The route is ~245 miles and ~35K of climbing. The distances between food resupply are very reasonable and there is plenty of water along the route. Finishing in less than 3 days is tough, but possible. The route is also great for touring over 5-6 days.
GPX Tracks and Waypoints
- Download the a zipped folder that contains Bones to Blue 4 Track and 1 Waypoint Files
- Download or print the resupply notes and route profiles
Scroll down to see important route notes
To avoid confusion with the overlapping loop tracks, only navigate (“Go” on Garmin) or turn on 1 track at a time
Train track crossings
- Never ride on/along the train tracks – they are very active
- You will briefly cross train tracks 2 times (marked with waypoints)
- About 7 miles before Incline Village resupply, the trail becomes very “faded” and hard to find
- Don’t worry about being directly on the gpx track. If you can’t find the trail, just bushwhack in the general direction of the track.
- You will eventually come to a very distinct trail that follows the power lines
Highway section after Fallen Leaf Lake — Hwy 89 Exception
- After Fallen Leaf Lake, you will take a bike path for about 1 mile and then hop on Hwy 89. You will have to ride on hwy 89 for ~13 miles. Farther north, around Sugar Pine Point State Park, you can get back on a bike path (optional – you can take the road or bike path).
- Don’t hug the side of the road. Give yourself room. Take the lane when descending. Watch out for tourists pulling on and off the road and opening their doors. Lots of cyclists ride this road every week, so don’t feel bashful about claiming your space. If riding this section at night, use front and back lights.
- While hundreds of cyclists ride this section of road every month and the ACA includes it as part of their Sierra-Cascades route, you are welcome to skip it. No judgement and you won’t be DQ’d. We’ll just note it with your finishing time.
- Here are your options for getting a ride from Taylor Creek Visitor Center to Sugar Pine Point State Park. To get to the visitor center, when you hit the bike path after Fallen Leaf Lake, go right instead of left. A waypoint marks the pickup location.
- $2 public shuttle -In August, it runs only on Fri, Sat, Sun, and Mon between 8:30am and 4pm. Get on at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center and get off at Sugar Pine Point State Park. Research the bus option here. Each bus has capacity for 2 bikes.
- Uber/Lyft – An Uber XL costs $60-$80 and a Lyft Plus cost $60-$73.
- Thumb a ride from someone at the visitor center (you are going north to Sugar Pine Point State Park)
Last section (Squaw to Finish)
- If possible, aim for doing this section during daylight. The views are amazing and the downhill will be a lot easier to navigate/ride.
- The climb up to the pass is all on dirt road (road quality is great on lower section, upper section gets worse).
- The big downhill has some sketchy parts that will require walking, so don’t expect to bomb down it quickly.
- When you get to the bottom of the big descent, you still have one last climb on single track before the finish, so don’t celebrate too early.
Meeting racers at the finish
- Your family/friends can avoid the Donner Memorial parking fee by parking along the road outside of the park. You can see the monument from the road. Just walk directly from the road to the monument.
- FYI – the lights on the monument turn off at 12am every night and there is free wifi near the monument
If you scratch
- There are buses with bike racks that run from South Lake Tahoe back to Truckee. Just Google directions and select the “transit” option.