Classic mountain bike rides in and around Truckee Easy |

Classic mountain bike rides in and around Truckee Easy

Emigrant Trail. Drive north on state Route 89 north for approximately 4 miles out of Truckee to the “Donner Camp” picnic area. Park and get on your bike there. The Emigrant Trail is an 11 mile out-and-back ride (22 miles round trip) on single track that ends up at Stampede Reservoir.

The first 2 miles of the ride are slightly more difficult and can be avoided by driving farther on Highway 89 to a dirt parking lot just past the Prosser Creek bridge and starting from there.

You’ll see a lot of riders on this trail early in the season because the snow melts quickly and the trail is rideable earlier than most in the area.


The Western States Trail(s). Drive or ride south on state Route 89 past Squaw Valley until you see signs for the Western States Trail. Ride east up the difficult uphill section until you get to the top of the hill.

From here, you have almost unlimited options for loops, descents to Tahoe City or Truckee, and even the option to ride all the way to Brockway Summit. Bring a lunch and plenty of water and you could spend all day riding single track in the area between Truckee, Tahoe City and Kings Beach.


Hole in the Ground. A ride many locals consider their all time favorite, riders experience a little bit of everything on this 20-mile loop including fire roads, switchbacks, creek crossings, granite rock and smooth single track. From Truckee, drive westbound on Interstate 80 to the Soda Springs/Sugar Bowl exit and take an immediate right. Park just past the fire station.

Ride on the road back over I-80 on Donner Pass Road towards Sugar Bowl. Pass the blinking yellow light and turn left onto the dirt road by the “Snow Study Laboratory” sign. Follow the dirt road to the Boreal Ski Area parking lot, ride to the far end of the lot, underneath I-80, and begin climbing the steep paved road north of the highway.

The road soon turns to dirt. Continue climbing the dirt road, avoiding a turnoff to the left and then one to the right. In approximately one mile, turn left at the signed trailhead for the Hole in the Ground trail. You’ll climb steep switchbacks to Andesite Peak, from which you’ll get a beautiful view of Castle Peak. From the top, the ride becomes a challenging test of your skills in all conditions, taking riders through woods, meadows and fields of granite boulders.

Stay on the trail and avoid roads marked “private property” and you’ll find your way back to your car via a mix of single track and dirt roads. The ride should last anywhere from 2 hours to all day and riders should bring a snack and plenty of water.

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