3.3 miles
236 ft
-1,581 ft
Avg time
Trail Supporters, Builders & Maintainers of Van Sickle Trail

Van Sickle Trail Details

  • Riding area
  • Difficulty rating
  • Trail type
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical rating
  • Season
    Summer, Fall
  • eBike Allowed
  • TTFs on trail
    Rock Garden
  • Global Ranking

This trail connects the casino core of South Lake Tahoe/Stateline to the Rim Trail and is one of the latest additions to the South Shore trail system. Beginning at the top of the Van Sickle Bi-State Park, the trail goes through a Sugar Pine forest, then through an area denuded by the 2002 Gondola Fire, past a delightful waterfall/cascade, then through willows and mature pine forests to the TRT at an elevation of 7,777 ft. The trail is built to be ridden both up and down incorporating rest areas and overlooks along the way. It’s a great ride providing some of the best lake views.

An important note about this trail is its sensitivity to bike traffic. As the only trail near the epicenter of South Lake hotel accommodations, many tourists challenge themselves to hike the trail. As they enjoy the views, wildlife, and altitude, they are often not aware of incoming mountain bikes. Compound that with the difficulty in finding a safe place to get off the trail results in challenges passing hikers. These issues are most prevalent on the lower half of the trail. Be overtly courteous when passing hikers.

Access Info

The lower trailhead departs from the end of the paved road in Van Sickle Bi-State Park. The Van Sickle Trail can also be accessed from a spur that departs north from the very top of Saddle Rd (Adams Way).

The upper trailhead is on the TRT and is 3.5 miles south of the TRT/SR-207 (Kingsbury Grade) intersection or by accessing the TRT 1 mile south near the Stagecoach ski lift in Heavenly Village.


Be sensitive to numerous hikers that frequent this trail.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Van Sickle Trail mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -1,345 ft
  • Altitude min
    1.2 miles
  • Altitude max
    1.5 miles
  • Altitude start
    1.5 miles
  • Altitude end
    1.2 miles
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    2,263 ft
  • Distance down
    2.5 miles
  • Distance flat
    1,901 ft
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on May 24, 2017
Snow Covered
Avg: 4.75 (4 votes)

view (47)
Layers winter
Map Style
Trail Style
  • ?
Directions to van-sickle-trail trailhead (38.958911, -119.895469)
update trails status or condition

Van Sickle Trail Trail Reports

May 24, 2017 @ 11:05am
7 hours
reporter Clear as an out and back for about 2 miles. Snow past the bridge and waterfall. Barn Trail and Keller Connector are open.
Mar 22, 2017 @ 9:07am
Mar 22, 2017
reporter Covered in snow
Mar 15, 2017 @ 12:24pm
Mar 15, 2017
Mar 15, 2017 @ 10:33am
Mar 15, 2017
reporter Covered in snow
Nov 18, 2016 @ 3:59pm
Nov 18, 2016
Just a little tacky from the rain/ snow the other day
view all reports »


more »
12 |
May 12, 2017 @ 6:55am
May 12, 2017
Van Sickle Trail, Gardnerville
21 |
Mar 16, 2017 @ 9:54am
Mar 16, 2017
Van Sickle Trail, South Lake Tahoe
18 |
Mar 16, 2017 @ 9:54am
Mar 16, 2017
Van Sickle Trail, South Lake Tahoe
21 |
Mar 16, 2017 @ 9:54am
Mar 16, 2017
Van Sickle Trail, South Lake Tahoe

Routes with this trail

Spooner to Stateline
20.1 miles

1 Review & Comments

  • + 1
flag DrHog (Jun 30, 2015 at 8:27)
 This is a good way to climb up into the TRT system around Heavenly. Grade is gradual enough to keep climbing, and there are a few rocky sections to keep it interesting.

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more »
Van Sickle Follow Cam March 2015
20:00 | 145 | May 16, 2015 , South Lake Tahoe
Van sickness (in winter)
3:32 | 59 | Feb 13, 2015 , South Lake Tahoe
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