Mr. Toads Wild Ride

Technical Level: Advanced Plus
Strenuous Level:  Intermediate Plus
Altitude Gain: Around 1700 ft
The Ride: 13 miles with a shuttle -- 19 miles loop
Where:  South Lake Tahoe
When: Summer only -- when the snows melted

To get There:

 Map Marking Trail Head (Click on More Detail for a better map)
 Map Marking End of Trail

  Topo Map of Ride (400k)

  Topo Map of Ride (300k)

From Sacramento:  Take Highway 50 East towards Lake Tahoe.  You'll drive for a long time (about an hour and a half) and get stuck behind thirteen different RV's which will all speed up when you get a chance to pass them, forcing you to be stuck behind them (now that I've vented, we can continue).   Take 89 South in Meyers which is just before the city of South Lake Tahoe (still in California).  The trail head is at Big Meadows on the left side about 5 miles from 50 on 89.  There is a big sign pointing to Big Meadows.  Park in the free parking lot there.  You want to catch the Tahoe Rim Trail.  When you come into the parking area, there is a green gate blocking cars.  Ride around this gate -- the Tahoe Rim Trails starts a little ways down this road on the right.  To cut off some of the climb you can also catch the trail just before Grass Lake on the left side of the road (its really easy to miss, and has a poor sign so watch carefully!).  For this option (which cuts off about 2 miles of a big climb) take the single track from the road to the T and turn right on the Rim Trail, then follow the directions below.

To do the shuttle (which is recommended), park one car on Oneidas drive off of Pioneer Trail Road and then drive back up to Big Meadows and start the ride there.  Take Highway 50 to Pioneer Trail which isn't too far past 89.  Head East (right) on Pioneer Trail about a mile to Oneidas Drive.  There is parking about a quarter mile down Oneidas.

The Ride:

Mr. Toads Wild Ride follows the rim trail to Saxon Creek, then follows Saxon Creek to Pioneer Trail Road. Take the Rim Trail for about 4.5 miles to the 3 way intersection.  You'll want to turn left on Saxon Creek Trail toward Tuckers Flat.  There is a sign marking this intersection, so its not too hard to see.  The trail follows Saxon Creek the rest of the way.  There is a another 3 way intersection a few miles from Tucker's Flat.  Go right, which is the more heavily traveled direction.  If you go left, I think it comes out on 89, but I'm not sure.  At the end of the ride, the trail comes out on a gravel bridge.  Turn left in about a quarter mile on the paved road.  This becomes Oneidas Drive.  If you are making it a loop, stay on Oneidas to Pioneer Trail.  Turn left on Pioneer and then turn left on 50.  Take 50 back to 89 and turn left again.  Its a pretty good climb back up to Big Meadows.

The Trail:

This is an AWESOME, GNARLY, WAY COOL, TECHNICAL trail.  I loved it!!!  It starts at 7287 feet.  You'll climb up to 8940 feet in 4 miles, and then descend to 6700 ft.  The climb up to the summit is pretty cool, and the view is good.  But the fun is just starting.  When you turn left onto Saxon Creek trail, it gets nasty.  Down to Tucker's Flat, the trail has a bunch of erosion control logs which are really annoying, but they don't last long.  The trail has big rocks, and is really steep and thin.  If you are into jumping, there are some great jumps on the trail.  Towards the bottom of the trail, there are great banked turns you can take really fast.  This is a guaranteed thriller (Michael Jackson would approve).  I wouldn't suggest trying to ride back up this trail.  I love to climb, but its just too nasty, only the very best, if any, rider could do it.  The loop back on the Highway isn't too bad, but its more fun to drive it!

Trail Details:

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