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Tahoe Rim Trail: Heavenly Mountain to Big Meadow

Lake Tahoe


One of the most scenic parts of the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Also in California, United States of America

Mountain Biking Difficult

36 km
1.2 km
1.3 km
3-4 hrs
Low Point
2.2 km
High Point
3 km
Tahoe Rim Trail: Heavenly Mountain to Big Meadow Map

From the base of the ski runs near Kingsbury, the trail climbs steadily among impressively-large old-growth firs and pines, traversing the east aspect of Monument Peak. It crosses a few more ski runs, but they are barely noticeable when covered by shrubs and wildflowers instead of snow. As the trail ascends, the forest thins. Clearings open where trees are replaced by bushes and talus, and the views are simply jaw-dropping over Carson City below and Nevada’s mountains beyond.


At Monument Pass, the trail crosses the spine of the range. Views remain equally as expansive as before, but now looking west toward the Sierras and Lake Tahoe. Dominating the horizon ahead is a huge craggy mountain with snow that remains throughout the summer. This is Freel Peak, the highest summit in the Tahoe Basin (10,886 feet).

With this mountain and its neighbor, Jobs Sister, in your sights, continue southward through sunny forest to Star Lake. This picturesque pool sits beneath the imposing cliffs of Jobs Sister, collecting crisp meltwater from its perennial snowfields.

Beyond Star Lake comes a climb to the often-windy west shoulder of Freel Peak, with a commanding view of the mountains you have yet to cross. The following miles through boulder-strewn forest continue a gradual but noticeable progression into the rockier, granitic landscape of the Sierra Nevada, where more shimmering lakes and snowy peaks await.



Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


3 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

between July and October


  • Technical
  • Singletrack
  • Rock Gardens

Guidebooks in this area