Every winter, millions of mountain lovers descend upon Lake Tahoe for fresh powder and downhill slopes. Take to the trails, however, and you’ll find a vibrant running scene. The region boasts thousands of miles of dirt roads and singletrack, making this high-altitude region a hit with weekend warriors and professional ultrarunners alike.
“I love the varied terrain,” says marathoner Danielle Zick, who has lived in the North Lake Tahoe area for more than 10 years. “It keeps me on my toes! I also love how I see way more women on the trails than men.” Whether traveling to Lake Tahoe for a family vacation or a luxurious resort weekend, pack your trail kicks for an unforgettable off-road experience.
Tahoe Rim Trail
More than 150 miles of amazing views and perfect terrain await Tahoe Rim runners. Encircling the Tahoe Lake Basin, this well-marked trail is a local favorite. Start at the Brockway Summit East trailhead, located off the east side of Highway 267, following the light-blue trail markers toward the Mount Rose Summit. For the first few miles, you’ll traverse thick forest, and then encounter wide, sunny meadows with fantastic views of the Sierra Mountains.
The paved 7-mile loop around Donner Lake allows runners to work on their speed without fear of rolled ankles. Beginning at West End Beach in Truckee, follow South Shore Road south, then east for two miles until the road ends at a paved trail to Donner Memorial Park, where you will encounter a gradual descent to West End Beach.