Tahoe Rim Trail: Heavenly Mountain - Big Meadow

 4 votes
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22.4 Miles 36.1 Kilometers


3,780' 1,152 m


-3,982' -1,214 m


9,721' 2,963 m


7,300' 2,225 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (14°)



A beautiful and challenging part of the incredible Tahoe Rim Trail.

Mike Ahnemann


The Tahoe Rim Trail is spectacular just about anywhere you happen to catch it and this section is no exception.

The trail follows along the spine of the Carson Range, mostly above 9,000 feet the whole way. The trail climbs at first as you're headed south, cruising through dense forest, then opening up to open ridges and rock outcroppings with incredible views.

About 1/3 of the way along this section, you'll pass right next to Star Lake. This majestic spot features great swimming and fishing spots, as well as excellent campsites.

After Star Lake, the trail gets a bit more rugged and technical, and continues to provide awesome vistas overlooking Lake Tahoe. it then descends back down through forests, until it reaches the Big Meadow trailhead.

The well-known Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is accessed from the southern portion of this section of trail, making for a couple of good big loop options.

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4.0 from 4 votes

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Aug 3, 2015
Tim Kelly
Did this from Big Meadow to Heavenly and then down the Van Sickle trail. 4,531 ft of climbing 28.6mi — 5h 36m

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes


  4.0 from 4 votes
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Rode this 09-06-2016. Unfortunately I didn't have fun riding this section of TRT. May be this ride is good in spring. The problem I found as an intermediate rider is, 1) 90% of the non rock setions are like beach sand. All it does is, wear you out on simple uphills and even just pure flat sections; if its downhill, it can swipe you; right after freel peak, the downhil is just sand on a well exposed rim; makes you nervous to ride. I saw bikers walking there. To me, I don't see riding in this much sand as a fun mountain biking. 2) Quite a few hike a bike on rocks too:) I like(or love) technical riding; but too much hiking on uphill rocks isn't much fun with the biking shoes and bike :) The final 4 miles ending at big meadows was good. Again this will be sandy when you ride the uphill from big meadows. I have ridden 80 miles of TRT; this section is the only one I didn't like :) This trail seems to be suitable for enduarnce riders who has lot of energy and not looking for fun. Even for them, they have to hike a bunch of palces at the beginning and at the monument peak. This trail is probably double black diamond for the over all profile(since Stanford rock loop of TRT is rated so). Thanks G Sep 6, 2016

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