Lake Tahoe’s Rim Trail and Flume Trail

Neil Wiley

Although Lake Tahoe isn’t local, so many of us spend time there that it seems like an extension of our own mountains. It’s a great area for active sports. While in Tahoe City this summer, our family hiked, swam, biked, rafted, and rode horses. My brother-in-law and I hiked a section of the Tahoe Rim Trail. Although the trail is a 165-mile loop, we were content to walk about two miles of the Tahoe City South/Page Meadows section. We entered the trail from the back of the Granlibakken Resort, but you can reach it off the west side of Highway 89 south of the junction with Highway 28. Park in the Truckee River Access Lot, then follow a bike path of the south shore of the river, turn at the Forest Service gate, and on to a gravel road for 3/10 of a mile, then through another gate where the rim trail becomes a dirt path. To complete this section, you can hike down from the trail to Highway 89 via Ward Creek Boulevard, Twin Peaks Road, and Pineland Road.

The climb to the ridge was relatively easy, and the forest provided pleasant shade with occasional views of Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately, however, the forest is losing the war against drought, global warming, fires, and sloppy salvage logging. Dead trees, stumps, and piles of logs and brush littered the landscape. This is especially sad when you consider that deforestation is responsible for about twenty percent of global carbon emissions, more than all the cars, boats, and planes in the world. We are losing.

On a more pleasant note, several people have recommended Lake Tahoe’s Flume Trail, especially for mountain bikers. It is reputed to be one of the best biking trails in the United States, with great views of Lake Tahoe from higher than 1000 feet. You can ride the entire 13.5-mile trail from Spooner Lake State Park to Tunnel Creek. (A shuttle is available to take you back.) Less ambitious riders and day hikers can hike about five miles from Spooner Lake to Marlette Lake. For more information about bike rentals and shuttles, call 775-749-5349.


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