The popular Truckee River Bike Trail is an ideal rail-trail in many ways. Its smooth, flat surface provides all types of users with a scenic easy-to-negotiate route from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley. It connects to other paths for users who want to a longer stroll or ride, and there are facilities for many recreational activities, such as fishing, picnicking and river rafting, along or near the trail. Plus, the Truckee River that it parallels is magnificent.
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.
Embark on the trail at Tahoe City. For the first few miles, you are treated to dazzling scenery of the river on your left and evergreen trees on your right. At about 3.5 miles in, you climb a short hill and then come to the River Ranch Lodge on your left. An excellent place to stop for a drink or a bite to eat, the lodge overlooks the river and offers fantastic views. Continuing along the trail past the lodge, you cross Alpine Meadows Road before reaching the Midway Bridge. To extend your trip from here, you can detour through Squaw Valley to the base of the ski resort. A 2.3-mile bike path runs the entire length of the valley, paralleling Squaw Valley Road and ending at the Squaw Valley USA ski resort.
Near the start point in Tahoe City, the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) also connects with the Truckee River Bike Trail. The 165-mile TRT loops around the lake and offers hiking and mountain biking opportunities.
The Tahoe City trailhead is located off of State Route 89 and Fairway Drive. From Interstate 80, exit south on SR 89 and proceed 12 miles to Tahoe City. About 0.25 mile after you enter Tahoe City, you will see Fairway Drive on your left. Turn here and look for parking in one of several nearby lots on your right.
The Tahoe City Transit Center is another option. You can also park at SR 89 and Squaw Valley Road in the nearby park and at the ski resort.