Beginning and ending in Truckee, CA, this bikepacking route consists of 2 loops – a smaller loop above Truckee (Bones) and then a bigger loop around Lake Tahoe (Blue). The majority of the route is well-maintained single-track with some fire roads. There is an 13-mile stretch of road riding along the west shore of Lake Tahoe. Though it is pavement, it’s extremely scenic. If you want to skip the road section, you are welcome to take a shuttle, Lyft/Uber, or thumb a ride (see Route page).
“Bones” loop (above Truckee) – the route goes right through the areas that the Donner Party spent their tragic winter of 1846/47. The 89 pioneers hunkered down in 2 different areas – one group near Alder Creek and the other near Donner Lake. You will pass through the Donner family’s site at the beginning of the route and the other sites at the end of the route. And you will descend down Donner Pass, riding over the top of the China Wall. Many Chinese laborers lost their lives while doing dangerous and arduous work to connect the transcontinental railroad through the Sierras.
“Blue” loop (around Lake Tahoe) – this section of the route follows a lot of the bike-legal sections of the famous Tahoe Rim Trail and includes the Flume Trail. While there is a lot of climbing, the trail is very rideable and the views are stunning. You are in for a treat.