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Tahoe Rim & Flume Trail via Tahoe Meadows - IMBA EPIC

 4.7 (89)
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Map Key

24.6 Miles 39.6 Kilometers



1,455' 443 m


-3,861' -1,177 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (9°)

8,826' 2,690 m


6,321' 1,927 m


Shared By Markk Knowles


All Clear 53 days ago

Getting forecast...

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

Markk Knowles

Dogs Off-leash

Features -none-

The TRT section between Hwy 431 and Tunnel Creek Rd 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!

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.


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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Your Check-Ins


Oct 3, 2018
Michael Lincroft
Sep 18, 2018
Eric Millora
Aug 18, 2018
Daniel Tourville
Aug 18, 2018
John Mackay
Aug 17, 2018
Adrian Belinne
Aug 12, 2018
Steve Golden
Great ride, I missed the direction to the 900 ft climb and ended up on the Flume Trail to Lake Marlette , so an out and back for that section. 21.6mi
Aug 12, 2018
Mike Colon
Aug 10, 2018
Patrick Smyth

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Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 89 votes


in Lake Tahoe


  4.7 from 89 votes
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TR Smith
Oakland, CA
TR Smith   Oakland, CA
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
Damon Moon
Santa Clara, CA
Damon Moon   Santa Clara, CA
Had a great time at TRT. I took the shuttle from Incline Village. The climb was tougher than I expected. See the full video below. I cut out the uphill part. Aug 13, 2018
Kostya Yegorov
Tel Aviv, IL
Kostya Yegorov   Tel Aviv, IL
Hi I'm going to be in this area and plan to run the trail on Sept 20th. I'm a fit technical rider. Anyone in the area wants to join so I don't ride alone? :) What would be the idea bike for this trail. I can rent either the Ibis Ripmo or Kona Hei Hei. Leaning towards the HeiHei considering that this trail is not very technical. Thanks in advance. Sep 2, 2018

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