a woman mountain biking in lake tahoe on one of the 7 beginner friendly bike trails in lake tahoe

7 Beginner-Friendly Bike Trails in Lake Tahoe

June 7, 2023

When you think of Lake Tahoe, you probably picture swims, boating adventures and lounges by the shore. But there is so much more to Lake Tahoe than meets the eye! 

Biking in Tahoe is one of the more popular outdoor activities, thanks to the stunning views and wide array of trails. While seasoned mountain biking experts can have their fill of challenging switchbacks and steep climbs, there are more than enough trails perfect for families, biking beginners and people who just want to enjoy a leisurely cruise. 

So, let’s start exploring Lake Tahoe’s beauty by bike!

a woman mountain biking in lake tahoe on one of the 7 beginner friendly bike trails in lake tahoe

Tahoe East Shore Trail

  • Trail Type: Paved, out-and-back
  • Bike Type: Road bikes, e-bikes
  • Length: 2.6 miles (one-way)
  • Location: East Lake Tahoe

With a nickname like “America’s Most Beautiful Bikeway,” you can expect amazing views on this Lake Tahoe beginner bike trail. The Tahoe East Shore Trail hugs the east shore of Lake Tahoe, giving bikers front-row views of stunning lake and mountain scenery. This short bike path winds along the water with multiple bridges for great photo ops. 

If you rely on Lake Tahoe bike rentals to cycle this trail, the logistics couldn’t be easier. Bike Blue Bike Rentals is just a short pedal from the trailhead along Lakeshore Blvd.  

The path is well-maintained, paved and relatively flat, so bikers of all ages and skill levels can confidently tackle the trail. Leashed dogs are allowed, but leave your motorized scooters and vehicles off the path. This trail is open from sunrise to sunset, so if the sun is out, you can be too!

aerial view of the lake tahoe east shore trail

Incline Flume Trail

  • Trail Type: Dirt, out-and-back
  • Bike Type: Mountain bike
  • Length: 60 miles
  • Location: Carson Range

Incline Flume Trail is a rip-roaring great time if you want to escape the paved paths for dirt trails. This dirt trail gets you into the mountains while still being easy enough for bikers of all skill levels to enjoy. So enjoy gliding through pine trees, streams, and wildflowers!

This route only has 92 feet of elevation, making it a reasonably mild mountain biking trail. If you want to lengthen the adventure, start from the East Shore Trail parking area for a 14-mile loop. Or, just simply enjoy a 6-mile excursion from the trailhead. 

Keep in mind: This trail has a very similar name to the world-renowned Flume Trail, which is much more challenging and technical. Don’t get the two confused!

a view of the dirt bike path of the incline flume trail that overlooks lake tahoe

Truckee River Bike Trail

Just a short drive from Lake Tahoe, you’ll find the Truckee River Trail. This bike and walking path follows the Truckee River and meanders through lovely foliage and mountain scenery. This road has a very mild incline, with an elevation gain of 184 ft. This, along with the well-maintained pavement, makes it a great beginner-friendly bike path near Lake Tahoe. 

While this trail is easy, it can be pretty crowded – so get ready to dodge walkers, strollers and other bikers as you enjoy the scenery.

truckee river with a forest behind it, view from the truckee river bike path on the way to lake tahoe

Sawmill Bike Trail

Hugging the foot of Twin Peaks, this short paved trail is an excellent option for those who want to take a paved trail through towering pines and forest terrain. Sawmill Bike Path is part of the route that connects Meyers to South Lake Tahoe. Some other roads and trails connect with this one to lengthen your trip if you want to extend the fun past 2 miles. We recommend continuing onto Pat Lowe Memorial Bike Path.

If you take the extended scenic route, you can see some town storefronts, restaurants and other bike trails along the path. At the trail’s end, it is only a few short residential streets from Eloise Street, where you can access Pope and Baldwin Beaches.

female mountain biker on the sawmill bike trail in lake tahoe

Tahoe Rim Trail

  • Trail Type: dirt
  • Bike Type: Mountain bike
  • Length: 1-17 miles
  • Location: Tahoe City

Don’t visit Lake Tahoe without experiencing the famous Tahoe Rim Trail! This trail that circles the lake has about 165 miles of fun, ranging from simple flat paths to steep and technical trail stretches. Many sections are exclusively hiking trails, and several bike-friendly sections tend to attract more seasoned mountain bikers. However, a few fun Tahoe Rim Trail biking stretches are beginner-friendly. 

