This is a monster of a trail--long, rocky, high, periodically technical, and iconically beautiful. Riders can bail off this section of the Rim Trail at the Van Sickle Trail, at Heavenly Village (Kingsbury), Monument Pass Trail, Starr Lake Trail, Armstrong Pass Trail, or Mr. Toads Wild Ride. We'll describe this trail in sections north to south.
1. Kingsbury Grade (SR-207) to Van Sickle Trail: ~ 2 miles. From Kingsbury Grade the trail traverses around a hill and drops into a gravel road adjacent to Edgewood Creek. Follow the road east (up hill) for approximately a mile and look for the TRT to depart the road to the south crossing Edgewood Creek. The trail begins a periodically steep and occasionally sandy climb to the Van Sickle Trail at nearly 7,777 ft elevation. Successfully cleaning this section of the TRT is a real challenge.
2. Van Sickle Trail to Monument Pass: ~ 3.5 miles. From the Van Sickle Trail, the TRT enters Heavenly Resort and passes under a number of ski lifts and crosses a couple Heavenly access roads. The trail is mostly a relentless, but gentle climb with occasional technical sections and a few breathtaking views of the Carson Valley to the east. Approximately halfway to Monument Pass, there is a steep, loose gravel road section that descends into Mott Canyon. Look for the TRT to depart the road to the south after a quarter mile. The final climb to Monument Pass is mostly a hike-a-bike affair due to tight switchbacks, technical rocky sections, and loose gravel.
3. Monument Pass to Star Lake: ~3.5 miles. The TRT gently descends traversing the mountain side through shrubs and loose gravel for about 1.5 miles. It then begins an equally gentle non-technical climb through forest to the picturesque Star Lake.
4. Star Lake to Armstrong Pass: 5.3 miles. The TRT crosses the outfall of the lake and continues to traverse the mountain side before climbing to Freel "pass." This section is occasionally rocky and/or sandy, but not technical nor steep. Consider dropping the bikes at Freel Pass to ascend Freel Peak--the highest point in the Tahoe Basin. From Freel Pass the trail is nearly a straight line down to Armstrong Pass. It is easy descend too fast on this section, but beware of periodic rock drops, stairs, switchbacks, and most of all, hikers as this is the primary hiker access to Freel Peak.
5. Armstrong Pass to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride: 5.1 miles. The TRT begins with a slow climb up a hillside for about 2 miles then begins a fast and often technical descent to Mr. Toad's trailhead. The descent takes you past beautiful meadows, intimidating rock features, and an epic overlook into Hell Hole.
6. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride to Big Meadow parking lot: 4.3 miles. The TRT climbs briefly before returning to a fast challenging descent to the Luther Pass spur trail. From there the trail mellows dramatically and winds through mature forest and brief forest meadows.
Local Trail AssociationTahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (www.tamba.org)
Difficulty ratingBlack Diamond
Bike typeAM, XC
More Stats for TRT: Big Meadow to Kingsbury mountain bike route
Altitude change-134 ft
Altitude min7,117 ft
Altitude start7,250 ft
Altitude end7,117 ft
Distance climb12 miles
Distance down11 miles
Distance flat1,834 ft
- Snow Packed
- Snow Covered
- Freeze/thaw Cycle
- Prevalent Mud
- Very Dry
- login to download gpx or kml files.