26.2 miles
Distance
4,514 ft
Climb
-4,486 ft
Descent
2 miles
High Point

26-mile ride with almost 100% singletrack, two summits and amazing descents. Lots of tecnical singletrack climbing and finishing with steep, rocky, descents down Mr. Toad's wild ride.

Amazing scenery along the way, and great variety of singletrack from fast, above-treeline apline to steep, gnarly rock gardens to fast, flowy singletrack.

Plan on an all-day event. Expert-level skills and fitness required. Bail-out point down Armstrong Pass for a mellower but equally exciting descent.

Detailed Description
Cold Creek-Star Lake-Freel Peak-Mr. Toad's is a 26 mile popular extreme route located near South Lake Tahoe California. This mountain bike only route can be used one direction and has a hard overall physical rating. This route includes 17 trails. This route climbs 4,514 ft with a max elevation of 9,718 ft then descends -4,486 ft.
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44 Reviews & Comments

  • + 0
SquidwardHill (Oct 11, 2022 at 7:47)
This trail is amazing! The first section of the trail has some extreme rock tech sections which I just walked. I was mentally prepared based on other comments. If you’re cool with that, go for it. Lots of other more approachable tech beyond that and full on flow trail the second half that felt like a cherry on top for such fun riding. I did this trail alone on an XC bike, which I was timid about originally. Just use your brain and do what your comfortable with. Something beefier might have handled a couple of the sections up top, others were truly next level/beyond me. Done as the loop, which was tons of climbing. Recommend getting shuttled up as much road as you can to cut out BS peddling (I didn’t have that option). Peddling up Armstrong (blue half) and Freel was actually quite lovely. Stuck to the road for the black section of Armstrong.
[Reply]
  • + 0
SquidwardHill (Oct 11, 2022 at 7:47)
This trail is amazing! The first section of the trail has some extreme rock tech sections which I just walked. I was mentally prepared based on other comments. If you’re cool with that, go for it. Lots of other more approachable tech beyond that and full on flow trail the second half that felt like a cherry on top for such fun riding. I did this trail alone on an XC bike, which I was timid about originally. Just use your brain and do what your comfortable with. Something beefier might have handled a couple of the sections up top, others were truly next level/beyond me. Done as the loop, which was tons of climbing. Recommend getting shuttled up as much road as you can to cut out BS peddling (I didn’t have that option). Peddling up Armstrong (blue half) and Freel was actually quite lovely. Stuck to the road for the black section of Armstrong.
[Reply]
  • + 0
joncartermd (Oct 10, 2022 at 21:15)
The first mile or two feels a bit like Braille in Demo - chunky steep drops with a narrow line. There are several puckery sections that are still rideable. There are two short sections that are truly XXX Pro lines - not for mortals to ride (I walked). The bottom two thirds becomes flowy and bermy but be careful - the soil is sandy so you can’t let it rip without risking a washout. The second half is in the heart of the 2021 Caldor fire - total destruction with not a single living plant and only dead pines. I felt I was riding in Mordor…
[Reply]
  • + 0
joncartermd (Oct 10, 2022 at 21:15)
The first mile or two feels a bit like Braille in Demo - chunky steep drops with a narrow line. There are several puckery sections that are still rideable. There are two short sections that are truly XXX Pro lines - not for mortals to ride (I walked). The bottom two thirds becomes flowy and bermy but be careful - the soil is sandy so you can’t let it rip without risking a washout. The second half is in the heart of the 2021 Caldor fire - total destruction with not a single living plant and only dead pines. I felt I was riding in Mordor…
[Reply]
  • + 0
dave13748 (Oct 8, 2022 at 20:50)
I've ridden some hard stuff over the years, including hiline in Sedona and dbl blacks at bike parks, and this is up there in difficulty level. The upper boulders are tricky even if you analyze the perfect line. Good luck and rip it, or walk it - there's always next time for redemption.
[Reply]
  • + 0
dave13748 (Oct 8, 2022 at 20:50)
I've ridden some hard stuff over the years, including hiline in Sedona and dbl blacks at bike parks, and this is up there in difficulty level. The upper boulders are tricky even if you analyze the perfect line. Good luck and rip it, or walk it - there's always next time for redemption.
[Reply]
  • + 1
GBeard (Jul 2, 2022 at 1:41)
Whoever keeps cutting B-Lines in the trail please stop. If you can't ride it, walk it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
patrickzXti1M (May 14, 2022 at 20:43)
Did this trail in the mid eighties. On eighties equipment. Great ride not as tech as these others say. Try it on an old clunker for a real thrill.
[Reply]
  • + 1
patrickzXti1M (May 14, 2022 at 20:43)
Did this trail in the mid eighties. On eighties equipment. Great ride not as tech as these others say. Try it on an old clunker for a real thrill.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Kvaughan12 (Jul 22, 2021 at 14:17)
Unpleasant is the perfect word for this road
[Reply]
  • + 0
Chriscawley (Jun 6, 2021 at 16:34)
Rode westbound on 6/5. Just a few snow patches left and some downed trees. Altogether worthwhile and in good shape.
[Reply]
  • + 0
mrwup (May 30, 2021 at 15:23)
Still snowy at the top steep section and a little bit after it levels out. Maybe like 3/4 or 2/3 of trail is free of snow
[Reply]
  • + 0
mrwup (May 30, 2021 at 15:23)
Still snowy at the top steep section and a little bit after it levels out. Maybe like 3/4 or 2/3 of trail is free of snow
[Reply]
  • + 0
brattydan (May 6, 2021 at 18:43)
May 5,2021 good to go up to high meadows.
[Reply]
  • + 1
nevaska (Dec 30, 2020 at 16:43)
favorite go-fast downhill in tahoe. trying to clean the upper boulders is still a challenge
[Reply]
  • + 1
nevaska (Dec 30, 2020 at 16:43)
favorite go-fast downhill in tahoe. trying to clean the upper boulders is still a challenge
[Reply]
  • + 0
christianreed (Sep 10, 2020 at 11:17)
Just a hiking trail, for the most part rideable, but with a sizable climb.
[Reply]
  • + 0
christianreed (Sep 10, 2020 at 10:19)
I did this as a 3400’ / 20mi loop from Saxon Creek parking area, up Sidewinder, Fountain Road, Armstrong Pass, TRT, Mr Toads.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this trail, but ultimately it’s a dual personality trail, with challenging rock gardens at the top, and fast/flowy loose dirt at the bottom. All the challenging stuff is walkable, so my concerns about riding solo were unfounded.

