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  1. #1
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    Sth Lake Tahoe riding and camping

    Hi all, we'll be heading that way in 2 weeks and have never been there before. I'd love to get any suggestions or general info on the area but also had a few specific question.
    Trails: what do you suggest for trails. We'll have 2 full days to ride there but my wife and I will be swapping off our boys so looking for a 2-3hr ride each day that we can both do.
    Camping: We see the Pope Beach Campground down there. Are there any others you would suggest?
    More important, are there any dispersed camping options that we can tow our 27' camper into?
    Thanks for any help, we are looking forward to checking out the area!
    Randy

  2. #2
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    Start here for trail advice. I hadn't ridden up there in 20 years and I found this page after a google search. Absolutely excellent trails by the way.

    Trails |

  3. #3
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    Thank you, that looks to be right around the area we plan to be in.
    Randy

  4. #4
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    I can't help with RV camping, but I can help with trails.

    The Corral network of trails has a lot of options, was recently rebuilt, and has the option of shuttling to the top so you don't have to do much work. The downside is, because of all of this, it's often crowded. Armstrong Pass, Armstrong Connector and Upper Corral are probably black diamond trails, with a few rock gardens each and a few small drops. Upper Corral dumps into Lower Corral which has a long jumpline or a new berm section as well as a fast downhill section. Sidewinder or Incense Cedar are longer, windy, flowier trails which may be more fun for intermediates. You can extend these rides by continuing on Railroad Grade or Powerline Trail.

    Star Lake is a great one but it may take you more than 3 hours. Access it from Kingsbury Grade, High Meadow Road/Cold Creek Trail, or via the same road that brings you to the top of Corral (Fountain Place.)

    Big Meadow to Christmas Valley is really fun if you're looking for a technical challenge with more downhill than up. You can start from Big Meadow trailhead on HWY89 and follow the Rim Trail toward Round Lake. You then split off north down a long, windy rocky trail with beautiful views. This could be done in 3 hours by good riders, but it's worth visiting Dardenelles Lake while you're out there.

    These aren't all the best trails, there are a lot of great ones here. You'll have fun wherever you go.

  5. #5
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    rcharrette- Thanks for starting this thread. I am in the same boat.

    Visiting for the first time in two weeks to ride with my wife on a anniversary camping/biking road trip. Interested in the S. Lake area as well.

    Any local comments on getting a cabin at Camp Richardson or thoughts on Fallen Leaf camp ground....awesome/avoid/go to (here) instead??

    We don't require anything fancy (other than good weather) and will be equipped for tent camping/cooking.

    We plan to visit a local shop (please recommend one!) but are looking for fun, 3+hr XC rides. We enjoy the ups and downs and will be riding 29 hardtails. Coming from the SLC/Park City area.


    Thanks in advance!

  6. #6
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    My wife and I really like Sugar Pine Point state park.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcharrette View Post
    More important, are there any dispersed camping options that we can tow our 27' camper into?
    Here's a map (custom made for you) that might help ... cross reference with the TAMBA trail map. I mostly camp in dispersed spots (e.g., Scott Lake or Burnside Lake), but I don't pull a trailer, so I don't look at places with parking a trailer in mind. But, I've seen plenty staged in beautiful Hope Valley off Hwy 88 (although that spot can be quite dusty). You could certainly do some rides from camp... up to Scott Lake and down to Big Meadow/TRT... or an easy cruiser with the kids on fire road out to Burnside Lake (to the south)... or go bigger anc hit Toads, or Armstrong, or Star Lake Connector/Cold Creek. Lots of options!

    Sth Lake Tahoe riding and camping-slt-toads-copy.jpg

  8. #8
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    Sweet!, I think with the TAMBA map and others input we have the riding handled. This is a big help with the camping.
    Randy

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potsie View Post

    Any local comments on getting a cabin at Camp Richardson or thoughts on Fallen Leaf camp ground....awesome/avoid/go to (here) instead??
    Camp Rich is a fun place the hang, I've never stayed at the cabins, they look "Rustic" though and certainly are not fancy but as long as your not looking for Ritz type accommodations they are probably fine.

    Fallen Leaf Campground looks to be nice, I go by it all the time, the lake is beautiful and there are trails you can ride right from there. I have seen camper/rv's there so it's more than just tent camping if the sound of generators bugs you.
    Go get that KOM "You Deserve" - http://www.digitalepo.com/index.php

  10. #10
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    Appreciate the info guys. Thanks! Is there a preferred bike shop in town?

  11. #11
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    Sports LTD is a great shop in South Lake and consistently helps out TAMBA (trail days, crew leaders, financially, etc). Watta Bike is also cool.

    Camping at Camp Rich or Fallen Leaf would be good and you can ride from camp to the new Tahoe Mountain Trails and further. The Big Meadow free camping area is great if you want to ride bigger trails from camp (Toads, TRT, Xmas Valley, Corral). Or Campground By The Lake is directly in town and right across the street from the lake.

