The Tahoe Trailways Bike Path meanders along the west shore of Lake Tahoe in California. From a hub in Tahoe City's 64-Acres Park, the system branches out with three paved legs, reaching Dollar Point in the northeast, Olympic (Squaw) Valley in the northwest and Sugar Pine Point State Park in the south. The trails link residential, recreation and business areas, offering scenic views of Lake Tahoe and the Truckee River.
The segment from Tahoe City to Dollar Point is the most urban, passing downtown shops and places to stay. Here a newer component of the system winds closer to the lake, providing a more scenic alternative to the existing State Route 28 alignment. The short waterfront promenade, which is also known as the Lakeside Trail, features several overlooks, plazas and picnic areas. North of Tahoe City, residential and vacation developments line the trail, with names like Star Harbor and Rocky Ridge. The trail ends at the entrance to the Dollar Point community, which juts out prominently into Lake Tahoe.
Head west from Tahoe City instead to reach Olympic Valley and the base of the Squaw Valley Ski Resort, home to the 1960 Winter Olympics. For the first few miles, you are treated to dazzling scenery of the Truckee River on your left and evergreen trees on your right. Parts of this beautiful route, also known as the Truckee River Bike Trail, were built on a former railroad corridor, and facilities for many recreational activities, such as fishing, picnicking and river rafting, can be found along or near the path.
In the summer, both the trail and river are filled with people enjoying the outdoors. The river is slow-moving during this time of year, and floating down it is a popular pastime for folks of all ages. There are several places along the trail where people can stop to fish for trout. In the springtime, the river moves quickly and the rapids swell. There aren’t as many tourists here at this time, which gives the rail-trail a calmer, more tranquil feel.
The trail turns west at Squaw Valley Road, but cyclists can continue many miles north via bike lanes on SR 89. The path north from Tahoe City and the bike lanes on SR 89 are both components of the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway, which when complete will follow the entire route of the Truckee River from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake in Nevada. Refer to the TrailLink page for the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway for more information about the open segments in Nevada.
Back in Tahoe City, a trail bridge over the Truckee River in 64-Acres Park links the segment to Olympic Valley with the long southern leg of the Tahoe Trailways Bike Path. The trailhead park is not only the hub of this system: hikers and mountain bikers can also pick up the impressive Tahoe Rim Trail to traverse 165 miles along the ridges encircling Lake Tahoe.
Take the paved path south along SR 89 from Tahoe City to reach Sugar Pine Point State Park. Portions of this stretch hug the Lake Tahoe shoreline, offering magnificent views of the glistening water and recreational boat traffic. Just north of Tahoe Pines, the Kaspian Day Use Area allows swimming, so you'll want to bring your bathing suit in the summer.
There are a couple of gaps in the trail immediately north and south of Homewood Mountain Resort, but these can be bridged via on-road routes. In April 2016, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new 1-mile segment of the trail, which will close the northern gap between the Homewood Mountain Resort and Cherry Street; its construction is expected to be completed this fall.
At the trail's south end, you'll find yourself in sprawling Sugar Pine Point State Park. The park preserves dense forests of fir, aspen, juniper and pine, while also permitting hiking, swimming, camping and fishing.
You can access the Tahoe Trailways Bike Path from numerous locations throughout the west shore of Lake Tahoe. Perhaps the best place to begin your trek in any direction is 64-Acres Park in Tahoe City (165 W. Lake Boulevard). Refer to the TrailLink map for additional parking locations.