Were I to ride again, I’d want to shuttle, as it’s a big climb. Lacking a shuttle, the Saxon Creek Sidewinder area looks like a fun place to loop.
[Reply]
  • + 0
christianreed (Sep 10, 2020 at 10:19)
I did this as a 3400’ / 20mi loop from Saxon Creek parking area, up Sidewinder, Fountain Road, Armstrong Pass, TRT, Mr Toads.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this trail, but ultimately it’s a dual personality trail, with challenging rock gardens at the top, and fast/flowy loose dirt at the bottom. All the challenging stuff is walkable, so my concerns about riding solo were unfounded.

Were I to ride again, I’d want to shuttle, as it’s a big climb. Lacking a shuttle, the Saxon Creek Sidewinder area looks like a fun place to loop.
[Reply]
  • + 1
DrHog (Jul 29, 2020 at 1:06)
THE place to build and test your technical descending skills, at least for Tahoe. If you’re wondering if this trail is for you, go ride Christmas Valley. If you can handle and enjoy that, this is the next step up the ladder.
[Reply]
  • + 1
DrHog (Jul 29, 2020 at 1:06)
THE place to build and test your technical descending skills, at least for Tahoe. If you’re wondering if this trail is for you, go ride Christmas Valley. If you can handle and enjoy that, this is the next step up the ladder.
[Reply]
  • + 0
geckodudes (Jun 27, 2020 at 0:59)
This is a pretty brutal climb!
[Reply]
  • + 1
SlideReady (Jun 14, 2020 at 12:40)
DO NOT RIDE UP TOAD'S

Lots of loose, blind corners and you're endangering yourself and others by going against the flow of traffic
[Reply]
  • + 1
SlideReady (Jun 14, 2020 at 12:40)
DO NOT RIDE UP TOAD'S

