Mr. Toads Wild Ride – Lake Tahoe
Location: Saxon Creek, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Miles: 20-30 miles
Difficulty: Difficult (Advanced Riders)
Duration: 2 hours Ride Time
Users: Mountain biker. No wheelchair access.
Features: This awesome trail features expansive views, meadows, and forests into one special ride. The downhill mostly all singletrack and VERY technical in certain sections. Total riding distance is about 20 miles, but you can extend it to 30if you’re feeling “froggy.” Take a full size camelback or 2 bike bottles at least… And bring your backbone, because the name of this trail says it all – Not for the faint of heart or physical fitness.
The iconic Mr. Toads Wild Ride is a rocky, technical and fun decent…one that gives advanced riders a satisfyingly long 6 mile downhill.
You’ll shred through towering forests and massive boulders on the upper sections before making your way to fast, banked turns on the lower sections so be sure to bring your longer-travel bike. I like to start at Heavenly’s Stagecoach Lodge off Kingsbury Grade and then ride the TRT (Tahoe Rim Trail) to Star Lake, over Freel Peak and onward to Mr. Toads. You can turn this into a 30 mile ride which is known by locals as the “Punisher” – or for the super endurance riders start at Mount Rose for the 60+ mile “Uber Punisher”.
Mr. Toad’s heads mostly downhill from the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT), with several options for making it a loop.
You can take Pioneer Trail towards Meyers, turn left onto Oneidas Street, after passing a few houses this turns into a paved forest service road called Fountain Place, follow for about 1/4 mile, there is a large dirt parking lot on the right – this is where the bottom of the trail ends. If you park here you can loop it by riding up the paved Forest Service road to Armstrong trail. The other option is to ride or shuttle up to Highway 89 and link up with the Big Meadow trail head.
Top 3 Adventure Hacks
1) Wear your Hydration Pack
A 2-hour bike ride is enough to make you thirsty from all the energy you put into an uphill or a downhill ride. Be sure to secure your water so you don’t get dehydrated.
2) Be careful
This trail is not for beginners! Always watch out for other bikers.
3) Pack a first aid kit
Since this ride is not for the faint-hearted and tricky, be ready even if you won’t need it.