Lake Tahoe, California… er, I mean Nevada—whichever you prefer. I think Lake Tahoe, California sounds much nicer. Mainly, Nevada conjures up thoughts of families gambling away their life savings in one weekend. Honestly, casinos are sickening—why can’t we think of better places to spend our money, like funding useful projects and helping people make something out of themselves. Oh, wait—I’m writing about mountain biking in Tahoe, not gambling.

My first trip to Lake Tahoe was the summer of 1999 with a good riding buddy, Jason Hunt. Everyone calls us “Les Deux Jason,” but I prefer to call Jason Hunt “The Other White Jason.” Whichever you prefer, we spent plenty of time together last summer as we logged some serious riding hours on killer trails. I must say that Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited.

Everyone calls us “Les Deux Jason,” but I prefer to call Jason Hunt “The Other White Jason.”

Ok, enough already, the mountain biking there is spectacular and the scenery second to none. My cousin’s house in Reno served as basecamp and all-you-can-eat seafood buffets fueled our rides.We didn’t have any real biking maps of the area, so we just decided to make our way up to Incline Village, find a bike shop, chum up to a local biker, then swipe some riding on “locals” trails away from the crowds. We had heard tons about the Great Flume Trail, but we didn’t want to follow the crowds—we were in search of the goods!

We came across a great bike shop and a friendly bike tech who pointed us towards the Tahoe Rim Trail to Watson Lake. The Tahoe Rim Trail, when finished, will surround the lake and provide great hiking and mountain biking for the masses.

Watson Lake is on the northern shore of Lake Tahoe, just south of the summit of Northstar Resort. The trail initially descends through some gnarly rocky sections with drop-offs and other nearly impossible obstacles, only to climb through more, equally-challenging uphills to Watson Lake.

Every so often the trees would clear, giving us wonderful views of Lake Tahoe to the south. The water is so beautiful and the area is one of the most beautiful of God’s creations.

Our next ride was on the south side of the lake, just west of Heavenly Resort. Although we passed through some signs that said something about “No Trespassing” or something like that–I had a momentary lapse of English at the time–we kept on riding. I figured, there were tracks on both sides of the barb-wire fence with a nice hole made just big enough for you and your bike.

This trail doesn’t have a name, I think the bike shop in town called it the Powerline Trail. Ask any bike shop in the area; I’m sure they’ll be happy to show you the way.

If you haven’t experienced mountain biking in the Tahoe area, you must before you get too old and decide that going fast is for young, reckless hooligans like me.

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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