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Cold Creek Loop

Intermediate
 3.3 (7)

This is a classic loop around High Meadow Trail and Cold Creek Trail.


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Map Key

4.0

Miles

6.4

KM

40%

Singletrack

6,956' 2,120 m

High

6,547' 1,995 m

Low

537' 164 m

Up

534' 163 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Overview

This ride is featured in the "Mountain Biking Lake Tahoe" book written by Lorene Jackson (highly recommended if you're unfamiliar with the trails in and around Lake Tahoe).

Need to Know

Look for the makeshift log bridge a short ways upstream to cross Cold Creek if the main crossing has too much water flowing.

Description

Park where the pavement ends off of High Meadows Trail. Head up the gravel High Meadows Road (FSR 12N21). At around 0.6 miles, you'll reach the official High Meadow Trail. This is the spot that you'll return to when you complete the loop.

As riders continue on High Meadows Jeep Road, there will be a couple of stream crossings along the way. Keep going about another mile until you reach a short singletrack trail on the left with a trail marker. This will take you to Cold Creek Connector and the crossing of Cold Creek. If there is too much water to cross, go upstream to the right a short ways and you'll find a makeshift log bridge that you can cross.

On the other side of the creek, go up the hill a short distance to reach the Cold Creek Trail #18E06. Head to the left down Cold Creek Trail and continue downhill. At around the 2.5-mile mark, you'll see a fork in the trail. Stay left—the right fork is a connector to the Powerline Trail (Cold Creek Trail to Powerline Trail Connector). In about 0.4 miles, turn left onto the Powerline Trail #18E33 and go across the bridge.

Veer left once you have crossed the bridge and head back towards the High Meadow Trail. Once you hit the High Meadow Trail you'll have completed the loop. Veer right to head back down to the parking area where you started. Get to your car and crack open a cold drink because you deserve it after this ride.

Contacts

Shared By:

Terry OConnell with improvements by Bob Ward

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 7 votes

#12

in Lake Tahoe

#3281

Overall
  3.3 from 7 votes
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4 Star
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3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#12

in Lake Tahoe

#422

in California

#3,281

Overall
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Intermediate

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Photos

The bridge over Cold Creek.
Jul 26, 2017 near South L…, CA
Star Lake and Cold Creek Trails
Aug 15, 2017 near South L…, CA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 95 days ago
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Check-Ins

Aug 1, 2022
Max Ramacher
Yesterday
Jun 26, 2022
Bo Putt
Jun 4, 2022
Bryan Easton
4mi
Jul 31, 2021
Jeremiah Farwell
Awesome
Jul 6, 2021
Tristan Biles
Jul 23, 2020
Private User
Jul 26, 2018
Lauren Lortie
Jul 8, 2018
Chris M
The jeep trail climb is a featureless grind. I would skip it and climb cold creek next time, and skip the unstable, makeshift river crossing. 10.9mi