Tahoe Rim & Flume Trail via Tahoe Meadows

 68 votes

23.9 Miles 38.5 Kilometers


80%

Singletrack

1,555' 474 m

Ascent

-3,972' -1,211 m

Descent

8,828' 2,691 m

High

6,320' 1,926 m

Low

4%

Avg Grade (3°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

Minor Issues

7 days agoUpdate

An awesome high altitude ride through towering pines with majestic views of the Tahoe area.

Markk Knowles

Overview

The TRT section is open to mountain bikes only on even days.
If you were going to do only one ride in Tahoe - this is it.

Much of the ride is easy with a smathering of technical features that will keep even the most advanced rider on their toes. The trail itself ranges from packed sand, loose sand, loamy/rooty forest to granite boulders and steps.

The Tahoe Rim Trail is 168 miles circling Lake Tahoe along the ridges and mountaintops that form the Lake Tahoe Basin in northern Nevada and northern California. Much of the TRT is off limits for mountain bikers and signage alerts you to this. This ride uses only a portion of the TRT that is available to the MTB community. Be aware that this wilderness is habitat for Black Bears and Mountain Lions.

While the TRT portion of the ride is more technical and advanced in sections, the Flume Trail is ideal for the beginner to intermediate rider. Few if any will have the ability to peddle this entire ride without dismounting but nothing is difficult to hike a bike past.

I am being reserved when I say the the views are stunning. Perhaps the phrase "Shock & Awe" is more appropriate. There is a view point at 11.7 miles that will blow your socks off. Take it in, put your socks back on and continue down the trail....there is more to come!
Dogs: Off-leash

Need to Know

  • A shuttle is required for this ride. There is a commercial service available and easily accessed at the Tunnel Creek Cafe, which is an excellent place to meet up and grab a cup of caffeine, beer or a meal before and after your ride).
  • If riders want to add some mileage and another descent, it's easy to continue on the Incline Flume Trail to end on the Tyrolean Downhill for a ride that totals nearly 30 miles.

Description

Take a shuttle from the Tunnel Creek Cafe parking (where the ride ends) to the drop off at Tahoe Meadows Tahoe Rim Trail trailhead.

A morning start of this ride is often cool - a long sleeve or shell is recommended. There are small light blue and white triangular Tahoe Rim Trail signs guiding your way throughout the ride, though they are few and far between.

At the shuttle drop off point as you face the wilderness with your back to the road, mount up and drop onto the trail to your right. You'll ride a very tight trail through the meadow that is covered in soft, dense vegetation. Be aware of small obstacles hidden from eyesight. A fragmented wooden boardwalk guides you into the the woods. Look for the Tahoe Rim Trail signs directing you up and right onto the TRT after a quarter mile.

After the meadow, you'll encounter a 300' climb beyond which you'll enjoy many small climbs and descents. The trail is semi-technical through this section due to the many rock steps which can be frustrating to many. 9 miles of riding brings you to a four-way intersection.

Continue straight for another 5 miles. In this section you'll encounter a torturous 900' climb with many... no... VERY many obstacles. I recall a theme resonating in my mind..."does this never let up?" Perhaps I am just soft, but I found this part difficult. The climb rewards you with an opening to another meadow with spectacular views at Marlette Peak. Here you find a couple hundred foot diversion to a view point. Enjoy the view of Tahoe & Marlette Lakes. Continue back to the trail and descend 500' to Marlette Lake where you engage the Flume Trail.

Ride Marlette Lake Road around Marlette Lake to the beginning of the Flume Trail. At one point, on the day I rode, the road ran across a short section of lake about a foot deep giving wet tires and brakes that gave cause for difficult opening moves down sandy granite rocks.

After this though, the Flume Trail is enjoyable mostly flat singletrack twisting along a steep mountain side dropping only 40' per mile. There is one very short rock slide area that you'll walk over that has a sign warning you of. Enjoy the ride, have lunch, take in the views. The Flume ends at a 3 mile 1500' descent down Tunnel Creek road to the Tunnel Creek Cafe. (Sure its a road, but the descent is quite fun with its many small dips and drops that can provide a thrill at speed).

It's over, sit back and tip a cold one. You have just ridden one of the best rides you'll ever ride.

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4.7 from 68 votes


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Check-Ins

Sep 17, 2017
Dan Hang
Awesome ride! Sandy ascent but otherwise great 20.5mi
Sep 16, 2017
Marc Daniel
Sep 10, 2017
Josh Nelson
Sep 4, 2017
Mike Colon
Aug 22, 2017
r0cb0y Wycoff
Sick scenery! Awesome, Flowy trail. Some harder sections. Fantastic features. Rode with Terri, and 2 other women . 24.4mi
Aug 17, 2017
Count Vakula
Sick!
Aug 17, 2017
Ian McQueen
Jul 28, 2017
Brandon R

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 67 votes

#1

in Lake Tahoe

#20

Overall
  4.7 from 67 votes
5 Star
76%
4 Star
19%
3 Star
3%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
1%
Rankings

#1

in Lake Tahoe

#1

in Nevada

#20

Overall
2,960 Views Last Month
50,105 Since Jun 18, 2013
Intermediate Intermediate

3%
3%
61%
18%
15%
0%

Conditions


Minor Issues 7 days ago

Getting forecast...

The route, as it is written, is a super scenic XC trail, with the noted power blips & climbs adding a degree of challenge. If you are looking for more of an "enduro" experience, then opt for skipping the Flume, and take the Marllette Creek / Chimney Beach DH tr. (and either ride the hwy approx. 4.5, or shuttle back to your start). For locals, and visitors, there is a lot to like about this route. Nov 9, 2016


I would like to ride Rim-Flume Trail with my son. I am an expert rider, and my son is intermediate rider/racer. We are all in for mountain biking everywhere wherever we can. I am looking for riding partners in Lake Tahoe Rim-Flume Trail on July 3rd, 2017 Monday morning start. Let me know. Jun 14, 2017


Its been many years since I rode trails in Tahoe. We're looking forward to the July 4th weekend! I'm eyeing the TRT/Flume trail as one of the key rides for the trip. 2 Q's to the locals.... 1. Shuttle Service: Can someone share some of the options for Shuttle Service? 2. TRT Status: With all snow this last season, is the trail open? Jun 19, 2017


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