Family Friendly: The campground side of the trail starts as fire road, turns to wide singletrack and gets progressively harder. Turn around when the going gets too rough.
General Creek Trail
runs from the campground at Sugar Pine Point State Park to the Richardson Lake fire road near the Desolation Wilderness border. The western end is also about 1/4 mile from the McKinney Rubicon Jeep Trail
The trail is easy and well maintained (fire road) near the campground and gets progressively more difficult the further you get from the campground. The eastern part of the trail is easy (green) trail. The western end contains some backcountry technical features (rocks, stairs, steep loose climbs- black diamond).
It makes a nice out-and-back from Sugar Pine State Park to the crossing of General Creek. Most cyclists turn around at the creek crossing and ride the trail as an out-and-back. The trail winds and flows through the valley floor. There are great wildflowers here in the spring and early summer. Watch for some fun alternate lines over granite for the ride back. Add the 0.6 mile spur to Lily Pond for a little extra fun.
The eastern side of the trail (near the campground) was part of the 1960 Winter Olympic Cross Country Ski and Biathlon course.
For those looking for an epic tough backcountry experience you can ride General Creek Trail
as part of a big loop. You can also combine Lost Lake Trail
or ride the 1/2 mile of fire road out to Richardson Lake and the PCT. It is best ridden in the west-east direction (toward Lake Tahoe) for those riding the entire trail.
Be aware that there is a 3-5 minute hike-a-bike section where the trail drops through a large granite field to the General Creek crossing. It's an easy hike-a-bike going down, but double or triple the time if you are going uphill (west). Most of the hike-a-bike section is rideable but has several dismounts. We just hike it and enjoy the views of the lake, big granite, and the rocky cliff on the other side of General Creek. Really a gorgeous spot!
Other notes for people riding General Creek as part of a backcountry epic. There is an awesome old hunters cabin near the western end of the trail. Keep your eyes peeled on the left side as you follow the old jeep road at the beginning. Worth a look and a couple pics. Richardson Lake is also worth a side trip. Nice lake, and the TRT/PCT crosses through at Richardson Lake.
This section of the TRT is gorgeous, flowing and forested, but sadly not bike legal. Also at Richardson Lake there is a little known Sierra Club hut on the hill above the south side of the lake that is worth checking out.