“The Ellis Peak Trail has some of the most spectacular views in the Tahoe Basin.”
— Steven Ross
Overall the trail is in good condition, but steep and sometimes unrideable in sections. However the trail provides some fantastic scenic views of Lake Tahoe, Loon Lake and the Desolation Wilderness which makes the ride well worth it. Hikers also frequent the trail, so respect and caution should be made while riding here.
Need to Know
The trail is also accessible by motorcycles, so keep an eye and ear out for them. Also a 4x4 access road intersects the trail on the way to Ellis Lake and near Ellis Peak.
Head West on Barker Pass Road from W. Lake Blvd. (Hwy 89) on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe. Follow the road to Barker Pass. The Ellis Peak Trailhead will be on the left about 50 feet after the paved road ends. The trail starts with a 1/2 mile of steep switchbacks which are rideable but make for very challenging climb. There are also other steep sections on the trail which may require a hike-a-bike. A 1/2 mile side trip to Ellis Lake is worth the ride. Take a left turn on the first jeep trail you come across.
This ride is mapped as an out and back, which is a fine option. But there's another option as well: From Ellis Peak, there is a jeep trail on the NE side of Ellis Peak that takes you to a fire road on the edge of Homewood ski area. Follow the fire road several miles and look for a singletrack trail on the left which descends 1.5 miles into the Town of Homewood.