Lots of loose, blind corners and you're endangering yourself and others by going against the flow of traffic
[Reply]
  • + 0
agarbalosa (May 22, 2020 at 23:13)
Still heavy patches up top. Recommend waiting
[Reply]
  • + 0
2d-cutout (Nov 4, 2019 at 18:46)
One of my favourite trails in a month of riding in different locations. Seriously fast and fun, with some Whistler-esque double black tech thrown in before going back to crazy fast flow again. Absolutely recommended, but you'll benefit from a bigger travel bike if you want to get sendy.
[Reply]
  • + 0
2d-cutout (Nov 4, 2019 at 18:46)
One of my favourite trails in a month of riding in different locations. Seriously fast and fun, with some Whistler-esque double black tech thrown in before going back to crazy fast flow again. Absolutely recommended, but you'll benefit from a bigger travel bike if you want to get sendy.
[Reply]
  • + 1
WillieB (Oct 28, 2019 at 12:32)
Super nice and challenging climb. Offers difficulties for fun, but not impossible
[Reply]
  • + 1
WillieB (Sep 11, 2019 at 11:31)
Brutal downhill
[Reply]
  • + 1
WillieB (Sep 11, 2019 at 11:31)
Brutal downhill
[Reply]
  • + 1
WillieB (Jun 17, 2020 at 8:41)
But damn its so good! This trail is also extremely aptly named...
[Reply]
  • + 1
WillieB (Jun 17, 2020 at 8:41)
But damn its so good! This trail is also extremely aptly named...
[Reply]
  • + 1
deln78 (Aug 5, 2019 at 8:25)
Very cool trail (in the downhill direction, does not make sense to ride uphill). Most of it is fast, flowy, and easy, but it is interrupted by some rocky sections, and one particularly difficult rock jumble (shown in some photos on this page), though this is easy to walk over.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Tonedelove (Jul 30, 2019 at 8:55)
Great ride! Did the big loop which is A LOT of climbing at altitude. DH is technical, but I held my own on a Tallboy with 110mm of rear travel so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a monster bike.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Tonedelove (Jul 30, 2019 at 8:55)
Great ride! Did the big loop which is A LOT of climbing at altitude. DH is technical, but I held my own on a Tallboy with 110mm of rear travel so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a monster bike.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Joshbibbee (Jul 29, 2019 at 22:08)
This is by far the hardest trail I’ve rode in NorCal. Even though I went OTB on the steepest rock garden, this truly is so worth it.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Joshbibbee (Jul 29, 2019 at 22:08)
This is by far the hardest trail I’ve rode in NorCal. Even though I went OTB on the steepest rock garden, this truly is so worth it.
[Reply]
  • + 2
vonslick (Jul 12, 2018 at 15:24)
A couple of tools put some logs mid-stairs seemingly on purpose... who does that? Other than that trail was dusty and loose and fun. Not a soul on my entire loop today, which was niceSmile
[Reply]
  • + 2
vonslick (Jul 12, 2018 at 15:24)
A couple of tools put some logs mid-stairs seemingly on purpose... who does that? Other than that trail was dusty and loose and fun. Not a soul on my entire loop today, which was niceSmile
[Reply]
  • + 4
bkxc (Jul 9, 2018 at 15:20)
It's a classic for a reason. So many great challenges in the top section and tons of flowy fun in the bottom section.
[Reply]
  • + 4
bkxc (Jul 9, 2018 at 15:20)
It's a classic for a reason. So many great challenges in the top section and tons of flowy fun in the bottom section.
[Reply]
  • + 0
ecod33 (Aug 6, 2017 at 20:57)
Great shape after the thunderstorms!!
[Reply]
  • + 0
ecod33 (Aug 6, 2017 at 20:51)
Great shape on 8/6/17 after the rainstorms.
[Reply]
  • + 2
TahoeOrange (Oct 17, 2014 at 8:08)
One of the best trails in the South Lake Tahoe basin. Make the time to ride this trail if you're visiting south shore.
[Reply]





Details

  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • AKA
    Freel to Toad's
  • Difficulty rating
    Double Black Diamond
  • Route Type
    Loop
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
    Hard
  • Ridelogs
    7
More Stats for Cold Creek-Star Lake-Freel Peak-Mr. Toad's mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    6,283 ft
  • Altitude start
    6,354 ft
  • Altitude end
    6,385 ft
  • Grade max
    -76.7%
  • Grade min
    42.9%
  • Distance climb
    13 miles
  • Distance down
    11 miles
  • Distance flat
    2 miles
Avg: 4.5 (2 votes)
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Recent Trail Reports Along Route

statustraildateconditiondescription
Saxon Creek Trail (Mr. Toad's Wild Ride)
Oct 21, 2022 @ 5:20am
Oct 21, 2022
I mean WOW. It’s truly a trail to experience!
Saxon Creek Road
Oct 21, 2022 @ 5:20am
Oct 21, 2022
Saxon Tie Road
Oct 15, 2022 @ 8:59am
Oct 15, 2022
Railroad Grade Trail
Sep 3, 2022 @ 4:25pm
Sep 3, 2022
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Sep 3, 2022 @ 4:25pm
Sep 3, 2022
Unpleasant is a good description for this road
more reports »
  • By sammybikes916 MLTS & contributors
  • #15288 - 3,230 views