There may be no better way to see Tahoe in the summertime than on two wheels. Come summertime, Tahoe becomes an epicenter for cyclists of all kinds. The area is home to endless miles of singletrack for mountain bikers, steep climbs and mellow roadways perfect for road cyclists, and paved, multi-use paths along the Truckee River and the shores of Lake Tahoe for families who love bikes. Make Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows your summer home base and you’ll be in the center of the action and at a great place to start a variety of rides.
For Families and Cruiser Bikes: 4 Bike Paths Routes
Truckee River Bike Path
From the heart of Squaw Valley, the Truckee River Bike Path travels 7 miles into Tahoe City, paralleling Highway 89 along the Truckee River corridor. It’s a scenic and relatively flat pedal, perfect for kids, bike trailers, or cruiser bikes. Stop for a picnic or dip in the river on your way.
Truckee River Legacy Trail
Enjoy another section of the Truckee River along the Truckee River Legacy Trail, a multi-use route that now connects downtown Truckee with the neighborhood of Glenshire. This 6-mile paved pathway ambles through the Truckee River Regional Park and across a bridge over Martis Creek.
Tahoe East Shore Trail
The Tahoe East Shore Trail officially opened in summer 2019 after many years in development—it was worth the wait. This spectacular lakefront pathway stretches 3 picturesque miles from Incline Village to Sand Harbor Beach, with plenty of pull-outs along the way to stop and take a picture or dip your toes into Lake Tahoe.
West Shore Trail
The paved, multi-use path along Lake Tahoe’s West Shore is a stunner. You can park your car at 64-Acres Park in Tahoe City (or start all the way at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows for bonus points), then head south along the path, passing through Homewood, Tahoma, and DL Bliss State Park. A new section of trail now connects Sugar Pine Point State Park to Meeks Bay, a gorgeous, well-built terminus of the trail.
For Mountain Bikers: 6 Trails Worth Riding
From Alpine Meadows, you can ride singletrack accessed from Snow Crest Road for a lovely loop around the wildflowers and grassy expanse of Page Meadows. You can make plenty of variations in this maze of trails, or stick to this 13-mile loop, which passes through Page Meadows, then returns to Alpine via the paved Truckee River bike path.
If a climb is what you’re after, head from Alpine Meadows up the backside of Scott Peak. You’ll climb roughly 3 miles from the junction and over a thousand vertical feet through dense pine forest. At the summit, arrive atop Alpine’s Lakeview Chair, where you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of Lake Tahoe and a curvy, fun descent all the way back down.
The Western States trail climbs from Highway 89, between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, up a steep face affectionately known as The Wall. New singletrack has been built here in recent years to make the climb more biker-friendly, but it’s still a lung buster. At the top, you can descend banked turns back to where you started or take the Tahoe Rim Trail out-and-back to Painted Rock or drop OTB toward Squaw.
On the outskirts of Truckee but easily accessible from Squaw Valley, you’ll find the Jackass network of trails, right off Highway 89. The trail climbs around 6 miles and 2,000 vertical feet on a fire road. From there, enjoy sweeping turns on a purpose-built downhill or connect to a variety of other trails.
Trail builders constructed a brand-new section of the Stanford Rock loop last summer and the perfect switchbacks now make getting up this 2,200-foot climb a tiny bit easier. Make it a 15-mile loop by coming down the other side or turn around on the summit and enjoy a zig-zagging descent along Lake Tahoe’s west shore, a short drive from Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.
This ride requires a scenic drive from Squaw Valley around the north end of Lake Tahoe, but it’s worth it. The Flume Trail is a must-do ride in the Tahoe area. The views from this stunning trail look out over the expanse of the eastern edge of Lake Tahoe. Or start near the summit of Mount Rose to ride a 24-mile classic route on the Tahoe Rim Trail that connects to the Flume (note: mountain bikers are only allowed on this section of trail on even-numbered calendar days).
For Road Cyclists: 3 Hills to Climb
For road bikers, pedal from Squaw Valley toward Lake Tahoe’s West Shore until you reach Barker Pass Road, a paved road that climbs Blackwood Canyon on a narrow, steep 7-mile roadway that sees more bikers than car traffic. The views toward the backside of Alpine Meadows as you pedal uphill are stunning, and the 1,400-foot descent is well worth the haul.
Donner Pass Road
Climbing up and over Donner Pass on the old Highway 40 scenic byway is a Tahoe classic. This 16-mile out-and-back road ride starts at the west end of Donner Lake and includes striking vistas of the lake as it passes over the roadway’s iconic arched bridge. Be sure to look out for rock climbers scaling the cliffs overhead.
Brockway Summit Loop
When the Ironman used to take place in North Lake Tahoe, this was the route for the cycling portion of the legendary triathlon. The Brockway Summit Loop isn’t for the faint of heart: You’ll cover 35 miles and climb over 2,000 feet. Start at Squaw Valley, ride into Tahoe City and along the north shore of Lake Tahoe, then begin the climb up Brockway Summit toward Truckee, completing the loop back to Squaw.
Need a bike?
Here are other shops near Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows that offer rentals, demos, sales and repairs.
- Mountain Mike Sports and Squaw Bikes are your closest, most convenient option for bike rentals of all kinds—they have e-bikes, mountain bikes, tandem bikes, kids’ bikes, trailers—and they can even arrange for delivery.
- In Tahoe City, Olympic Bike Shop is the locals’ go-to spot for mountain bike rentals, tuning, and personal service, or start your ride on the multitude of all-level trails at Tahoe XC, which offers mountain bike rentals, maps, and summer mountain biking clinics.
- West Shore Sports has bikes for rent in prime locations in Sunnyside, Homewood, and Sugar Pine Point State Park, along Lake Tahoe’s pristine west shore.
- If you’re riding on the east shore of the lake, rent a bike or book a shuttle from Flume Trail Bikes.
- In Truckee, the Tahoe Sports Hub has rentals, service, biking accessories, and local beta.