I had to make a quick run up to Tahoe to attend an HOA meeting, which was scheduled for earlier this morning. Knowing I had to rush home right after the meeting, I took Friday off work so I could at least get a ride in.
Since I only had time for one ride, I needed to get my money's worth. I mapped out a ride that would include two of my favorite trails—the Diamond Peak Flume (DPF) and the Rim Trail from Marlette to Tunnel Creek. However, I had never done these two trails on the same ride.
The basic route was up Highway 431, the Diamond Peak Flume, up Tunnel Creek, Flume Trail, around Marlette Lake, up and down the Rim Trail, and back down Tunnel Creek. You can see the GPS output here.
After a nice four-mile pavement climb to warm up, I hit the DPF.
This mostly flat trail is just a lot of fun.
The DPF descends at the end and drops you onto Tunnel Creek. After climbing for another mile you hit the Flume Trail. I rode straight through to Marlette Lake. That peak you see across the lake is where I was headed.
After some steep, sandy climbing this is the view from the other side. You can see the little inlet where I took the previous picture. Lake Tahoe is obviously in the background.
After Marlette Peak, most of the work is done and it's eight miles of downhill. The first part of the Rim Trail is wide open and fast.
The rolling downhill is a blast to carve down.
After that, you enter the boulders, which are prevalent for the rest of the Rim Trail. While very, very fun, this part of the downhill seems to go on forever. Muscling the bike over and around the rocks, roots and granite slabs gets tiring.
In years past, I never stopped during rides. Thankfully I feel compelled to take pictures now, which was a great excuse to give my arms and hands a break. This is Washoe Lake to the east.
The ride ends with the Tunnel Creek downhill and a roll back through town. I have to say, this ride kicked my butt a little bit. It was only 31 miles and 3,000 feet of climbing, but it felt like much more.