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Bike Directory : Self-Guided Mountain Bike Rides

The Great Flume Ride
Lake Tahoe, California

MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDE AT A GLANCE

Difficulty: Intermediate
Elevation: 7146 feet at Spooner Summit near Start.
Elevation Gain: 2600 feet
Ride Distance: 24.0 miles round trip
Time: up to 6 hrs. or more
Scenic Quality: AAA - Killer!!!

How to get there:

FROM SOUTH LAKE TAHOE: To get to Spooner Summit, drive northeast on U.S. 50 about 12 miles past the casinos and turn left on Nevada State Highway 28. Continue north for about a half mile before turning right into Nevada State Park at Spooner Summit. FROM NORTH SHORE LAKE TAHOE: Take Nevada State Highway 28 south from Incline Village. Just before the junction of Highway 28 and U.S. 50, turn left into Nevada State Park. The State Park is a day-use facility, the fee is $4.00 per car or $2.00 per bike. (Pile everyone into one car and its a bargin.)

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The ride:

rides in the Tahoe area, and the trail can get pretty crowded on the weekends. Get that mindset for some climbing, and your reward is the beautiful views of Lake Tahoe. Some spots along the trail are sandy so keep your weight back (un-weight your front wheel) when you encounter them, and don't try to turn very quick in sand. Marlette Lake was made to float harvested logs down to Lake Tahoe where they could be milled. The logs were floated down the long gently-sloping route which is now the flume trail. Stop at the lakes for a swim, and read the historical signs. 0.0 miles=Go east out of the picnic area towards Spooner Lake. Turn left on the dirt road that heads toward a big meadow. Start climbing toward Marlette Lake. (Follow the signs) The climb is steep but don't get discourged. 3.9 miles=Continue straight to Marlette Lake. To the right is road 15N04A, which takes you to the top of Snow Valley Peak (elevation 9,214 ft.) after 1.5 miles of steep climbing if you want more hammer haed climbing. 4.2 miles=At elevation 8,157 feet, prepare for a 0.6 mile descent to Marlette Lake. At the Lake turn left, and follow the west shorline. The trail comes to the water at one point and you must ride along the edge of the shallow water at times of the year. 6.2 miles =At the dam on the left side, a trail marked the Flume Trail will descend of the dam. Stay to the right and cross Marlette Creek. You are now on the Flume Trail. 10.6 miles=The Flume trail ends at Tunnel Creek Road. Turn right and ride up to the top of the ridge. (The road left continues downhill 3 miles to Hidden Beach at Ponderosa Ranch (Incline Village) You can turn left on highway 28 and head back to Spooner Summit.) 11.1 miles=Continue straight, the road to Twin Lakes takes off to the right; the lakes are a half mile away. This descent is very sandy. 11.8 miles=Look off to the right for another section of rideable Flume Trail. There is a sign and a pipe. 14.2 miles=The Flume Trail ends at a small diversion dam. Walk across the dam and continue up the main road. Turn right. 14.7 miles=Turn right on the Forest Road (504) that soon crosses Franktown Creek. Then starts a one mile steep uphill, mostly in the sun. 15.9 miles=You've reached the top. Continue along the ridge. 16.3 miles =The road forks, continue straight ahead. After a bit more ridge riding, the road quickly descends to Marlette Lake. 19.0 miles=At Marlette Lake intersection, turn left for a short climb, and then 4 miles of downhill back to Spooner Lake. 24.0 miles=Back at the cars.

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What to bring:

Bring plenty of water, food, and clothing for any weather conditions. Wear your helmet. Carry tools, spare tube, tire pump, patch kit, allen wrenches, chain tool, shimano chain pin, tire irons, screw driver, spoke wrench, and small first aid kit. A water filter to refill your water bottle. Control your bicycle at all times, and descend under control. Always yield to hikers, llamas and horses. Never spook animals.

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