Mr. Toads Wild Ride- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Mr. Toads Wild Ride

    I've been dreaming about this trail for the last two years and just never got around to it. I felt it was too advanced, but after surviving some Northstar blacks, it's now on the list of must rides in South Lake.

    My buddies went up (and snatched my camera in the process) while I'm recovering from Deer Valley.

    The trail seems quite fun, with just a whole host of large rocks, variable jumps and drops. Seems to me you would want 150mm travel front and back minimum. It wasn't dusty and seemed like the dirt was perfect. I believe a rain/snow hit for a day and washed all the silt off the rocks too. Conditions seemed perfect right now.

    While I lament the missed opportunity, I was able to see it second hand. If you've never ridden it you can see the ride here:

    Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/1hej-oK9Mx8


    A question for Tahoe MTB riders. What does Toads rank in your favorites list?

  2. #2
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    Toads is my number one in Tahoe.

    I would say 150mm travel is the optimum for the trail and it can be ridden with less. I believe you posted a video of riding boondocks and it's no harder than that.

  3. #3
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    Toads is my single favorite legal trail in California. It would be good on todayís modern trail bike (120-140) or anything bigger. Has flown tech up top, and high speed flow down lower. If you donít like this trail, you donít like mountain biking. Lol.

  4. #4
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    Toads is great. But Xmas Valley is my #1 in South Lake, especially when ridden from Luther Pass (even better when adding Dardanelles Lake). And I'd probably put Freel Meadows to Armstrong Pass to Corral at #2 for length and variety--and a really fun finish. #3 is Star Lake to Connector to Cold Creek. They're all really good! And I do have the Toads shirt from Over the Edge. : )
    Last edited by Callender; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:01 AM.
    Ride fast. Huck bravely. Waste no beer. Safety third.

  5. #5
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    In two years Iíve never hit any of these mentioned! Looks like Iím waiting until next summer but will do doing them. Right now Iím just running blues In the Auburn foothills before my shoulder surgeries. I did Jackass, Jelly and Big Chief, but Tahoe sounds like the place.

    Gotta bight the bullet and get a cabin for a few days and run a few with the boys.

  6. #6
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callender View Post
    Toads is great. But Xmas Valley is my #1 in South Lake, especially when ridden from Luther Pass (even better when adding Dardanelles Lake). And I'd probably put Armstrong Pass to Corral at #2 for length and variety--and a really fun finish. #3 is Star Lake to Cold Creek. They're all really good!
    ^^^This. These, and others, have my kudos over Toads.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  7. #7
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    Toads is awesome. Right up there with it in my opinion, though all significantly shorter in length than Toads are these: Marlette Creek trail, Armstrong Connector, Corral, Tyrolean DH.

  8. #8
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dopaminer_09 View Post
    Toads is awesome. Right up there with it in my opinion, though all significantly shorter in length than Toads are these: Marlette Creek trail, Armstrong Connector, Corral, Tyrolean DH.
    Not if you do an up and back on Armstrong to top of drop before Toads. From there->Armstrong Pass->Armstrong->Armstrong connector->Corral->Sidewinder->Corral etc.👍
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  9. #9
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    Good suggestion. The week before last, we rode to Armstrong Pass and descended down from there. I didn't enjoy the Armstrong descent as much as I have in prior years. Maybe because it was cold and raining. I loved Armstrong Connector and Corral though.

    We came back a couple days later and shuttled the Armstrong Connector and Corral again. I messed myself up on the rock jump at the road at the start of Corral. Major bummer.

    Nonetheless, already looking forward to my annual Tahoe biking trip next year.
    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Not if you do an up and back on Armstrong to top of drop before Toads. From there->Armstrong Pass->Armstrong->Armstrong connector->Corral->Sidewinder->Corral etc.

  10. #10
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    Toads is #1 in my book, partly because I look forward to it all year and cause I remember just enough to roll everything with a little pucker, the others no pucker at all. I usually make it at least 2x per year and clockwise loop up Armstrong to Toads and back up to roll Armstrong Connector and Corral (big figure 8); hoping to get one more trip in the next 2 weeks.

    Would be interesting to hear exactly from others why Toads does not compare and falls short?

    IMHO there are sections in the big loop Toads loop that cover most of what is ranked higher and are equal if not better in those sections.
    Armstrong Pass to Toads +1 over Corral and Connector
    Upper Toads = none of the above, this is the technical section...
    Lower Toads +1 over Corral and Connector except for table tops, -1 if you must have those.

    Gotta go out and try XMas Valley next year....

