Had a pretty awesome mountain bike trip with the guys in Tahoe. Did the Tahoe Rim Trail to Flume Trail. Did some laps at Jackass Ridge, and capped off the trip with some lift-op downhill at Northstar, but our day got cut in half there because the wildfire smoke ended up shutting the resort down.
I might meet some college buddies there next summer - could a novice have fun on those trails?
Are you the novice?
No, I’m confident riding anything below double black diamond (midwest scale). Two of my buddies have just started biking again, but I think they’re riding multipurpose trails with no technical features.
Got it. The trails we rode were all on the north side of the lake, while most people who go to Lake Tahoe end up on the south shore.
The Flume Trail itself is not technical at all, just has 1,500' exposure all the way down to the lake and great views. This
is the route we took, which adds the Tahoe Rim Trail into the mix. It was super fun, and the Tahoe Rim Trail is a work of art. It has a bit of everything: technical climbing, techy descents, and fast and flowy descents. Anything that is above their ability level is walkable, and there are no surprises. Solid blue, albeit Tahoe blue.
Jackass is another trail that is SUPER fun for just about all skill levels, but there is one mandatory rock roll that they will likely walk. It's a short lappable loop with a fire road climb and a fast, flowy descent that's loaded with jumps, drops, optional rock rolls, and big bermed turns. Everything except the one rock roll is optional and easily avoided. It's in Truckee, which is about 20 minutes away from North Tahoe. This was probably the consensus favorite trail of the group.
Northstar is a place I would avoid taking a novice, even though the allure of not having to pedal uphill will likely tempt them. It was crazy fun, but it's intense. Like I said, our day got cut short due to the wildfire smoke blowing in, so we only rode two separate trails, a blue and a black. The blue trail, was probably the most intense blue trail I've ever ridden in that it's loaded with rocks and roots, has loose dirt, and there are sections of trail with what I believe are mandatory drops, albeit very small. The black trail pushed me to my very limit in a few sections, and my neighbor who isn't as confident/skilled had to walk a number of sections. The green trails are all just fire roads and I wouldn't personally want to pay for a lift ticket to ride fire roads down a mountain.
Long story short, Tahoe is loaded with miles and miles of trails and I believe there is something for everyone, but there is almost always going to be loose, dry dirt and rocks, so I would get them riding some more technical features between now and next summer.