14.3 miles
Distance
3,066 ft
Climb
-3,107 ft
Descent
02:47:22
Avg time
Supporters, Builders, Maintainers & Land Managers of Tahoe Rim (Spooner to Kingsbury) Trail

Details

  • Activities
    • Mountain Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Riding Area
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Trail Type
    Singletrack
  • Bike Type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    Downhill Primary
    Popular direction shown
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
    Hard
  • Season
    May-Nov (depending on snow)
  • Dogs Allowed
    Yes
  • eBike Allowed
  • Global Ranking
    #10990 in Mountain Biking

This section of the Tahoe Rim Trail can be thought of as two distinctly different trails due primarily to the geology. The southern section starts at SR-207 (Kingsbury Grade) and follows an undulating climb through granite soils, large rounded rocks, and mature pine forests. This section is technical and rewards good bike handling skills.

The northern section starts at Spooner Summit on US-50 and steadily climbs through angular talus and smaller pine trees to an expansive meadow that encompass the highest elevations of the trail. The meadow affords nearly perfect views of the entire lake and the surrounding mountains. This section of trail is not technical, but the climb is relentless. The transition between the two sections of trail is fairly distinct about a quarter mile south of the meadow.

At the highest point of the trail is a bench...like a park bench, except that it was handmade from local timber and placed facing Lake Tahoe in honor of an individual who frequented the area. As a result, these sections of trail are often called "Kingsbury bench" for the section from Kingsbury to the bench or "Spooner Bench" for the section from Spooner Summit to the bench.

Access Info

Access for the northern trailhead is a couple hundred feet east of Spooner Summit in a parking area on the south side of US-50.

Access to the southern trailhead is more complicated. The trailhead is on the north side of the TRT crossing of Kingsbury Grade (SR-207), however, there is no parking immediately available to start the trail from that point. One option is to park on Buchanan Rd just west of the TRT intersection and ride the few hundred feet to the trailhead. However most riders skip the first 1.5 miles of the TRT and drive to the parking area at the end of the pavement on North Benjamin Dr. (which technically morphs into Andria Dr.). There a USFS/TRTA kiosk and trail map are available at a TRT spur on the west side of the road.

Local Trail Association
Traditionally Indigenous Territory
More Stats for Tahoe Rim Trail (Spooner to Kingsbury) bike trail trail
  • Altitude change
    -41 ft
  • Altitude min
    7,106 ft
  • Altitude max
    8,822 ft
  • Altitude start
    7,148 ft
  • Altitude end
    7,106 ft
  • Grade
    -0.055%
  • Grade max
    -35.495%
  • Grade min
    38.236%
  • Distance climb
    6 miles
  • Distance down
    7 miles
  • Distance flat
    3,968 ft
  • Avg time
    02:47:22
  • Avg reverse time
    03:13:11
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Oct 24, 2020
Ideal
Avg: 4.55 (15 votes)

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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Ridden Direction
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The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
Trail Last Ridden
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  • < 2 days
  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
  • < 6 months
  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intended direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
Contribute Details
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  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos
Trail Popularity ?
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine which trails are ridden the most in the last 9 months. Trails are compared with nearby trails in the same city region with a possible 25 colour shades. Think of this as a heatmap, more rides = more kinetic energy = warmer colors.
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ATV/ORV/OHV Filter
Max Vehicle Width
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Radar Time
      Directions to tahoe-rim-trail-spooner-to-kingsbury trailhead (39.103530, -119.895510)
      update trails status or condition

      Tahoe Rim Trail... Trail Reports

      statusdatedescription
      Oct 24, 2020 @ 9:17am
      Oct 24, 2020
      Aug 20, 2020 @ 6:47am
      Aug 20, 2020
      Jul 25, 2020 @ 3:36pm
      Jul 25, 2020
      Jun 16, 2020 @ 10:43am
      Jun 16, 2020
      No more snow on trail. No obstructions.
      Jun 5, 2020 @ 12:25pm
      Jun 5, 2020
      There is still a small snow patch just N of the Bench plateau, but it's easily traversed (rideable downhill). There are a few other tiny ones as...
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 2 rides
      • 13 miles avg distance
      6 Months
      • 57 rides
      • 31 miles avg distance
      All
      • 387 rides
      •  

      Photos

      more »
      31 |
      Jun 15, 2021 @ 10:36am
      Jun 15, 2021
      72 |
      Oct 25, 2020 @ 4:11pm
      Oct 25, 2020
      60 |
      Aug 6, 2020 @ 9:16pm
      Aug 6, 2020
      48 |
      Aug 6, 2020 @ 9:15pm
      Aug 6, 2020

      Routes with this trail

      more »
      titleratingdistance
      Nevada City, around Lake Tahoe, and back. the hard way
      311 miles
      Spooner to Stateline
      20 miles
      TRT Spooner to Van Sickle
      20 miles
      Daggett to Corrall
      29 miles

      5 Reviews & Comments

      • - 1
      emgerken (Jun 9, 2019 at 23:17)
       From Spooner Summit, rode about 3 miles to almost 8100’ today before trail was covered in snow and not rideable.
      [Reply]
      • + 2
      WillieB (Aug 19, 2019 at 9:49)
       The ride from North to South on this trail is awesome! Fantastic climb thats punishing but not impossible, followed by an incredible downhill of Cali granite "flow-tech" with some fun features. I would give this trail 6/5 stars if I could.
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      WillieB (Aug 22, 2019 at 14:27)
       I'm sure if you ride South to North you'll think this trail sucks. A nearly impossible uphill followed by a boring downhill.
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      dannyjammer (Jul 31, 2020 at 0:13)
       Rode this from south to north and back again. The southern tech section was an incredible and brutal challenge northbound. I’m sure somebody has done it clean but I popped off several times and then dismounted several other times. The easy highlight is descending to kingsbury- but, if you love some uphill trials, ascending from Kinsbury is quite a test.
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      foodwheels (Apr 4, 2021 at 9:46)
       One of my favorite trails in Tahoe. One of the few trails in the region that never gets that sandy/dusty. Locals refer to this trail as “The Bench”, so named for the wooden bench at the peak point mid trail. I’d argue there’s four options to enjoy this trail. A) shuttle it, starting at the North trail head and ending south, otherwise choose your out n back flavor, B) start south tech all the way climb to bench and tech all the way back down, C) start north, punishing but smooth climb followed by flow fast descent back to start D) punisher, do the whole thing as a massive out n back to really test your endurance.
      [Reply]

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      Videos

      more »
      youtuber Van Sickle & Tahoe Rim Trail Part 2 (South...
      10:14 | 696 | Oct 4, 2017 , My City
      MTB - 40 Miles near Tahoe
      21:57 | 68 | Mar 9, 2021 , My City
      Van Sickle & Tahoe Rim Trail Part 1 (South...
      905 | Oct 2, 2017 , My City
      Panorama From Tahoe Rim Trail Near The Bench
      0:43 | 191 | Aug 26, 2017 , My City
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