  11. #11
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    I enjoy shuttling Luther, riding toads, then pedaling up to Armstrong connector and doing all that afterwards. Decent mileage that way. Problem for me is that I have ridden Toads in all-time conditions over the years, and when we have a year like 2019, where the top of toads is snowed in until early July, then blown out by the first of August, we have to seek alternatives to keep the stoke level pinned. Some don't, but I do... I just have no desire to ride that trail in the blown out summer conditions because I know how ripping it can actually be in the damp. Often, the best riding is when we do have to circumvent snow drifts to access Toads. However, when I did seek alternative rides this summer, Christmas Valley, Big Meadow, Etc were great. But the best ride I did all summer while living in the basin was from Stagecoach Lodge to Star Lake, Star Lake connector to Cold Creek. Maybe it's the same principal as when we are hungry, any food tastes good, but that was fun. It was so fun that I made it a point to shuttle Luther, ride TRT counter-clockwise via Armstrong, then proceed to climb Freel Pass to Star Lake, and again, descend Star Lake Connector to Cold Creek, which I do not recommend to, well, anyone, because Freel Pass is unrelenting, and makes for a long day on the bike. But, once the Star Lake bug bit me, I was riding Monument to Star Lake, and Star Lake connector any chance I got. So for me, it's not just one, but the variety of trails in South Lake that spoils we mountain bikers. I actually also really enjoy Thunder Mountain out in Kirkwood, but that's another story

  12. #12
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    Toads is my favorite trail of all time. Partly because it's one of the first trails I ever rode in Tahoe but mostly because it's a trail that has it all - chunk, flow, old school tech, stairs, sand, berms, jumps, drops, high speed, etc. Other than parts of the rock fall, which overall has been made "easier" by the trail fairies, it's all rideable and grin inducing.

    Of course, this is all simply subjective but for some reason, Toads has a special place in my riding list.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    But the best ride I did all summer while living in the basin was from Stagecoach Lodge to Star Lake, Star Lake connector to Cold Creek.
    Just did that exact ride last week, can confirm it was an excellent ride, but the climb up from Stagecoach was brutal to a guy aclimated to sea level.

    The first big granite rollers section of cold creek was intimidating and I only managed to ride the top half, but the rest of the trail was A+

  14. #14
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    I enjoy shuttling Luther, riding toads, then pedaling up to Armstrong connector and doing all that afterwards. Decent mileage that way. Problem for me is that I have ridden Toads in all-time conditions over the years, and when we have a year like 2019, where the top of toads is snowed in until early July, then blown out by the first of August, we have to seek alternatives to keep the stoke level pinned. Some don't, but I do... I just have no desire to ride that trail in the blown out summer conditions because I know how ripping it can actually be in the damp. Often, the best riding is when we do have to circumvent snow drifts to access Toads. However, when I did seek alternative rides this summer, Christmas Valley, Big Meadow, Etc were great. But the best ride I did all summer while living in the basin was from Stagecoach Lodge to Star Lake, Star Lake connector to Cold Creek. Maybe it's the same principal as when we are hungry, any food tastes good, but that was fun. It was so fun that I made it a point to shuttle Luther, ride TRT counter-clockwise via Armstrong, then proceed to climb Freel Pass to Star Lake, and again, descend Star Lake Connector to Cold Creek, which I do not recommend to, well, anyone, because Freel Pass is unrelenting, and makes for a long day on the bike. But, once the Star Lake bug bit me, I was riding Monument to Star Lake, and Star Lake connector any chance I got. So for me, it's not just one, but the variety of trails in South Lake that spoils we mountain bikers. I actually also really enjoy Thunder Mountain out in Kirkwood, but that's another story
    Hows Monument to climb now that it's bedded in a few seasons? Came down it September last year cutting my R-Tds ride short. Really liked it except for the few slidey granite beach sections at the beginning. 🙄
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Hows Monument to climb now that it's bedded in a few seasons? Came down it September last year cutting my R-Tds ride short. Really liked it except for the few slidey granite beach sections at the beginning. 
    Ah man, that's a hard call to make on a Rose to Toads epic... But yeah, I like it! And yes, the upper section has bedded in nicely! Funny, the worst part of that ride, for me, and I get there via High Meadow generally, is the view of Monument peak, and the glimpse of the tippy-top from the meadow once I'm on Monument trail. It is a GREAT feeling, as if I am getting somewhere, when I hit the High Meadow. But dang, when I turn up to Monument, and being able to see Monument Peak, and the view of what is still left to pedal, is kind of demoralizing! The top is RIGHT THERE but ugh, this is gonna be a minute... LOL

  16. #16
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    Did Toads, Christmas Valley, Armstrong & Corral, HITG last month. Also have done Thunder/horse canyon in the past. Of those I would say Toads with thunder a close second for me. I am not in great shape so the climb from the parking lot was tough but not horrible. After the techy top, the smooth fast part is amazing. Going back up this weekend before the snow.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Ah man, that's a hard call to make on a Rose to Toads epic... But yeah, I like it! And yes, the upper section has bedded in nicely! Funny, the worst part of that ride, for me, and I get there via High Meadow generally, is the view of Monument peak, and the glimpse of the tippy-top from the meadow once I'm on Monument trail. It is a GREAT feeling, as if I am getting somewhere, when I hit the High Meadow. But dang, when I turn up to Monument, and being able to see Monument Peak, and the view of what is still left to pedal, is kind of demoralizing! The top is RIGHT THERE but ugh, this is gonna be a minute... LOL
    Do you get to High Meadow via up HM rd, or up Cold Creek tr? I guess either way is a wash when you look up Monument once you get to that point huh? Lol. Was thinking I could get up there this weekend to sneak a last high sierra ride in but chances are probly not....Ugh.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  18. #18
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    I climbed Monument back in August and it was quite sandy and climbing the switchbacks kicked my butt. It didnít feel very bedded in. Granted I started at Stagecoach, went to Star Lake, over Freel, down Armstrong and Corral, then across Railroad and up Cold Creek. So I was getting toasty by the time I hit Monument.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonesjus View Post
    I climbed Monument back in August and it was quite sandy and climbing the switchbacks kicked my butt. It didnít feel very bedded in. Granted I started at Stagecoach, went to Star Lake, over Freel, down Armstrong and Corral, then across Railroad and up Cold Creek. So I was getting toasty by the time I hit Monument.