For a lovely and short wildflower tour, visit the Big Meadow Ride. Check out the Picnic Rock Vista Ride for a slightly longer ride that still welcomes all types of bikers. 

An important note when planning your trip is that the Rim Trail does not accept e-bikes on almost any section of this trail, so leave any bikes with motor assists at home.

tahoe rim bike path that overlooks lake tahoe

Pope Baldwin Bike Path

  • Trail Type: Paved
  • Bike Type: Road bikes, e-bikes
  • Length: 3.6 Miles
  • Location: Meyers, S. Lake Tahoe

One of the more popular Lake Tahoe bike paths, Pope Baldwin Bike Path, follows Emerald Bay Road until it eventually reaches the lake. This is one of three bike paths that connect Meyers to South Lake Tahoe, and it includes several hidden gems as it meanders its way to the shore. At the end of the trail, you can access two beautiful Lake Tahoe beaches – Pope Beach and Baldwin Beach (hence the path name!) We highly recommend visiting these beaches by bike, as cars will need to pay a parking fee. 

There are several stops along the way to make this 3-mile path feel like more of a day trip. The trail passes through historic Camp Richardson Resort, and if you want to take a scenic break, Tallac Historic Site is just off the road. You can walk around stunning restored estates and learn about the area’s history.

pope baldwin bike pathway that is by lake tahoe

Powerline Trail

  • Trail Type: Dirt
  • Bike Type: Mountain Bike
  • Length: 6.8 miles
  • Location: South Lake Tahoe

If you want a little taste of adventure but have a group with varied levels of mountain biking experience, the Powerline Trail is a great compromise. This slightly longer out-and-back trail is easy-moderate, perfect for people who have cycled before but want a realistic introduction to the world of mountain biking.

This trail connects to several other mountain trails in case some bikers want to break off and take some more challenging routes. But no matter what course you take, you’ll be rewarded with stunning mountain views peeking through the pines and foliage!

This single-track trail is popular for hikers and bikers alike, so it’s important to manage your speed and announce your presence going around corners.

dirt mountain bike trail around lake tahoe with along the trees

Get Prepared for Lake Tahoe Biking

There are so many fun and beginner-friendly biking trails in Lake Tahoe. Make sure you have what you need to tackle them! Big Blue Bike Rentals can hook you up with quality cruisers, e-bikes and kid’s bikes for an amazing trip. From helmets to bike trailers to bike locks, you will have everything you need to have a fantastic time in the saddle!

Looking for more about Lake Tahoe?

Fall Activities in Lake Tahoe

Picture this: you're pedaling through crisp fall air, the mild chill biting your nose while the sun warms your back. To one side of you, you see a vast expanse of pristine blue water. On the other, bright fall leaves mix with evergreen needles. You enjoy the view, knowing that a mug of hot apple [...]

Advanced Bike Trails in Lake Tahoe: Our Favorites

You’re dreaming of heading downhill fast - and we’re here to help! Lake Tahoe mountain biking is known to be great for all levels, but seasoned mountain bikers can feel particularly at home on our more advanced trails. It’s not hard to find intense climbs, long trails, thrilling switchbacks and technical routes just a short [...]

Guide to South Lake Tahoe by Bike

How to Make the Most of Your Tahoe Trip When life gets a little overwhelming, it's time to start planning your escape. No, we don't mean changing your name and moving abroad - we mean a trip to Lake Tahoe. This trip may not solve all of life's problems, but it can put them on [...]

An Ultimate Weekend Escape to Lake Tahoe

A Complete Lake Tahoe Itinerary Tahoe is calling - even if you only have a weekend for the trip, it's well worth the effort! Whether you're looking for a romantic weekend with your partner, a fun family getaway or a girl's trip, you will find something unique to do. For this Lake Tahoe itinerary, we [...]

Top 10 Family-Friendly Summer Activities in Lake Tahoe

There's nothing quite like a family summer vacation! Work is left at the office, and kids are out of school, so the only thing you need to think about is how to best bond with your family as you relax.  Lucky for you, there are many family-friendly summer activities in Lake Tahoe to discover. Lake [...]