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On the Trails: Steep terrain, heavy precipitation and loose soil consisting largely of decomposed granite make the Tahoe environment extremely fragile. Add to this the damage nutrients, eroded from up-slope, do to the water clarity of Lake Tahoe as they feed the algae, and it is easy to understand why the government agencies responsible for keeping Tahoe blue get a little excited when they see areas of erosion. The Forest Service has spent a lot of time and money designing and maintaining trails that include water bars and reasonable gradients. They have also designated some trails as "off limits" to various activities such as motor biking, four wheeling, and yes, even mountain biking. With just a few notable exceptions, the trails around Tahoe are open to mountain bikes. The way to keep these trails open, is to obey the folowing guidelines:

  • Always obey trail closures.

  • Stay on the trails.

  • Stay under control when descending to avoid skidding.

  • Walk bikes around soggy stream environment zones, especially in spring when your tires leave deep ruts.

  • Slow WAY down when passing hikers.

  • STOP when you encounter horseback riders.

Garbage, Waste, and Other Human By-Products: Whenever you are in the wilderness, please follow the Forest Service requirements for both garbage and human waste. For garbage, it's very simple...pack it in, pack it out...all of it! For waste, stay a minimum of 200 yards from any water source. Bury solid waste at least 6 inches deep in soft ground and be sure to cover well. Pack out your used toilet paper. Better yet, use the restrooms at the trailheads or before heading out which completely eliminates the polution of the wilderness.

Water: All water from streams, lakes, even taps outside the city should be considered dubious and either treated or avoided. Giardia is a known parasite in many Sierra lakes and streams.


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NOTICE: While the information on this site is thought to be accurate and reliable, it is offered only as a guide and cannot replace sound personal judgement.

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