Painted Rock Loop via Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT)

 7 votes

18.4 Miles 29.6 Kilometers

85%

Singletrack

1,959' 597 m

Ascent

-1,959' -597 m

Descent

7,684' 2,342 m

High

6,268' 1,911 m

Low

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

All Clear

7,684' 2,342 m

High

6,268' 1,911 m

Low

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

A long climb rewarded with some of the best views in all of Tahoe and a great descent.

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Overview

This is a difficult loop. It's only moderately technical (at least in the counter-clockwise direction as shown), but the climbs are long and tiring, and route-finding is quite difficult in the first half (use the MTB Project mobile app). But the scenery is just stunning, from old-growth forests to huge lake views. And the descent, though a bit rocky, is great fun on a modern bike with big wheels and decent suspension.

Description

Starting from Tahoe City, take the bike path north until you get to Village Road (look for a sign for the cross country ski area). Follow this road until it ends and look for a trail. There are many trails here, but it doesn't matter too much at this point, as long as you use the app and get on the right one eventually.

Find your way to Dollar Reservoir and have fun riding over the dam (or go around), and then follow dirt roads for a mile or two. This area is extremely confusing - did I mention you should use the app yet?

You now have two options:
Option 1. (shown here). Turn left on unmarked singletrack (named "Brutal connector to the TRT" here) and start heading up. The trail goes up and down a bit, but the middle section is a relentless 500' climb that most people will walk. The benefit of this option is you get up for some nice easy miles on the TRT. Follow the TRT for several miles of easy level, smooth riding on what must have been a road a long time ago. Arrive at 73 Rd and follow it for 100 feet before making an easy-to-miss left turn back on to singletrack. The next section is super fun, fast, bermed and buffed singletrack going slightly downhill.

Option 2. Continue on the dirt road for a while longer until you get to The Great Ski Race. Take this fantastic singletrack for a couple miles until it ends at Mt. Watson Rd. Take the paved road uphill until you find the TRT.

From either option, you are now at the Tahoe Rim Trail - Brockway Summit to Tahoe City where it hits Mt. Watson Rd. From here, the trail enters a beautiful forest with nice, relatively moderate switchbacks. These are fun for a while, but this last climb is surprisingly long and tiring. You'll wander around the Painted Rocks (with a few side trails available to explore), before heading out one more ridgeline.

When you find yourself in a huge pile of basalt (volcanic) rocks, you're finally finished climbing. Enjoy the views and now the fun really begins. You now have ALMOST 6 MILES of downhill awesomeness with some of the greatest views of any trail. Stop once in a while to soak it in and let your brakes cool!

You'll end up right in Tahoe City just a couple blocks from where you started.

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4.1 from 7 votes


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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Aug 27, 2016
Don Nolan
Aug 18, 2016
Roscoe Dash
Tail start at 10:15 — 10h 15m
Jul 31, 2016
Bryan Brewskie
4h 00m
Apr 19, 2016
Clayton Dewberry
Holy shit. That is one mutha of a ride. Worth it but a severe beating. — 3h 30m
Oct 11, 2015
Clayton Dewberry
Sep 18, 2015
Ian Davidson
Aug 27, 2015
Mike Do
Jul 29, 2015
Matt Nelson
10mi

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 7 votes

#943

Overall
  4.1 from 7 votes
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5 Star
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Rankings

#101

in California

#943

Overall
321 Views Last Month
5,966 Since Jun 28, 2013
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Conditions


All Clear on Aug 15, 2016
Dusty. Just like everywhere else in tahoe right now. Insane amount of bees. Not a problem while riding. But when you stop for a break, prepare ...
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