We return to Lake Tahoe.

Fond memories of the October 2000 Tahoe gathering had us pining for more. That and the camera I used to take some amazing Golden Quaking Aspen shots gave me blurry pictures so I had to come back to take some more. Alas, I was burned by a late fall, the Aspens were just starting to turn. It seems Tahoe has been having a warm Indian Summer. Oh well, guess we'll have to go back again.

Directions (don't read if not interested)

The ride, partially described from MTB.LIVE.COM
When you drive into Meyers, you will turn onto Pioneer Drive, then left onto Oneidas Rd and park along Oneidas Rd (paved). Your ride starts here, Oneidas becomes Fountain Place Road (it's paved but gets little car traffic). Keep on climbing up Fountain Place Road, past the old Fountain Place (named after a Fountain family, not for any spring or resort-thing), where the road becomes dirt and there is a gate.

The trail then forks twice, then reaches a large meadow. Either fork will get you up to Armstrong pass and one section of the 164 mile TRT loop.

After crossing the meadow, keep climbing up the trail, past some pretty clearings, to Armstrong pass. Here, at ~8400 feet or so, we hit the Tahoe Rim trail. Turn right (westish) along the TRT and then climb to the ridge. This takes you past some of the most awesome vistas I've ever seen. (Maybe it was lack of Oxygen, as this part of the trail is up near 9400 feet.) On clear days, you can see south past Carson Pass (hwy 88), at least as far as the stuff around Ebbets/Pacific Grade passes (hwy 4). Possibly even some of the peaks just north of Yosemite. Clear, great views of the nearby Hope Valley. Beautiful meadows full of wildflowers up there.

Anyway, the trail then levels off and comes to a great Tahoe viewpoint, another amazingly flower-filled meadow (Freel Meadows), and then it drops you onto the top of Mister Toad's Wild Ride. Plenty of technical challenge here! And plenty of places where it's sensible to get off the bike and walk past this or that obstacle. Mr Toad's drops you, with a few little climbs along the way, back down to the junction of Oneidas and Power Line.

This ride is about 21 miles, but has well over 3000' of climbing. Lee and I did this ride in about 4 hours, more than three of which were gasping for air as we climbed...

If this sounds like too much, you can approach toads from the TRT from Hwy 98, see: Short Toads

This is a map of short Toads, Long Toads continues East at the trail head sign (off the map), up Oneidas Road to Armstrong Pass and the Tahoe Rim Trail. Hooking up with Toads at Tucker Flat where the Tahoe Rim Trail connects from Hwy 89 at Big Meadow Trailhead where you access the Tahoe Rim Trail.

The climb up to Armstrong Pass

Still climbing amoungst the Pondorosa Pines and giant boulders.

A panorama of the first Meadow just before Armstrong Pass.

An amazing boulder field on the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Note the snow on the trail from the weather system that passed through 2 days previously. This is October after all!

A Panorama of Freel Meadow, with Hope Valley to the South.

A view of Lake Tahoe looking North.

Time to put on some warmer clothes for the descent! Despite the sunshine, the wind made the ride pretty chilly.

The Trailhead of Mr. Toads Wild Ride. This is the place where the TRT intersects with short Toads.

Some technical toady bits!

Some FAST Toady bits!

It was a nice return ride! Next time we'll probably do some more exploring on the Tahoe Rim Trail. That looks interesting...