Crisp mountain air, stunning vistas, and a pristine alpine lake — what more could you want out of an epic weekend on two wheels? On this long weekend tour, we’ll enjoy the altitude of the Sierra Nevadas as we circumnavigate the stunning Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America! Visit small towns and scenic overlooks along the way, and be sure to take a stop at the home of the 1960 Winter Olympics!
Starting our journey near Donner Lake, we’ll make our way to Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America, following the Truckee River. Be sure to stop by Squaw Valley, home of the 1960 Winter Olympics and just off of the Truckee River Bike Trail. On the north end of the lake, Kings Beach State Recreation Area provides an opportunity to take a dip in the crystal-clear waters. On the southern end of Lake Tahoe, stop and take photos of the stunning Emerald Bay. After completing the 72-mile route along the water’s edge, return to Donner Lake and consider a ride up to Donner Pass to look out over your long-weekend accomplishment.
"A fantastic and challenging tour...Beautiful scenery."
Day 1. Truckee, California, 0 miles
We’ll meet our group in the beautiful gateway to the Sierras in the early afternoon and enjoy a hearty meal together before climbing into our tents to dream of the weekend ahead. If you have time, arrive early and enjoy the charm of downtown Truckee with its unique shops and experience the gritty past and vibrant present of this historic railroad town, or cycle west up Donner Pass to get your legs acclimated to the mountains. You can also visit the Donner Party Memorial and the adjacent Emigrant Trail Museum, which can provide insight into the struggles the Donner Party faced crossing the Sierras.
Day 2. Truckee to Zephyr Cove, Nevada, 50 miles
We’ll start our first morning with a slight incline through Tahoe National Forest and along the beautiful Truckee River, eventually joining a bike path running from Squaw Valley to the town of Tahoe City. Along the way, we’ll pass Squaw Valley and the Olympic Valley, host of the 1960 Winter Olympics. We'll then make our way clockwise along the shores of Lake Tahoe, passing by Kings Beach and Crystal Bay as we head into Nevada. Our high point of the trip comes today, as we climb to just over 7,000 feet above sea level before descending to our campground for the night.
Day 3. Zephyr Cove to Camp Richardson, California, 20 miles
We’ll continue clockwise around Lake Tahoe on this short day. We'll cross back over into California, and have the ability to take a relaxing day on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Near camp, you'll find hiking opportunities, including a climb up to Mt Tallac, or for those looking to get some additional riding in, consider renting a mountain bike and take a ride on the stellar Flume Trail.
Day 4. Camp Richardson to Truckee, 42 miles
We’ll finish our loop with stunning views over Emerald Bay and bid farewell to Lake Tahoe and our new cycling comrades. Once we get back to Tahoe City, we'll head back to Truckee and Donner Lake, ready to come back and explore more.