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black Monument Pass, Freel Peak, and Mr. Toads Wild Ride

  4.8 ( 24 ) Favorite

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25.2 mile 40.5 kilometer point to point
90% Singletrack


Ascent: 3,625' 1,105 m
Descent: -4,726' -1,441 m
High: 9,720' 2,963 m
Low: 6,372' 1,942 m


Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)


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Trail shared by John Harris

The most challenging climbing on the highest section of the TRT, ending with Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

John Harris

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Covered in snow for much of the year.


This ride is a point-to-point from the Stagecoach chairlift at Heavenly to the end of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (Saxon Trail #18E13). It's a challenging cross-country singletrack ride which includes the highest point on the Rim Trail (Freel Pass just shy of 3,000M). The trail takes in views of Nevada while climbing to Monument Pass and passes the beautiful star lake as the climb continues to Freel Pass. With most, but by no means all the climbing over, Lake Tahoe comes into view as you descend to Armstrong Pass, after yet more climbing the ride ends will a 900 meter descent of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (Saxon Trail #18E13).

This is a long physical ride at high elevation that finishes with a classic technical downhill.

Need to Know

There is convenient parking at both ends of the trail. This trail is only free of snow during the summer months, even then you may find snow at Freel Pass. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen - you'll need both. Star Lake is cold but very refreshing if you choose to swim in it. You may want to pack pads for Mr Toad's Wild Ride.


Park at the Heavenly Stagecoach chairlift Parking lot. join the Tahoe Rim Trail by looking for the iconic Blue and White TRT signs and head South West to Star lake.

The first section of the trail climbs on the Nevada side of the Sierra, overlooking Gardnerville Ranchos, to Monument pass. Mostly singletrack, with one short descent on fire road, the trail winds through steep alpine forest getting progressively narrower as the drop-offs get steeper and the trees thin out. About 1Km short of Monument Pass the trees, and the shade, disappear and the steps start. As the guy in the local bike shop told me "Everyone walks the steps!". Strictly speaking it might be possible to ride them, but this is just the beginning of a long day and you might want to save some energy for later.

The power line pylon greets you at the top of monument pass and you can take a well earned rest, While you contemplate the next sction to Freel Pass that is now laid out before you.

The trail to Star lake from Monument Pass is a long relatively shallow climb around the contours that only kicks up as you finally approach the lake. At the lake you can take a swim or continue on the climb to Freel Pass

From Star Lake to Freel Pass is a tough winding climb over exposed granite with strength sapping sandy sections. Depending on the time of year you may also encounter snow here. This climb gets steeper the closer you get to the pass. Finally you reach the pass below Freel peak. If you are feeling really energetic you can hide the bike and climb to the top of Freel Peak. Alternatively catch your breath before the long descent to Armstrong pass

From Freel Peak to Armstrong Pass is a long descent on a steep mountain side on a narrow singletrack trail. The trail has two switchbacks toward the top but is otherwise pretty straight. Be aware there are a few technical rocky sections on this descent that can come up quickly on the unprepared.

From Armstrong pass the climbing starts again first across a steep hillside then onto the granite mountain top until finally it relents and you descend into the beautiful Freel Meadows.

From Freel Meadows the descent begins. At tucker flat take the Saxon Creek Trail a.k.a Mr Toad's Wild Ride. There are a few very rocky technical sections at the top but after these the trail is pretty consistent all the way down. At the end of the singletrack join the Saxon Creek Road (FSR# 12N01A) to the parking lot.


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Oct 1, 2018
Gil Heiman
Skipped the third climb and Mr Toad as we were beat and it was late BUT did Armstrong trail pass epic downhill which was 8 miles of pure joy! 24mi
Sep 30, 2018
Andy Gross
Ran out of time and had to cut it short descending Armstrong to Sidewinder (which was great). Next time: leave early; go slow; bring 4-5 L of water 24mi
Jul 5, 2018
Jim Dover
Jun 29, 2018
Evan Gravatt
Oct 15, 2017
Karolis Karalevičius
Dry and good conditions. Tons of steep steps so had to walk a few times. No other people on trail - amazing!
Jul 16, 2017
Evan Gravatt
Sep 17, 2016
Bryan Brewskie
Jun 30, 2016
BillyGoatSam jurekovic
Unreal riding. Suffered from the Ski resort to the high point side I had been going from sooner lake.

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Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 24 votes


  4.8 from 24 votes
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This is listed as a featured ride as if it is a ride that would be enjoyable. NOT the hike your bike from stagecoach was an unexpected experience. My recommendation for anyone wanting to ride from stagecoach is to take the Van Sickle trail down as most of this trail is NOT for biking. This would have been an amazing hike without my bike. Aug 15, 2017
I did this whole ride a few years back with my dog no problem it was a little long for both of us but we made it. Toads is a bit more than I wanted to do by the end of the ride but I made it. Yeah a lot of the first part near heavenly is hiking with your bike unless you are a badass that rides up rock stairs. Armstrong to Cold creek is way more fun. Sep 9, 2017
What are the transportation options in returning to the starting point after the ride? Aug 29, 2018

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