Ridge Trail, a switchbacking steady climb to another trail that will eventually take you to the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT). From there you can go straight ahead and head back down towards Tahoe XC via TRT and the Fiberboard Freeway, or hang a right and head on the TRT up to Watson Lake and/or mountain.

Trail Sign with Bike and Lakeview

But Wait, There's More...

Another favorite is the Ocelot Trail, a fun flow trail which follows a portion of what in the winter is where Bronze and Gold come together. Last year the master trail builders at the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association (TAMBA) built a new connector to Ocelot, called Stumpy G which makes for a much more fun climb up the formerly hellish Platinum Hill.

Did all these trail names help, or just confuse you more? Don’t worry, you can always go with Plan B which is just to go ride, have fun and see how many miles you can do. There are several places to find lakeviews, gentle climbs past swiftly moving creeks, and of course the ubiquitous fields of mule ears.

Need a Bike?

Tahoe XC Bike Rentals:

Visiting the area and didn’t bring your bike? No worries, you can rent one right at the start of the trailhead. Various bike sizes are available, including children sizes. Learn about our rentals here.

The shop is open daily from 9:00am -3:00pm for rentals and to pick up retail goods from great brands such as Flylow, Wild Rye, Giro and more. As you gear up or perhaps, after your ride, enjoy a well-deserved ice cream sandwich or try a locally produced Tahoe Pops popsicle. Afterall, it is summer!

Give us a call at 530-583-5475 to check on rental bike availability.

Trailhead MTB Rentals Available

Trailhead MTB Rentals