Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Flume Trail and Chimney Rock Trail from Sierra Meadows, NV

Completely clear bluebird day with temperatures in the mid-70's Jeff and I  ride an extended mountain bike tour from Sierra Meadows on the Mt. Rose Highway south along the Tahoe Rim Trail (remember you can only ride this on a bike on even numbered days) to where it hits the Flume trail, then along the Flume trail to the dam on Marlette Lake connecting to the Chimney Rock trail eventually arriving at the shores of Lake Tahoe. This is one of the grandaddy classic mountain bike rides with recorded descents as early as 1980. Since then, the route has become easier to follow, and much better groomed for the capabilities of a modern  bike.

The first leg of the TRT was quite technical and challenging for me on the bike and by the time we reached the flume trail, I was glad for its slight upward gradient simply because it was relatively smooth with incredible views out over the lake. A few places we needed to duck beneath rock overhangs, and if you are concerned about exposure on narrow ledges over steep slopes, don't take this ride. But the trail is mostly over 24" wide and non-technical. At the end I carried my bike up and over some rock steps to reach the dam on Marlette Lake. Bring a towel, because at this point a swim would have been well appreciated. Plenty of climbing on this route, but we managed to stay in the saddle except for a few technical spots and then the steep pull up to the saddle where the Chimney rock trail begins its decent to lake level. From there it is a sandy, swirling, roller coaster of a trail down to lake level where we stashed our shuttle car.

Snow Flower breaking through the forest floor's duff.

First view of Lake Tahoe from the Tahoe Rim Trail

 From Summer 2012

View Looking south from the beginning of the Flume Trail.

Flume Trail on the left, Lake Tahoe on the right.

Marlette Lake
From Summer 2012

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