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Tahoe City-Truckee Gravel Grinder

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.7 (9) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A big loop featuring a mix of pavement, fire road, and singletrack.


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Map Key

36.6

Miles

59.0

KM

30%

Singletrack

7,773' 2,369 m

High

5,809' 1,771 m

Low

2,565' 782 m

Up

2,564' 782 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Overview

This ride is a big loop suitable for mountain bikes, 'cross bikes, and modern adventure bikes (drop bar bikes running fat tires and disc brakes). This ride can be started in either Tahoe City or Truckee.

We do this ride from our home on the West Shore and start with the fast spin to Truckee along the Truckee River Bike Path and Hwy 89 (think easy 20+ mph spin to warm up). Then we make our way to the 06 Road, Sawtooth Trail, and do a long, scenic climb to Starret Pass. If you have mountain bikes, there are a number of great singletrack options to drop back into Tahoe City. (We rode this on our adventure bikes and chose less technical trails to finish the ride).

Description

From the 64-acres parking area, you'll jump onto the Truckee River Bike Path for an easy spin to Squaw Valley. From Squaw Valley, continue on Hwy 89 for another fast spin to River Road in Truckee. Hwy 89 has wide shoulders and is a popular road bike route. You can blast along at 20-25 mph+ here, and it is a great warmup to a long climb.

Take River Road into downtown Truckee and make a right turn onto Old Brockway Road. The spur shown on the GPS tracks leads to the water fountain/bathrooms in the park where you'll want to fill up before you turn onto Palisades Road for the climb through the neighborhood to the 06 Road.

Follow the bike route on surface streets through the neighborhood to the start of the 06 Road and the Sawtooth Trail parking area. Take the first half of the Sawtooth Trail until it crosses over the 06 Road. You can also skip Sawtooth and head straight up the 06 Road if you want to keep the ride a bit shorter. Sawtooth can be ridden with 'cross bikes, but does have some rocky sections.

When you cross the 06 Road, make a right turn and begin climbing up toward the Fibreboard Freeway - Brockway to Tahoe City. It's a long, pleasant climb with a few steep pitches and great views north into Squaw Valley and the Pacific Crest.

Turn right onto the paved Fibreboard Freeway - Brockway to Tahoe City and continue along it until you reach a switchback. Make a left turn onto a dirt road for 100 yards and make a right turn onto the Tahoe Rim Trail - Brockway Summit to Tahoe City for about 1 mile of easy singletrack descending.

When you cross the pavement again, make a left onto the Fibreboard Freeway - Brockway to Tahoe City once again and descend until you reach The Great Ski Race trail (aka Whoops Trail). Make a left onto The Great Ski Race trail and descend on the rollers into Burton Creek State Park. You'll make your way across the easy fire road connectors back to Tahoe City from here. Note that there are numerous unmarked intersections and options here. If you get lost, just head toward the lake. Most options eventually dump into the neighborhoods in Tahoe City or Dollar Point.

Enjoy!

Shared By:

S. Lengyel

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 9 votes

#2

in Tahoe City

#771

Overall
  4.7 from 9 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in Tahoe City

#118

in California

#771

Overall
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16,206 Since Aug 29, 2016
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Photos

Whoosh !
Jun 30, 2013 near Sunnysi…, CA
Sawtooth, looking west.
Jul 18, 2019 near Truckee, CA
SawTooth. A fun little trail, a local favorite.
<br>
Truckee, Ca
Jun 27, 2013 near Truckee, CA
Trail area entrance 06 Road. Yes, that's bear spray on the bike top tube...
Jul 18, 2019 near Truckee, CA
Climbing the 06 Road.
Aug 29, 2016 near Truckee, CA
During a wet year there is lots of marsh areas near the creek...with lots of wildlife. (There is a family of ducks in the water in this pic...too small to see though.)
Jul 12, 2013 near Dollar…, CA

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Check-Ins

May 4, 2021
Anya Hynell
Oct 19, 2020
Matt R
Awesome route! Good mix of pavement, gravel, and singletrack. I did it on a hardtail XC bike. Sawtooth Trail portion would be tough with smaller tires 36.5mi — 3h 36m
Oct 5, 2020
Chris O'Dell
Overall this was a great loop, though I don't recommend Sawtooth trail for gravel/adventure bikes unless you have plus tires. 37.7mi — 3h 52m
Jul 14, 2020
James Cooper
Brutal Climbs — 6h 30m
Nov 11, 2018
Slug Smasher
Exceptional ride for CX bike. Enough variety and challenge to keep anyone happy. One of the best multi surface rides I have done in this area.
Sep 3, 2018
Kevin
Started in Truckee and rode 89 first to Tahoe City, taking the dirt back to Truckee. Perfect route for my gravel bike with 29x2.0 tires. — 4h 00m
Aug 15, 2017
kari logwood
Super fun ride with a variety of trails and landscape. Started at the Sawtooth TH. 36.6mi — 5h 00m