23.3 miles
Distance
5,314 ft
Climb
-5,447 ft
Descent
1.9 miles
High Point
Trail Supporters, Builders & Maintainers of TRT: Big Meadow to Kingsbury Trail

Details

  • Riding area
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Trail type
    Singletrack
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
    Multi-use
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
    Blue
  • Physical rating
    Hard
  • Season
    May-Nov (depending on snow)
  • eBike Allowed
    No
  • Global Ranking

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.

Access Info

The north end of this Tahoe Rim Trail section starts at the SR-207 (Kingsbury Grade) crossing. There is no parking on Kingsbury grade, but one can access the trail a quarter mile in on Buchanan Rd. Look for a pull out on the left side.

The south end of this section is at the Big Meadow Trailhead parking area off SR-89.

More Stats for TRT: Big Meadow to Kingsbury mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -132 ft
  • Altitude min
    1.3 miles
  • Altitude start
    1.4 miles
  • Altitude end
    1.3 miles
  • Grade
    -0.107%
  • Grade max
    -53.727%
  • Grade min
    43.144%
  • Distance climb
    11.9 miles
  • Distance down
    11.0 miles
  • Distance flat
    2,322 ft
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Mar 22, 2017
Snow Covered
Avg: 4 (3 votes)

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Directions to trt-big-meadow-to-kingsbury trailhead (38.786830, -120.001760)
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TRT: Big Meadow... Trail Reports

datedescription
Mar 22, 2017 @ 9:07am
Mar 22, 2017
reporter Covered in snow
Mar 15, 2017 @ 12:24pm
Mar 15, 2017
reporter
Mar 15, 2017 @ 10:33am
Mar 15, 2017
reporter Covered in snow
Aug 1, 2016 @ 11:59pm
Aug 1, 2016
TRT was in great condition on July 3. Photos are near Mr Toads Wild Ride.
Jun 26, 2016 @ 10:39pm
Jun 26, 2016
Several miles of snow drifts to hike-a-bike though north from freel peak to star lake connector. Likely snow further north, but headed down at...
view all reports »

Photos

more »
59 |
Aug 2, 2016 @ 12:00am
Aug 2, 2016
TRT: Big Meadow to Kingsbury
53 |
Aug 1, 2016 @ 11:59pm
Aug 1, 2016
TRT: Big Meadow to Kingsbury
118 |
Sep 6, 2015 @ 9:56pm
Sep 6, 2015
TRT: Big Meadow to Kingsbury
114 |
Sep 6, 2015 @ 9:55pm
Sep 6, 2015
TRT: Big Meadow to Kingsbury

Routes with this trail

titleratingdistance
Mr Toad's Wild Ride
9.7 miles
Spooner to Stateline
20.1 miles
Mr. Toads Loop
18.9 miles

1 Review & Comments

  • + 2
flag DrHog (Jun 30, 2015 at 8:30)
 Rode the 9 miles from Kingsbury to Star Lake. Classic TRT--great stuff. Climbing grades are all rideable.
[Reply]

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