It was an ambitious plan for audacious bicycle riders. A marked trail, for bicyclists (and hikers}, from the Tahoe City damn all the way to Pyramid Lake.
Starting in Tahoe City, at the damn beginning of the Truckee, you can follow the mountain water until it empties into Pyramid Lake, 116 miles away.
The Tahoe Pyramid Trail, begun in 2002, originally known as the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway, is more than 80% complete. Plans are in motion to complete the unfinished 20%.
Most of the trail skirts traffic, but part of it merges with traffic for a few miles, especially when the dedicated bike trail from Tahoe City turns into a bike lane on busy Highway 89 at the Squaw Valley turn-off. At Truckee, though, the trail stays away from traffic, following the Truckee River as it descends from its 6,225’ beginning elevation to Pyramid Lake’s 3,700’. Though, there are a few other shared use portions in Reno itself.
As expected, the change in elevation results in a complete change of scenery. The lushness of the mountains gradually turns into a sparse but spectacular desert vistas, as shown in an interesting blog post from a dedicated Nevada cyclist.
The Tahoe Pyramid trail is marked by small arrowed signs pointing the way along the trail. Larger signs are found at section start and end points, giving more information, such as trail difficulty, current trail conditions, and services along that particular section. Also provided, at no cost, are digital tools, such as PDF maps to view or download, RideWithGPS, or Google Maps and GPX files to download.
If you are planning any kind of a trip along the trail, its website tahoepyramidtrail.org is loaded with information and pictures. The site breaks the trail down into sections, giving specific information about each section, and best of all great pictures have been posted showing the exact road/trail conditions you’ll be expected to navigate.
Traversing the Tahoe Pyramid Trail is no simple Sunday ride in the park. It has a few tough-looking parts, so it is obviously not suitable for everyone. Fortunately, the web site is a perfect source for planning, and for realizing the obstacles that must be overcome by either riders or walkers.
Summer is the perfect time to explore this well-planned trail. According to some calculations found on the internet, bike riders have to push their pedals 200 times to travel a statute mile. It follows then that an average rider has to pedal 23,200 times to complete a ride on the Tahoe Pyramid Trail. Are you up to it?