Flume Trail

Technical Level: Intermediate
Strenuous Level:  Advanced 
Altitude Gain: At least a few thousand feet, but options for a lot more
The Ride: 15 miles and up 
Where:  Near Incline Village in the North East Lake Tahoe Region 
When: Summer only, it snows a lot in the winter (for winter X-C skiing see Spooner Lake X-C)

To get There:

Map Marking Trail Head
 Part of the trail is on the map!  No 342 is the trail that leads to the flume trail.
Click on Zoom Far Out a couple times to get a good idea of where the trail is.

From Sacramento:  Take I-80 East towards Reno.  Exit South on Highway 267 in Truckee.  Take 267 to Highway 28 and head East (turn left).  Stay on 28 through Incline Village.  28 will take you right up next to Lake Tahoe, providing a breathtaking view.  This must be one of the prettiest roads in Nevada, if not in the whole of the US.  Just a few miles outside of Incline Village on 28, there are some houses right up next to the edge of the lake.  About a mile past the houses on the left side is the very poorly marked trail head.  I rode past it twice before I found it the first time!  If you reach Sand Harbor, you've gone too far.

The Ride

There are about a million options for this trail, so I'll tell you how I like to do it, but remember I like to climb so the trail starts with the hard part.  There is a shuttle service that runs up and down highway 28, and I believe it is free.  I think they have bike racks on the busses, so you can do the trail one way and and take a shuttle back to your car.   Double check on this service, I've never used it so I don't when it runs, and other very important details.
Here's the Brett Bymaster method of riding the flume trail:
  Start on the trail head on highway 28.  Head up the trail for about 3.5 miles.  Follow the signs to the flume trail.  Take the flume trail about 7.7 miles, paralleling highway 28 heading south.   At Marlette Lake head south towards Spooner Lake.  At the trail leading to Snow Valley Peak, turn left.  Climb about 500 feet, get dizzy and altitude sick, and push your unicycle up the mountain.  Stop, pray, see the Nevada and California side of the mountain, then ROCKET back down the mountain.
A more popular option is to start from Spooner lake, and coast down the flume trail and then either ride 28 back to spooner lake or shuttle back there.
The Tahoe Rim Trail is now open to bikes in this area!!  This is a great ride I'm told, but I've never done it.

The Trail

There are so many options on this trail I really encourage you to go to one of the many bike shops along 28 and get a map.  There is riding here for everyone.  There isn't much technical terrain, but there is some great climbing.  Just remember that unless you shuttle, you have to climb up anything you go down.

The Flume Trail is considered one of the best mountain biking trails in the nation!  It is absolutely amazing.  The trail is about 1000 feet above the Lake and only about 1/2 mile from the lake.  It is close enough to the lake that you can hear the voices of people boating on the lake.  You will get an unforgettable vista along the trail.  You will be able to see all 22 miles of Lake Tahoe and the spectacular mountains behind the lake.  If you chose to head up to Snow Valley Peak, you will get to see both the Nevada side of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and the Lake Tahoe/California side.  WHEEH, what a view!!

Check out the web page specifically for the flume trail! http://theflumetrail.com/

Thanks to John Foss for all the pictures!

Trail Details:

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