The snow earlier in April coated the bike trails from Pollock Pines to Lake Tahoe. The warm weather after the storms has melted most of the snow off the trails.
In Pollock Pines, the mountain bike trails around Fleming Meadows, Ferrari Mill Road, and Sly Park Lake are all clear of snow. They can be a bit damp in places, with a few mud puddles here and there. The temperatures are perfect for a short sprint through the forest or a longer trail ride.
Reports from riders are good. There isn’t any dust to kick up, the dogwoods are in bloom, and, in short, it’s a really pretty ride all the way around.
The back country rides are legendary around Pollock Pines. You will be wise to get a map and make sure where you are riding, especially if you pedal out into an area that you haven’t ridden before. Old logging roads are all over the place in the forest, and it’s relatively easy to get good and lost.
Further up in the mountains, the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association keeps a pretty decent list of what’s open, and what the conditions are.
The trails in Tahoe range from pretty simple, good for those who are just beginning to ride mountain bikes out on the trails, to experts only runs.
One of the big differences in riding in the mountains is altitude. Things begin to change at 4,000 feet, which is the elevation of Pollock Pines. Riding in Tahoe can put you in the 7,000 foot elevation. If you are coming up from the valley or foothills, be prepared for the riding to be a bit more strenuous.
In the South Lake Tahoe area, these are the trails that are currently open, according to TAMBA:
Lower Cold Creek: Clear with some ice patches past the Powerlines bridge
Railroad Grade: Clear with some ice patches and puddles
Corral: Clear with some ice patches, gates are still locked at Oneidas
Sidewinder: Clear with some ice patches
Cedar: Clear with some ice patches
Tahoe Mountain (new trails): Clear
In the North Shore and Truckee area:
Tahoe Donner: Some trails are clear
Sawtooth Ridge: Clear with some ice patches
Lloyds / Prosser Dam: Clear
Whether Mr. Toads, or any of the trails in the really high parts of the mountains, are currently rideable, is known only by those who venture out there. Watta Bike in Meyers, and South Shore Bikes in South Lake Tahoe should have a pretty good idea of how things are in the higher reaches of the forest. The good people who own and work at these shops are all very competent riders.
Check your gear out, get your tires pumped, and head out for some great spring riding.