Mount Baldy Out & Back
WHAT: A strenuous and and technically difficult singletrack ride along the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) with spectacular vistas of Lake Tahoe. This dog friendly trail is 90% singletrack and 10% doubletrack with a 2,720 foot elevation gain. The trail features very technical rock gardens, short and steep sections, sharp switchbacks, a meadow of mule-ears, and one of the longest sustained descents on the entire TRT. Don’t forget your camera.
LENGTH: 14.3 miles (out and back)
DIRECTIONS: From the junction of CA-28 and CA-267 in Kings Beach head 2.7 miles north on CA-267 towards Truckee. Park on the south side of the road in the paved pullout with the TRT kiosk. The trailhead is across the road on the north side of CA-267. Trail begins with 100 yards of fire road. At the TRT kiosk take a left on the singletrack. You will stay on the TRT for the duration of this ride. Take the start easy as the beginning of this trail is the steepest. At 1.2 miles, you have the option for some stunning views via a quick detour on the Vista Point spur trail, or stop here on your way back down. Continuing on at 1.6 miles you will cross Grill Creek Road and begin a short gravelly climb, then a short descent and pass the intersection for Kings Beach Trail. After crossing Kings Beach Trail, you’ll hit a steady climb. Once you are through a forest section the trail will lead you through a scenic mule-ear filled meadow before starting the most technical rock garden on the trail. It’s not unlikely you may need to walk parts of this stretch. When you reach a dirt fire road, take a right and follow the road for 0.5 miles, staying left at intersections. The TRT singletrack turn will be on your right. Follow the TRT for 1.5 miles before intersecting with a second dirt road for which at the end of 0.25 miles narrows to single track again. Your final stretch to the top challenges you with a number of switchbacks but you will be rewarded with incredible Lake Tahoe views. Reverse your route to return to the trailhead.
For more detailed information about this trail and other local trails, inquire with our staff. We also highly recommend Jeremy Benson’s Mountain Bike Tahoe: 50 Select Singletrack Routes. Purchase at Olympic Bike Shop or online at The Backcountry or Amazon.
Photo by Jenna Reyes