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Paul Hamill Truckee Photography

The Tahoe-Pyramid Trail

A Tale of Two Lakes. And one trail.

It was a wild idea to begin with: connecting two radically different and distant lakes by way of one trail. Wild as the idea was however, through persistence and planning it somehow managed to take flight. Today, the 114-mile long Tahoe-Pyramid Trail – for hikers and bikers alike – is more than 80% complete and has joined many of the area’s other feature attractions and adventures.

“The greatest part of this project is how it’s furthered the connections between communities,” said Dylan Renn, owner and pro mountain bike skills coach at Single Track Mind in Truckee. Those communities include – starting from the stately pine trees of Tahoe and ending at the awe-inspiring vastness of Pyramid Lake — Tahoe City, Truckee, Glenshire, Hirschdale, Floriston, Verdi, Reno, Sparks, Wadsworth and Nixon. In all, Renn estimates a bike-packing ride from Tahoe (6225’ elevation) to Pyramid Lake (3796’) would take about four days.

“Making that run in one go is nothing I’d really recommend,” added Renn, who instead suggests breaking up the feat into five sections. “There are certain sections that appeal to families and novices and one in particular (Hirschdale-Verdi) that appeals to the adrenaline junkie.” Renn stresses that services are minimal and that undertaking such a journey is an exercise in self-reliance. “Definitely have your first aid kit on hand, along with snacks, water, and a cell phone,” he advised. “Understand, as well, that just because it descends nearly 2500’ feet doesn’t mean it’s all downhill,” he mentioned. “There are plenty of climbs you’ll encounter.”

All that said, Renn considers the trail to be a stunning experience. He also mentioned that bikers may well encounter some fine swimming holes along the way, although this year’s snowpack is serving up a wild card in that regard.

While Renn excels in prepping riders for the challenges of mountain biking and introduces bikers – beginners to pro level – to new skills (both mental and physical), he doesn’t offer rentals. If you need to rent a bike, he instead suggests checking with one of many local bike shops, including Bike Truckee.

Meantime, residents in Truckee and Martis Camp both enjoy great access to the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail, along with many other trails that head off to all points beautiful. A run upriver from Truckee will lead you to Tahoe City while a downriver primer for beginners-advanced would involve taking the paved trail leading to Glenshire. Both provide a great introduction to this breakthrough trail and are at lengths that may well have you back in Truckee for a slice of pizza or a pint of handcrafted beer by late afternoon.

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written by Scott Mortimore

photo courtesy of Paul Hamill Photography