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

Van Sickle Trail Details

  • Riding area
    South Lake Tahoe
    South Lake Tahoe, California
  • 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
    6,449 ft
  • Altitude max
    7,794 ft
  • Altitude start
    7,794 ft
  • Altitude end
    6,449 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    2,263 ft
  • Distance down
    2 miles
  • Distance flat
    1,901 ft
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on Dec 14, 2017
Snow Covered
Avg: 4.55 (7 votes)

view (47)
Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Directions to van-sickle-trail trailhead (38.958911, -119.895469)
update trails status or condition

Van Sickle Trail Trail Reports

Dec 14, 2017 @ 9:53pm
Dec 14, 2017
Snowy and ice at times special close to Creek crossings. Tree down as well
Nov 26, 2017 @ 12:13pm
Nov 26, 2017
Fallen tree about 1/2 way down from top.
Jul 30, 2017 @ 8:52am
Jul 30, 2017
Trail is awesome! The steps are bit covered with sand but still rideable.
Jul 3, 2017 @ 2:52pm
Jul 3, 2017
Jun 26, 2017 @ 6:50am
Jun 26, 2017
view all reports »


more »
14 |
Dec 14, 2017 @ 7:46pm
Dec 14, 2017
Van Sickle Trail, Tahoe
14 |
Dec 14, 2017 @ 7:43pm
Dec 14, 2017
Van Sickle Trail, Tahoe
11 |
Dec 14, 2017 @ 7:43pm
Dec 14, 2017
Van Sickle Trail, Tahoe
50 |
Jul 5, 2017 @ 2:41pm
Jul 5, 2017
Van Sickle Trail, Lake Tahoe

Routes with this trail

Spooner to Stateline
20 miles

3 Reviews & 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.
  • + 1
flag bufkinrw87 (Aug 25, 2017 at 19:51)
 We rode from the top down, 4 different abilities, alot more technical than the color of the trails difficulty denotes. More on the easier difficult side, excellent trail and ride none the less.
If you ride a trail bike or enduro, you will tear it up.
  • + 1
flag Hellod (Nov 20, 2017 at 8:25)
 Road from top thru Heavenly ski area and got shut down down due to,to much snow under the North bowl chair line.I continued down snow packed Edgewood bowl to Boulder court. See you next year.

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more »
youtuber Van Sickle & Tahoe Rim Trail Part 1 (South...
49 | Oct 2, 2017 , South Lake Tahoe
Van Sickle Follow Cam March 2015
20:00 | 213 | May 16, 2015 , South Lake Tahoe
Van sickness (in winter)
3:32 | 87 | Feb 13, 2015 , South Lake Tahoe
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