Tahoe Rim Trail -> Flume Trail

Lake Tahoe

Mount Rose

An epic combination of two of Tahoe's most iconic trails.

Mountain Biking Moderate

Distance
39 km
Ascent
735 m
Descent
1.5 km
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2.7 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Tahoe Rim Trail -> Flume Trail Map

Description

The Flume Trail began life as the grade for a water flume that delivered lumber from high in the mountains above Lake Tahoe to the towns far below. Nowadays, the remnants of the Flume are still visible, but the old flume bed is instead utilized by mountain bikers and hikers.

This relatively non-technical trail offers incredible views of Lake Tahoe—one of the most beautiful lakes anywhere—from high on the mountainside. Despite it's non-technical nature, this trail is extremely exposed. "One slip will be your sure death," writes Tyghe Trimble in Men's Journal.

While the classic route to access the Flume Trail begins at Spooner Lake and climbs steeply up the Flume grade, a much more interesting route combination begins by riding miles and miles of one of the best sections of the Tahoe Rim Trail, beginning at Tahoe Meadows.

Rock slabs and rock gardens punctuate this section of the TRT, but overall the trail is still very intermediate-friendly... as long as you have the fitness for a few stiff, high elevation climbs. Riding the spine of the mountain range is a euphoric experience, with incredible views in all directions.

Those stiff climbs deliver up some ripping singletrack descending! Unfortunately, the singletrack downhill in this area is short-lived, with much of the elevation loss taking place on dirt roads.

Don't let that deter you, though. The Tahoe Rim Trail to Flume Trail combination is a must-ride for every mountain biker's bucket list.

Sources: https://www.mensjournal.com/adventure/biking-tahoes-flume-trail-20120724/

Difficulty

Moderate

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability, with unavoidable obstacles 8in/20cm tall or less. Other obstacles such as rock gullies and steep sections may exist. Ideal for lower intermediate riders.

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October

Features

  • Flow
  • Shuttle-run
  • Road sections
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Guidebooks in this area