We woke up at dawn on sunday morning (at our ugly, but convenient, campsite), and headed down the block for our morning coffee. From there, we packed-up our camping gear and headed to the Flume Trail shuttle for our 9:30 reservation. http://www.flumetrailtahoe.com/
…yes, we debated not using the shuttle, but as first time Tahoe cycling tourists who had to get back home that evening, it was the right choice. We had excellent directions, as well as advice about the trail itself.
We were dropped off at the southern end of the route at Nevada’s Spooner Lake State Park. http://parks.nv.gov/parks/marlette-hobart-backcountry/ From there, it was a 1200 foot vertical climb, over 4 miles, on a fire road to the beautiful Marlette Lake. From there, the Flume Trail begins!
The Flume Trail actually was a 19th century water flume, taking water from Marlette Lake, high above Lake Tahoe, via a narrow flume.
It was carved out of the edge of the mountain overlooking Lake Tahoe. It’s not a place for those afraid of heights or any balance issues. The trail is quite narrow in spots, and you would tumble VERY far if you left the trail.
Yes, that’s the narrow trail on the right side of the above photo!
After awhile we found ourselves at the most scenic spot, looking down upon Tahoe’s most scenic beach, Sand Point. http://parks.nv.gov/parks/sand-harbor/
At the end of the historical (and relatively flat) Flume Trail, we turned downhill and descended over 1000 feet, back to the shuttle starting point, where our car was and had lunch at the adjacent Tunnel Creek Cafe http://tunnelcreekcafe.com/
Awesome trip! Highly recommended as the best spot for a mountain bike ride on your first visit.
GPS track (Flume Trail): http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=2274258