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Trail Safety

Trail Etiquette & Recommendations

As trailhead steward, Tahoe XC presents these recommendations for trail use. Whether you’re new or an experienced pro, here’s what to expect on Tahoe XC trails. And what we expect from YOU on the trails. From Tahoe XC trailhead, you can access trails and land owned by Tahoe City Public Utility District (TCPUD), California Tahoe Conservancy (CTC), California State Parks (Burton Creek State Park), and U.S Forest Service.

  • It is your responsibility to be aware of the trail-use policies and land boundaries of each of the above entities.
  • Boundaries are not clearly marked and policies may change without notice.
  • Trails accessible from Tahoe XC trailhead are largely mixed-use trails on public land.
  • No motor vehicles are allowed on the Tahoe XC trail system.
  • It is YOUR responsibility to stay safe and be prepared for any emergency you may encounter.

Table of Contents

Mixed-Use Trail Etiquette

  • Watch for horses, cyclists, hikers, runners, walkers, dogs, and wildlife.
  • Respect trail and road closures, private land, and protected wilderness areas.
  • Leave no trace. Use existing trails only. Do not create new trails or use shortcuts.
  • Avoid soft, wet, or muddy terrain. Do not cause erosion, ecosystem damage, or unnecessary widening of trails.
  • If you see illegal activity, take photographs and report directly to Placer County Sheriffs.

Tell A Friend

  • Tell someone you trust where you are going and what time you expect to be back.
  • Understand that there is limited cell service on the trails.
  • Carry your own water, snacks, and clothing for inclement weather.
  • Carry your own first aid kit and repair tools.
  • Save local emergency numbers in your phone.

Leave No Trace

  • There are trash receptacles at the trailhead for your convenience.
  • Pack out all trash, including dog poop, bags, and any other litter you see.
  • Do not leave dog poop bags where you’ll “remember to grab it on your way out.”
Trail running at Tahoe XC

Mountain Bike Etiquette

  • Control your bicycle and your speed.
  • Keep yourself and others safe by riding within your limits.
  • Slow down around corners. Anticipate seeing other trail users or wildlife even if you can’t see them.
  • Uphill riders have right-of-way, unless there is clear “one-way” or “downhill-only” signage.
  • Downhill riders should pull off to the side until the uphill rider has passed.
  • Be aware. Let fellow trail users know you’re coming with a friendly greeting or bell ring.
  • Expect 2-way traffic.
  • Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users.

E-Bike Use Recommendations

The following recommendations are in addition to the above list for Mountain Bike Etiquette:

  • Class 1 ebikes only. Do not ride Class 2 or Class 3 e-bikes on Tahoe XC trails.
  • Recommended speed for e-bikes is 10 mph, which is the average speed of mountain bikers.
  • Know your equipment, your ability, and how far you plan to go. E-bikes are heavy and can be hard to ride or push when they run out of a charge.
  • Policies are changing as e-bikes gain popularity, and various landowners are working to establish policies that work for everyone. Be prepared for policies and restrictions to change.
Mountain biking at Tahoe XC

Dog Etiquette

  • Dogs must be on leash in Tahoe XC parking lot, at the trailhead, and on California State Parks land.
  • Pack out your poop. If your dog poops off trail and you “didn’t see it,” please go pick it up anyways and dispose of your poop bags in the trash can located at the trailhead.
  • Do not leave poop bags trailside. There is a better way.
  • Do not allow dogs to chase wildlife or other trail users.
  • Keep your dog on leash or strict voice command at all times.

Nature & Wildlife Etiquette

  • Never scare wildlife.
  • If you see an animal on the trail, slow down. Give them enough room and time to adjust to your presence.
  • Do not chase wildlife.
  • Do not allow your dog to chase wildlife.

Become a Trail Volunteer

Thank you for considering volunteering for trail work. To be notified about volunteer opportunities sign up for our newsletters.

  • Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that builds, maintains, and advocates for multi-use trails in Tahoe while providing education to all trail users and hosting fun community events.
  • Tahoe XC Trail Work Days occur throughout the year, where Tahoe XC staff, board members, and community volunteers work together to do trailhead maintenance and prepare for winter grooming.

Emergency Numbers

For an EMERGENCY CALL 911

Law Enforcement/Search & Rescue
Placer County Sheriff North Lake Tahoe
(530) 583-6305

Local Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
North Tahoe Fire Protection District
(530) 583-6913

Local Hospital
Tahoe Forest Hospital
10121 Pine Avenue
Truckee, CA, 96161
(530) 587-6011

Tahoe City Urgent Care
Truckee Tahoe Medical Group
925 North Lake Blvd
Tahoe City, CA 96145
(530) 581-8864 ext. 3
(limited hours; not suitable for life-threatening illness)