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Armstrong Pass Ride

 7 votes

Length

16.6 Miles 26.8 Kilometers


80%

Singletrack

Elevation

1,439' 439 m

Ascent

-2,669' -813 m

Descent

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

8,718' 2,657 m

High

6,276' 1,913 m

Low

Conditions


Unknown

Getting forecast...

An awesome ride with 12.0 miles of downhill sweetness!

Lance Buck

Overview

This ride is typically done as a shuttle. It's a cool way to drop into the top of the Corral Trail #18E14. The upper section is every bit as fun as the lower, more popular stuff, but misses most of the crowd and parking issues.
Dogs: Leashed

Need to Know

There is a bit of hike-a-bike on a few switchbacks, getting to the top of the pass.

Description

I like to park on Highway #89 (Luther Pass) and ride the dirt road out to the trailhead as a warm-up. You could four-wheel drive out to the start of the trail, but it makes for a very long shuttle drive. After the dirt road, the trail starts with a climb out of the northwest side of a vague parking area. The initial climb is short but steep right out of the parking lot. Then the singletrack of the Horse Meadows Trail #21566 winds easily through the trees to the start of the switchbacks and a short hike-a-bike up to Armstrong Pass.

At the pass you'll intersect the Tahoe Rim Trail. It's all downhill from here! Get ready for 12.0 miles of non-stop fun all the way into town. The first 4.0 miles is all ripping good, sweet singletrack through the woods on the Armstrong Pass Trail #18E09. Then you pop-out at a small parking area at the top of the Fountain Place Road and hit the Armstrong Connector #18E09A. Some spots are a bit sandy but still good riding down to the next parking area at the top of the Corral Trail #18E14. Within the first 50 yards the trail splits. Keep right as the Sierra Sidewinder Trail #18E14A peels off to the right. It's super fun and easier for novice riders, but everyone will enjoy 40+ bermed hairpin corners.

One mile later, the trails merge again, then drop down and across the creek. Just past the Trout Creek bridge, the trail again splits. The left fork leads to the Lower Corral Trail; complete with huge berms and big table top jumps. If you would rather miss the airborne crowd, go right up the hill on the Twisted Cedar Trail #18E14B which is nearly as fun with lots of corners and 'whoop-de-doos.'

Both trails end at the Powerline Road (FSR #12N08), which is a well used four-wheel drive track, complete with large power lines overhead. This part can be ridden in either direction. To pick up the easy but fun Railroad Grade Trail #18E15, turn left and look for a well used trail just before the bottom of the hill. If you cross the creek you have gone too far.

Railroad Grade Trail #18E15 is a super easy 2.0 mile run that slopes downhill ever so gently. Perfect for first-time-on-the-trail riders, and a great way to get back into town without getting buzzed on the highway. The trail ends at a cul-de-sac on a residential street, but continues 100 yards further on by dropping off the left side of the road into a peaceful meadow. Cross the wooden bridge without guardrails and climb a short slope to Pioneer Trail Highway.

To nail another mile of trail riding, cross the highway (carefully!) and follow the intersecting street up hill and take your first right. The trail picks up at the end of the street. This area is called the Hartoonian Trails. You'll get confused, but the area is bounded on the east and west by creeks, so press on north and you'll again hit residential streets. If you need further exercise, the ride can be reversed back to the start.

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Check-Ins

Sep 30, 2017
Joe Ramos
Don't quite understand the route on this, lots of roads. Park at the bottom of corral if you don't want to waste your time on the road.
Jul 14, 2017
Bethany Fleming
Awesome!!!! 17.2mi
Jul 1, 2017
Luis Tadeo Sanchez
there some snow blocking the trail on the upper part, at the beginning of the downhill
Sep 24, 2016
Carson Craven
ride with Dave by shuttle from top to corral
Aug 25, 2016
Marc Emmett
Jul 4, 2016
Bethany Fleming
Jun 8, 2016
Marcel Mijares

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 7 votes

#3

in Lake Tahoe

#596

Overall
  4.7 from 7 votes
5 Star
71%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
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Rankings

#3

in Lake Tahoe

#76

in California

#596

Overall
69 Views Last Month
4,107 Since Jul 7, 2015
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My first ride in the Tahoe area. There's a little bit of hike-a-bike right before armstrong pass. The downhill section is great with a lot of flow and techy sections combined. I took my friends from Utah on the lower corral section and they had such a blast with the jumps and berms that they had to ride back up to do it again. Feb 11, 2016
One of my all time favorite rides in the Tahoe area, I often start from the Big Meadow Trail head instead of Luther Pass, which eliminates a lot of the nasty hike a bike and allows for a nice 2 mile warmup before the real climbing begins. Once you get past the Mr Toad’s intersection the riding gets better and better. Oct 21, 2017
Great video of riding Armstrong Pass down to Corral - youtube.com/watch?v=CSEd5JL… Nov 27, 2017

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