3 miles
839 ft
-204 ft
Avg time
Trail Supporters, Builders & Maintainers of Lower Cold Creek (18E06) Trail


  • Riding Area
    South Lake Tahoe
    South Lake Tahoe, California
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Trail Type
  • Bike Type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
  • Physical Rating
  • Season
  • eBike Allowed
  • TTFs on Trail
    Log Ride
  • Global Ranking

Reworked and rebuilt between 2009 and 2010 this trail follows alongside its name sake Cold Creek for nearly 1,400 vertical feet over roughly 5 miles. The lower section approximately 3.6 miles long is suitable for beginner to intermediate riders but as you get into the upper section the level of technical riding increases.

The trail begins at a utility district pump station and follows a sewer line access road for nearly a mile until single track picks up and climbs to Powerline Trail. Cold Creek Trail makes a quick dogleg to the left and continues along Cold Creek. The trail crosses a number of ephemeral streams and travels through pine, fir, and aspen forest. This lower section of trail "terminates" at a plastic forest service trail marker. From here it is possible to cross Cold Creek and pickup a forest service road that also roughly parallels the creek or continue to the upper section of Cold Creek Trail.

NOTE: one of the objectives when rebuilding the trail was to slow rider speeds and reduce unpleasant hiker/biker interactions. This is a favorite hiking trail for many locals. Please monitor your speed, do not shortcut the trail, and be overtly courteous when encountering hikers or equestrians.

Access Info

The trail begins at a utility district pump station off the east side of Pioneer Trail (road) between High Meadow Road and Black Bart/Cold Creek Trail (road). However, parking is very limited (2 or 3 cars) and most people skip the very lowest section of this trail because parking and access is easier from Powerline Trail. To access Cold Creek Trail from Powerline Trail, drive up High Meadow Road and either park at the end of the pavement or continue up the gravel forest access road to the terminal parking area. Powerline Trail leaves the parking area to the north. After a quarter mile the trail crosses Cold Creek and Cold Creek Trail is found on the north side of the bridge.

The end of lower Cold Creek Trail is rather indistinct, but is marked by a small vertical plastic forest service trail marker. This is also the only place along the trail that one can cross Cold Creek and continue on the High Meadow forest access road.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Lower Cold Creek Trail (18E06) bike trail
  • Altitude change
    635 ft
  • Altitude min
    6,292 ft
  • Altitude max
    6,953 ft
  • Altitude start
    6,292 ft
  • Altitude end
    6,927 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    2 miles
  • Distance down
    3,388 ft
  • Distance flat
    771 ft
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on Apr 24, 2018
Avg: 4.6 (5 votes)

view (160)
Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Activity Type
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Directions to lower-cold-creek-trail-18e06 trailhead (38.909230, -119.961730)
update trails status or condition

Lower Cold Creek... Trail Reports

Apr 24, 2018 @ 9:24pm
Apr 24, 2018
reporter Clear
Sep 30, 2017 @ 5:24pm
Sep 30, 2017
Some wet spots but great trails!
Jun 18, 2017 @ 9:51pm
Jun 18, 2017
Mostly dry but a couple short muddy sections. The creek crossing at the High Meadows Rd. connection is about 3-4 feet deep right now (don't ask...
May 29, 2017 @ 11:12pm
May 29, 2017
reporter All clear
Mar 22, 2017 @ 9:07am
Mar 22, 2017
reporter Covered in snow
view all reports »


more »
91 |
Mar 20, 2017 @ 11:30pm
Mar 20, 2017
Lower Cold Creek Trail (18E06)
170 |
Mar 20, 2017 @ 9:54pm
Mar 20, 2017
Lower Cold Creek Trail (18E06)

Trail Lists

Routes with this trail

Stagecoach to Star Lake to Heavenly CA base
24 miles

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