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blueBlack Big Chief Trail (Lower)


5.8 mile 9.4 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 224' 68 m
Descent: -993' -303 m
High: 7,138' 2,176 m
Low: 6,339' 1,932 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)


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Trail shared by Jon Hart

A feature-packed trail that delivers something for every kind of rider!

Jon Hart

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Forest Service Road 06 is subject to seasonal closures. Check website for road status.

Need to Know

**The upper section of the trail from Watson Lake to the crossing with 06 Fire Rd. is still under construction and expected to be completed by the end of Oct 2018**

-Highly recommended to ride up the 06 Road to access the top of the trail.
-Various parking pull-outs along the 06 Fire Rd.


The lower portion of the new Big Chief Trail (2018) is now complete and ready to ride! Once completed, the Big Chief Trail will be a 7-mile, non-motorized trail connecting Watson Lake and Tahoe Rim Trail to the southern tip of the Sawtooth Trail. It's creation is thanks to a partnership with the Truckee Trails Foundation, USFS, Northstar, National Forest Foundation, and REI.

Big Chief Trail is packed with optional technical trail features of varying difficulties including rock rolls and drops, a log ride, gap jumps, as well as fast and flowy berm turns. The trail is suitable for intermediate to expert level riders. It's a rocky intermediate trail, but when incorporating many of the features found along the trail it can easily be pushed into the black diamond realm. All technical trail features have a ride around. In addition, a few of the features have several options depending on skill level which makes the trail thrilling and engaging for all riders as well as a great place to work on bike handling skills. Don't expect a pure downhill run on this trail as the nature of the trail will keep you pedaling in many sections.

**NOTE: Although it's not technically a one-way only trail, it's highly recommended that riders use the 06 Road to climb up to the start of the trail and ride it down to the intersection with Sawtooth Trail. The trail is designed to ride in this direction and there are many riders coming down at speed, especially through the berm-packed sections toward the bottom.

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Jul 12, 2019
Cycling Escapes
With Sawtooth 20mi — 3h 00m
Jun 12, 2019
Samm Rowland
Still snowy, but fun and flowy! — 12h 40m
Nov 11, 2018
Joe Schadler
Nov 7, 2018
Louis Mendes
Nov 4, 2018
Robert Verez
Oct 13, 2018
Steven Fine

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 5 votes


in Lake Tahoe


  4.6 from 5 votes
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1,689 Since Sep 30, 2018
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