Hole in the Ground Loop

 38 votes
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Featured Ride

16.3 Miles 26.3 Kilometers



2,190' 668 m


-2,167' -661 m


8,047' 2,453 m


6,453' 1,967 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (11°)

Bad / Closed

41 days agoUpdate

A lung-buster of a ride with huge rewards in the form of fun technical riding and great views.

Mike Ahnemann


This ride is long and difficult enough to challenge almost any rider, but it's not difficult enough to turn an intermediate rider away. And the rewarding views of the Sierras from the ridge you'll ride along make it worth the work.

Finally, the rocky, technical riding mixed in is enough to keep anyone motivated. It's one of those special, "pleases everyone" type of rides. Don't miss it!

Need to Know

Some people use two cars and shuttle. If you choose this option, continue on I-80 west over Donner Pass and take the Soda Springs exit. Take a right at the bottom of the exit, and take another immediate right at the fire station on Sherritt Ln. Just past the fire station you'll see dirt parking on the left side. This is where the trail will drop you out.

If you dont shuttle, you'll have to ride from here back uphill to your car. This additional section is just under 5 miles. The ride is written up as a complete loop, so if you shuttle, take 5 miles off of the total, and about 800 feet of climbing.


Follow the jeep road west, and almost immediately you'll see a road to your left. Continue straight west for 1.1 miles and you'll see a large Forest Service sign with a map of your trip. This is where your singletrack starts.

Take a left on the singletrack, and you'll quickly gain just over 500 feet in 1.6 miles (2.7 miles from the start). The trail now drops down the west side of the ridge, and this is where the technical section starts, so be careful. Continue for 1.8 miles (4.5 miles) where you'll encounter a singletrack coming in from your right. This singletrack takes you to the Peter Grubb on the Pacific Crest Trail (no bikes). This is a good shelter to know about if you get stuck up here in bad weather.

Continue for 1 mile (5.5 miles) and you'll come to another fork in the trail. If you take a left, you can ride to Sand Ridge Lake, which is only 1/4 mile off of your path, and worth the view. Retrace your path, and take a left at the fork in the trail. Continue for 3.2 miles (9.2 miles) and you'll cross directly over a jeep road.

Continue over the jeep road, and the trail continues past Hole in the Ground Lake which you'll never see, and to my knowledge, has no trail to it. Anyway, continue on the singletrack for .8 miles (10 miles) where you'll again come to a fork in the trail. If you take a right, you'll travel .1 miles (10.1 miles) to Lower Lola Montez Lake. This is a great spot to take a break.

Once refreshed, retrace your steps back to the main trail and take a right. Continue on the singletrack and in .4 miles (10.6 miles) the singletrack will turn into a jeep road. Follow the jeep road for 1 mile (11.6 miles), and you'll see a singletrack drop off to the left. This is probably the most technical part of this ride. It drops 350 feet in 1/2 mile (12.1 miles) and is very loose, and rocky.

At this point you drop out on the same jeep road you left above. Follow this jeep road for .9 miles (13 miles) where again, you'll see a singletrack veer off to the left. Take the left, and follow the singletrack for 1/4 mile (13.25 miles) and you'll end up on Sherritt Ln, a paved road. Take a right on Sherritt Ln and follow it down hill for 1/4 mile (13.5 miles) to Donner Pass Rd where you'll take a left and cross over I 80.

Continue on Donner Pass Rd. until you pass the small town of Soda Springs at .9 miles (14.5 miles). In 12 mile (15 miles) you'll see a large wooden sign on your left that says University of California Sierra Snow Research Libratory. Take a left on this road. I have never seen a street sign on this road, but according to the map, it is called Bunny Hill Road. This section of road will travel 1.5 miles (16.5 miles) in a northerly direction and parallel I-80 back to the Boreal Ski Resort parking lot. Continue through the parking lot to the far side, and take a left out of the parking lot and travel under I-80 on your left.

This is the road you came in on. Follow the paved road uphill back to your car.


Rate Featured Ride


4.4 from 38 votes

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Oct 23, 2016
Paul Bodnar
Oct 11, 2016
Alex Von der Mehden
dry conditions, great trail 17.2mi
Oct 9, 2016
Kevin Doiron
Sep 25, 2016
Katherine Miller
Descents are SUPER technical — 4h 59m
Sep 9, 2016
Mike Schmeiske
Sep 3, 2016
Kim Mitchell
Aug 25, 2016
Scott Hinson
Technical and a bunch of climbing. Ends on a long gravel road. 16mi
Aug 21, 2016
Trevor McCarthy
Great first time ride! 17.4mi — 3h 11m

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 38 votes


in Royal Gorge


  4.4 from 38 votes
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Bad / Closed 41 days ago
Snowy, Icy - Covered in 10-15ft of snow.
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I have ridden multiple Sierra rides, and compared to say the Flume Trail, this ride is very difficult. Certainly not an intermediate trail. Do not get caught off guard, bring plenty of water, food, and allow for at least 4-5 hours. Very fun, but very challenging!!! Not for newbies. (Yes, I am a Clydesdale, 6' 4" 230, so not a 145lb. mt. goat) Plan accordingly, and have fun!! Oct 18, 2014

Great Ride. Did the CCW way. Great way. 1/3 up 2/3 down. Started in Soda Springs exit and stayed south of 80, then went through Boreal and entered on the East side of the loop. Amazing ride. Technical on the down hills. Rocky and fun. We did some work on the downed tree and now you don't have to get off bike to pass. Jul 3, 2015

Do not miss the turn off if going counter clockwise when parking at the lower lot, we ended up at donner summit then had to ride all the way back to find the entrance. Mentally and physically exhausting. Epic views and scenery, bring extra water, and leave early as its a 4+ Hour ride. Aug 10, 2015

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