You are about to embark on a scenic adventure unlike any in the world. At 22 miles long and 12 miles wide, Lake Tahoe is North America's largest alpine lake. The lake contains an estimated 39.75 million gallons of water, enough to cover the entire state of California to a depth of 14 inches. The water is 99.99 percent pure, and a white dinner plate can be seen to a depth of 67 feet.
|Sand Harbor to Incline Village||5.8 miles|
|Incline Village to Tahoe City||14 miles|
|Tahoe City to Tahoma||9.5 miles|
|Tahoma to Emerald Bay||9 miles|
|Emerald Bay to South Lake Tahoe||9.1 miles|
|South Lake Tahoe to Stateline||5.2 miles|
|Stateline to Highway Tunnel||7 miles|
|Highway Tunnel to Spooner Lake||5.5 miles|
|Spooner Lake to Sand Harbor||7.7 miles|
The setting for this ultimate road trip is spectacular with great vista views of the lake among tall pine forests. Plan to spend from 4 to 8 hours for any of these options, depending on your conditioning. Elevation can vary from 6,200 feet to almost 7,500 feet. The length of the trip combined with the many elevation differences make this a trip for advanced riders only.
Of course, you can ride any section of the trip out and back. Beginner's may ride the out and back from Tahoe City to Tahoma as this section is fairly flat. The various sections of the trip include:
Known locally in Incline Village as "The Joggers Trail," this 3-mile long paved trail (one way) starts at Gateway Park on Highway 28. This path follows the shore of Lake Tahoe and passes by many beautiful lakefront estates. There's plenty of beach to visit at either Incline Ski or Burnt Cedar Beaches. This ride provides great views of Crystal Bay and some of the finest houses in the area. The path ends at Selby Drive where you can cross Lakeshore Blvd. and head back.
Ready to climb? This out and back should satisfy the best and wear out the rest. Advanced riders only.
Park your car at the Sheriff Sub-station at the northeast corner of Highway 28 and 431 (Mt. Rose Highway). This 9-mile climb has a 2,400-foot vertical rise. So being in good condition and acclimated to the high altitude is recommended. Your final destination is the beautiful Mt. Rose Summit where you will have a spectacular view of Reno and the Washoe Valley â€“ once at the top you can rest assured the return trip is all downhill!
Another very popular ride for roadies is the loop formed by Highway 89 from Tahoe City to Truckee, Highway 267 from Truckee to Kings Beach and Highway 28 from Kings Beach back to Tahoe City. The entire loop is 36-37 miles long and is suitable for advanced riders. Beginners can ride the Tahoe City to Truckee sections of the loop as an out and back.
Parking is available at any one of the three towns on the loop. The section of the loop from Tahoe City to Truckee is about 13.5 miles long and is mostly flat. You should use the paved bike-path on the 4.5 mile section of the loop from Tahoe City to Midway Bridge. This section of the loop can be congested from time to time. The remaining distance to Truckee is all highway.
In Truckee you can use either Donner Pass Road or West River Road to access Highway 267. The section of the loop from Truckee to Kings Beach features a 1400 feet climb before dropping back near lake level at Kings Beach. The section between Kings Beach and Tahoe City on Highway 28 features a 600-foot climb at Dollar Point. Again, it is best to use the paved bike-path from Dollar Point to Tahoe City.