    Sounds like you found our TAMBA map and ride recommendations. There's also a trip planning FAQ on the webpage too. Tahoe Trip Planning FAQ |

    Have fun!
    Support TAMBA (Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association) http://mountainbiketahoe.org/

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potsie View Post
    We ... are looking for fun, 3+hr XC rides. We enjoy the ups and downs and will be riding 29 hardtails.
    Thanks in advance!
    Here's an edit from last summer. My friend Mark was on his 29er hardtail and I showed him the goods that South Tahoe has to offer.



    gotta say that my porky heckler is way more fun on typical tahoe trails, tho..
    51% smartass, 49% dumbass

  13. #13
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    Thanks again for all the help in getting this together. We are leaning towards the Fallen Leaf CG. Camp Rich looks great but we have a pup. We take off in 10 days! Looks like we will just make it for camping there as well, it shows they are closing on the 12th of Oct.
    Randy

  14. #14
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    Good place to camp. Short drive to most trails with good riding right out your tent. Your pup will love Fallen Leaf Lake. The new Tahoe Mtn Trail system is great for riding from the campground and will keep you smiling with fun 1-2 hour loops. With where you are camping you should definitely hit up South Shore Bikes for all of your bike shop needs. Just opened their new store down the road right before you reach the Y on your left. No Lake Tahoe shot glasses or Heavenly T-shirts but a great bike shop. I live about a mile as the crow flies from Fallen Leaf and I ride from the house for nearly all south shore trails, so if you don't want to drive and don't have time constraints you could park the car the entire trip. Don't forget to get a Rum Runner at the Beacon down at Camp Rich. Lots of other good restaurants and bars at the Y area as well.

  15. #15
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    not sure how current/updated this is but check out ~ http://www.tahoeadventuresports.com/.../mbikehome.htm

    out of all those, i HIGHLY recommend Flume Trail. *google for more infos and esp. PICS!!!

  16. #16
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    Tahoe folks,
    First off, hope you and your families are safe regarding the fires surrounding the area. I am reading that smoke is effecting the area, but not familiar enough to know exactly where/how bad. My trip to S. Lake is fast approaching. Should I be working on a plan B?

    Was hoping to spend 2-3 days biking/camping in the Camp Rich/Fallen Leaf area beginning Sunday.....Then on to Yosemite (yeah, I know ).

    Our back up plan, if Yosemite was a no go was to spend more time exploring Tahoe. Now what?

    Thanks in advance, and stay safe!

  17. #17
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    Hi all, we too are taking off this Friday and I hope all is well out that way? We are looking at Fallen Leaf Campground and Zephyr Cove campground. Zephyr Cove is in the lead as they have WIFI and my Wife will need to do some work. I'd love to hear opinions on the Zephyr Cove CG if anyone has experience there.
    Randy

  18. #18
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    If you're taking a trip to mtn bike I wouldn't camp at Zephyr, it's a great location to walk to the beach, but no riding from camp at all... FLL is the better bet or Camp Rich, or even Campground by the Lake in the middle of town
    Support TAMBA (Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association) http://mountainbiketahoe.org/

  19. #19
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    Thanks again. With the current state of the fires and smoke (from what I've heard and read) we've decided to skip Tahoe and head straight out to the Coast. Our first stop will be Santa Cruz. We'll be on the coast for a few weeks so we may be able to hit Tahoe on the way back if things clear up?
    Randy

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcharrette View Post
    Thanks again. With the current state of the fires and smoke (from what I've heard and read) we've decided to skip Tahoe and head straight out to the Coast. Our first stop will be Santa Cruz. We'll be on the coast for a few weeks so we may be able to hit Tahoe on the way back if things clear up?
    When in SC, don't miss the soquel demo forest. "Braille" for gnar, "flow" for banked turns and "pumptrack" like feel.

  21. #21
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    If you are looking for a cabin near Camp Richardson (without actually being at CR) this is the closest thing around (and owned by some family of mine):Forestview Cabin in South Lake Tahoe - Home
    Three houses down from the bike path, back gate to the woods.

  22. #22
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    We'll hit Soquel for sure!
    Randy

  23. #23
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    I don't know if you're aware of this, but the fish and game zones for deer rifle season in this area all start this weekend or last. Camping in the boonies will be at a premium as it will at any campground near hunting. Good luck and wear bright colors!

  24. #24
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    Update: Hi all thanks again for the help. Again, we decided to skip Tahoe and it looks like it was a good decision, first there were the fires and then it SNOWED! Awsome they got the snow though as I'm sure it helped a lot.
    Anyway, we blasted out to the coast over 2 days and have so far stayed at Santa Cruz Harbor, Constanoa KOA and are now at New Brighton State Beach. We've done a ton of road ridding and today we made it up to the Soquel Demo Forest for some MTB ridding. They were all set up for a Enduro race this weekend. We did a shuttle to near the top and hit the Ridge Trail to the Braille Trail.
    Tomorrow we are off to San Francisco. We'll be staying at the San Francisco RV Resort. Friday we are ridding over the Golden Gate Bridge and taking the Ferry back to loop it, Saturday I'm doing the group ride at Rapha Cycles in Town and Sunday my wife will do there Womens ride.
    Having a blast so far, MTB's are not seeing a ton of use but that will change when we hit Sedona, AZ in a few weeks or if you have any other suggestions in the San Francisco or Monterey area please let us know!
    Randy

  25. #25
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    Camp Tamarancho or China Camp in Marin County...just across the GG bridge. Both have some excellent singletrack.
    Sent from my Lumia928 using Tapatalk

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