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    Dang! And still some work after topping out on Monument to get back to Stagecoach. Quite an outing man!👍
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonesjus View Post
    I climbed Monument back in August and it was quite sandy and climbing the switchbacks kicked my butt. It didnít feel very bedded in. Granted I started at Stagecoach, went to Star Lake, over Freel, down Armstrong and Corral, then across Railroad and up Cold Creek. So I was getting toasty by the time I hit Monument.


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    So let me get this strait.. You rode TRT from Stagecoach, over to Armstrong/Corral via Star Lake/Freel cutoff, then pedaled back up Cold Creek and rode up monument?

    Then what happened...?

    And Jmac, I don't ride up Cold Creek trail anymore, really. Too many incidents where I'm climbing at 0.5mph and oncoming DHers fast approaching at warp speed. Not a good combo for me.. I stick to the fire road. Plus I think that section of fire road from the Star Lake Connector to the meadow at the top of cold creek is a blast..

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    So let me get this strait.. You rode TRT from Stagecoach, over to Armstrong/Corral via Star Lake/Freel cutoff, then pedaled back up Cold Creek and rode up monument?

    Then what happened...?

    ..
    Well, I rode back to Stagecoach. I was seriously reconsidering sobriety as I watched my buddy chug a beer.

    https://strava.app.link/T7gQ9aEQe1


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    So let me get this strait.. You rode TRT from Stagecoach, over to Armstrong/Corral via Star Lake/Freel cutoff, then pedaled back up Cold Creek and rode up monument?

    Then what happened...?

    And Jmac, I don't ride up Cold Creek trail anymore, really. Too many incidents where I'm climbing at 0.5mph and oncoming DHers fast approaching at warp speed. Not a good combo for me.. I stick to the fire road. Plus I think that section of fire road from the Star Lake Connector to the meadow at the top of cold creek is a blast..
    A respectable loop for justin.

    Yeah the last time we went up CC in mid August wasnt too thrilled about doing it again(have done it several). Surprisingly enuff I don't remember any bikers came down on us, lots of hikers though.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonesjus View Post
    Well, I rode back to Stagecoach. I was seriously reconsidering sobriety as I watched my buddy chug a beer.
    Take note, lurkers.. 34.5 miles of MTB is one thing. 34.5 miles of Tahoe MTB however.. That's impressive, to say the least.

    Gotta know.. Any highlights at all? I know from experience that Freel connector is quite "send-able"..

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Take note, lurkers.. 34.5 miles of MTB is one thing. 34.5 miles of Tahoe MTB however.. That's impressive, to say the least.

    Gotta know.. Any highlights at all? I know from experience that Freel connector is quite "send-able"..
    Ha! Thanks.

    The highlight of that ride is down from Freel to Armstrong then Corral. I donít remember exactly but itís something like 12 miles and 3500 ft of descending and has a little bit of everything - high altitude with great views, tight trees, wide open high speed sections, slower techy moves, chunk, flowy berms, table tops. So much fun and diversity in one descent.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Take note, lurkers.. 34.5 miles of MTB is one thing. 34.5 miles of Tahoe MTB however.. That's impressive, to say the least.

    Gotta know.. Any highlights at all? I know from experience that Freel connector is quite "send-able"..
    Freel Connector? Due tell.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  26. #26
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    Out of what I've ridden in Tahoe, I liked Toads but in my mind there were two maybe three spots depending on the line you took that were extremely difficult. It was a lot of fun but definitely was a hell of a lot of work to get to. However, a lot of the trails listed all fall in the same group. Getting to Freel in either direction is tough. The trail itself isn't, just the elevation is a bear when climbing.

    I did Thunder Mountain/Horse Canyon last weekend and I'll say that climb takes the cake on worst climb in tahoe for me. Even over climbing to Freel hungover with like 4 hours of sleep. LOL! The decent on the other hand I felt like was more chunky than anything else that I've ridden. I was really impressed with the DH portion. There were a handful of sections I was out classed on and enjoy driving away from a ride with a checklist of things that I want to go back and beat.

    With all that being said I would say that Big Chief is my favorite trail in Tahoe. Just because how easy it is to shuttle or loop. It has a lot of fun obstacles on it and in my opinion is a really well rounded trail.
    Last edited by B1KER; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:29 PM.
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