Lake Tahoe’s Most Beautiful Trail Ride kicks off Saturday |

Lake Tahoe’s Most Beautiful Trail Ride kicks off Saturday

Adam Jensen
Patti Towns, event director for Lake Tahoe's Most Beautiful Trail Ride, stands above Sand Harbor on the Flume Trail.
Courtesy photo |

The ride

The Lake Tahoe’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride course starts at Spooner Lake on the East Shore of Lake Tahoe. The trail leads up to Marlette Lake (6.0 miles) and connects to the scenic Flume Trail. Riders will pedal across the Flume Trail (4.5 miles) before connecting to Tunnel Creek Road (3.5 miles) for a descent to Tunnel Creek Café.


If you go

What: Lake Tahoe’s Most Beautiful Trail Ride

When: Saturday, Aug. 29

Where: The Flume Trail, along Lake Tahoe’s East Shore

Tickets: $48 for adults, $36 for children ages 10-17, children under 10 are free when accompanied by an adult


INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Beginners and intermediate mountain bikers will have an extra incentive to get out on Lake Tahoe’s Flume Trail this weekend.

Lake Tahoe’s Most Beautiful Trail Ride, an inaugural supported trail ride on the scenic East Shore trail, takes place Saturday and concludes with a party at Tunnel Creek Cafe in Incline Village. The ride includes 14 miles in the saddle and approximately 1,100 feet of elevation gain. The Flume Trail runs along a section of the East Shore and features dramatic views of Lake Tahoe and Sand Harbor.

“It’s unforgettable,” said event director Patti Towns of the trail. “You want to pedal it, but you also always want to stop and take a photo.”

Participants will be shuttled from Tunnel Creek Cafe in Incline Village to Spooner Lake for the start of the ride. Three rest stops will be included, and bike patrol support will be available to assist participants with finding their way or fixing flat tires. The presence of rest stops and bike patrols will make the trail ride more enticing for families looking to tackle the ride with kids, Towns said.

The Flume Trail is easy to moderate along much of its length. The last three quarters of a mile before Marlette Lake, above Spooner Lake, provide the steepest and most strenuous test of participants lung capacity.

“The first mile of the ride follows North Canyon road into the backcountry,” according to organizers. “After the first mile, a gradual ascent begins as you pedal through conifers and aspen groves. The last mile of this trail does get a little bit more challenging as the grade steepens. This section will get your heart pumping followed by a sweet endorphin rush.

“Just after you crest the top of the climb you will have a fun, short descent down to Marlette Lake (7,823 altitude). This is a great spot to take a break and maybe a dip in the lake. Leaving Marlette Lake, all riders will turn left for about a mile along a flat jeep road. This road hugs the west shore of Marlette Lake.”

From there, mountain bikers get out on the Flume Trail proper, with Lake Tahoe spread out before them. The ride finishes with a three-mile descent along Tunnel Creek Road.

The trail isn’t technical but requires riders to pay attention and be aware of drop-offs along the trail.

Towns said she started the event to provide access for locals and visitors to an amazing trail while also supporting the Lake Tahoe mountain bike community.

As a member of the bike patrol, Towns said met many riders who were unprepared to compete the trail. Part of the reason for Saturday’s ride is to get riders on the trail properly prepared to pedal the Flume Trail. For those who do get out on the trail, the views are something else, Towns said.

“The lake feels like it’s right there,” she said.

A post-ride celebration at Tunnel Creek Cafe will include with music by Tany Jane.

Tickets for Saturday’s ride are $48 for adults and $36 for children ages 10-17. Children under 10 are free when accompanied by an adult. A $25 option does not include the shuttle ride to Spooner Lake. Proceeds from this event will benefit Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association, the Incline Bike Project and Nevada State Parks.

The entry fee to Navada State Park is included in the entry fee and Flume Trail Bikes will provide discounted rentals for the event, which will also feature a photographer along the course. Shuttle service is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. with ride-day registration taking place from 7-9 a.m.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User