Ward Creek Park is located just under 3 miles from Tahoe City on Hwy 89 south. You can access several hiking, biking and running trails just south of the Ward Creek Bridge, at the corner of Timberland Road or from Rideout Community Center, which also offers free parking. The trails are dirt and also are access to the Stanford Rock loop which crosses the Tahoe Rim Trail and brings you back down to Ward Creek Road. Trail Maps available at Rideout and West Shore Sports.
Tahoe XC is now operating during the summer months, providing services out of the day lodge. The summer hiking and biking trails are as phenomenal as the winter ski trails at Tahoe XC. Tahoe Cross Country's day lodge is located on Tahoe City Public Utility District property just east of Burton Creek State Park. From the trailhead at Tahoe XC, hikers and bikers can access incredible views of Lake Tahoe, fun singletrack trails, and beautiful meadows. Find information at the trailhead, and head out and enjoy Burton Creek State Park.
The Tahoe Trailways Bike Path meanders along the west shore of Lake Tahoe in California. From a hub in Tahoe City's 64-Acres Park, the system branches out with three paved legs, reaching Dollar Point in the northeast, Olympic (Squaw) Valley in the northwest and Sugar Pine Point State Park in the south. The trails link residential, recreation and business areas, offering scenic views of Lake Tahoe and the Truckee River.
Take the paved path south along SR 89 from Tahoe City to reach Sugar Pine Point State Park. Portions of this stretch hug the Lake Tahoe shoreline, offering magnificent views of the glistening water and recreational boat traffic. Just north of Tahoe Pines, the Kaspian Day Use Area allows swimming, so you'll want to bring your bathing suit in the summer.
There are a couple of gaps in the trail immediately north and south of Homewood Mountain Resort, but these can be bridged via on-road routes. At the trail's south end, you'll find yourself in sprawling Sugar Pine Point State Park. The park preserves dense forests of fir, aspen, juniper and pine, while also permitting hiking, swimming, camping and fishing.
Ed Z'berg - Sugar Pine Point State Park contains one of the finest remaining natural areas on Lake Tahoe. With nearly two miles of lake frontage, the park has dense forests of pine, fir, aspen and juniper.
Another attraction is the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion (also known as Pine Lodge), a summer home built in 1903 in a grove of pine and cedar. From the turn of the century until 1965, the lands of what is now Ed Z'berg - Sugar Pine Point State Park were owned by financier Isaias W. Hellman, and later by his daughter Florence Hellman Ehrman. The mansion provides an interesting view into the lifestyles of the wealthy on Lake Tahoe.
Summer Biking: Take Hwy 89 south along the West Shore from Tahoe City. Sugar Pine Point State Park is on the left side of the road. Parking is limited. Distance: 2 to 15 miles one way. Details: A short loop trail through the Z'Berg Natural Preserve, the Dolder Trail follows the lakeshore and passes the world's highest working lighthouse. For those with more time, the General Creek Trail is a 6 1/2 mile loop, offering an optional side trip to Lily Pond. Lost Lake, a beautiful alpine lake, is a full 15 miles round trip.
Start in the large public parking area just south of the Truckee River and follow the Truckee River Bike Path over a bridge and along the north side of the river. This part is easy, beautiful, and suitable for all abilities. It's crowded, so don't go too fast or get too distracted by the bikinis... I mean rafters. When you come to the River Run restaurant and Alpine Meadows, turn left and head towards the ski area.
Turn left on Snow Crest Road and climb uphill a while. Before descending, look for a dirt road going off to the left. This is 16N48, which you follow steeply uphill for a while. This first part is rocky, loose, and not very nice, but it's over quickly. It then gently climbs up through dense pine forest with glimpse views of the mountains and Lake Tahoe on much smoother, fast dirt.
After a few miles, you level off and are now in the Paige Meadow area, where there are tons of trails. Feel free to explore - they all reconnect eventually, and this area is the highlight of the ride. To follow this route, pass the first left turn option (which leads to Paige Meadows) and keep a sharp eye out for another left. It has a "no vehicles" sign but no name. Walk your bike across a short boggy section and you'll soon intersect the Tahoe Rim Trail - Truckee River to Ward Creek.
Turn left and enjoy the spectacular trail through the meadow. Once done, loop around a little more if you like, or if you're ready to return, follow the TRT down a steep singletrack back to the Truckee River, and your car soon after that.
Here are a couple of other ways to get to Paige Meadows from either 64 acres via Granlibakken Road or Ward Creek Road vs trying to ride up the gnarly steep, loose, rocky single track trail to the north side of Granlibakken.
From 64 acres the easiest way is to take the TCPUD bike path to Granlibakken Road to Rawhide Road and on up the fire road about 2 + eventually into Paige Meadows.
Another easy, but longer way is to ride up Ward Creek Road all the way to Chamonix to the end and enter through the green gate. Ride the double track north to the single track and head east into the meadows about 1 mile and to the right.
This classic West Shore mountain bike ride starts just west of Ward Creek Park, south of the creek and makes a steep climb up to a brief view of the lake than a more moderate but steady climb for over a mile+ to an overlook of Blackwood Canyon. From there the trail continues well over another mile+, with a couple of very steep short sections, to Stamford Rock overlooking Ward Canyon and Twin Peaks. The classic loop ride than heads down a very loose section to intersect with the Tahoe Rim Trail and over a series of rock steps all the way down to Ward Creek and eventually out to Ward Creek Road. The “loop” is about 7+ miles and it can be ridden in either direction, although a bit more challenging from Ward Creek up over all the rock berms and that last loose leg up from the Tahoe Rim Trail to Stamford Rock.
Trailhead: On Hwy 89 north of Tahoma, turn west onto McKinney-Rubicon Springs Road. Turn left on Bellevue, right on McKinney Road (follow sign to Miller Lake). Bear left onto McKinney-Rubicon Springs Road, continue through stop sign to the dirt road and park. A longer ride is possible by taking two cars and parking one car at Blackwood Canyon.
Distance: Varying, 6 to 15 miles one way
Details: Offers a variety of biking opportunities from loop rides to difficult peak climbs. The trails are generally wide and frequented by off-road vehicles.
Trailhead: Take Hwy 89 south along the West Shore from Tahoe City to Fallen Leaf Lake Rd. Park past the campground on the right and start riding on Fallen Leaf Rd.
Distance: 2 or 4 miles one way
Details: This moderate ride offers views of Fallen Leaf Lake and Mt. Tallac. It's 2 miles to Angora Lookout, or 4 miles to Angora Lakes.
Trailhead: Located at the intersection of Hwy 89 and Blackwood Canyon Rd. at Skyland, about 4 miles south of Tahoe City. Free parking, restrooms and special bicycle campsites available.
Distance: The 4-mile round trip into Blackwood Canyon is a good beginner/intermediate with gentle terrain, open meadows and sweeping valley of aspen groves.
Details: Owned by the US Forest Service and maintained under contract by the California Land Management Company. This is a multiple use area.