With the unprecedented fires occurring around California, smoke has been an on again, off-again visitor to the Tahoe basin. Yesterday, an east wind brought in a crisp, fall like morning, and that deep blue sky that we all have missed so much. A perfect time to ride the extensive network of trails at Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area.
Arriving at the Tahoe XC trailhead on the day after Labor Day was a pleasant change from how busy the trail was several days earlier. Just a few cars were in the parking lot. I started my ride going up the new short single track trail that winds up to the open meadow then followed the Green Trail up to the Orange Trail and then up to the Lakeview at Kevin’s Crest.
Sorry if you are not a XC skier, I only know trail names by their ski trail names. There are maps at all the intersections that will help give you the lay of the land, but you really learn the trail network by just riding and finding what you enjoy. In general, trail loops head towards the west from the lodge, getting more challenging the further you go.
Since it had been a few days since I’d seen Tahoe in all its glory, my goal was to get to a lakeview as soon as possible. From the bench on Kevin’s Crest, most of Lake Tahoe unfolded below. There was a hint of smoke on the southern end of the lake, but the air was bracing and fresh, and the sunshine blindingly bright after quite a few days recently when the smoke made it feel like it was cloudy or foggy when there was not a cloud in the sky.
From Lakeview I flew back to the Orange trail and then skirted Antone Meadows and several healthy looking beaver dams on the sunny side of the Red Trail. From there, I rode to the Fiberboard Freeway, then grunted up the paved surface to the fun Whoop De Doo downhill. Having too much fun to be done yet, I added in Purple and a fun single track coming up from the Tamarack Lodge and finished up my 12 miles of riding in just under 2 hours. It was a perfect way to celebrate the blue sky and get my workout in. Enjoy your ride!