Motorcycle day ride adventures from Lake Tahoe
- Brian Williams
As local moto-heads the one thing we love about motorcycle riding in the greater Lake Tahoe area is the variety of roads. When you’re staying in South Lake Tahoe you’ll have the option to ride roads offering lazy sweepers, exciting twisties or the straightaway of Hwy 395. Want to get down and dirty? For the adventure rider - the High Sierra offers an abundance of forest roads, challenging single track and granite laced trails galore.
Let’s take a look at a few self guided day rides starting from Lake Tahoe’s South Shore, including a few of my favorites.
The Virginia City / Mt. Rose / Lake Tahoe Loop:
For locals, our rides usually start with breakfast at Lakeside Inn & Casino on U.S. 50 at Stateline. For the ride, continue north on U.S. 50 pass Zephyr Cove over Spooner Summit and down to Carson City, Nevada’s historic state capitol and home to the biggest Harley Dealership in northern Nevada. At the bottom of Spooner take a left. About half way through town you’ll pick up U.S. 50 East which you’ll take to the Virginia City cut off to Route 341 on the left.
And least we not forget the mountains of silver and gold. That was the Comstock - the legacy of Virginia City, Nevada. Miners pulled millions of dollars from the shafts and tunnels 3000 feet beneath this adventurous city. The incline leading into VC offers a few tight twisties through Gold Hill and Silver City. And then it appears - a living legend and favorite destination for motorcyclists of all shapes and sizes.
After you’ve satisfied your thirst for adventures on the Comstock, you’ll head north via C Street/Route 341out of town towards Reno. This is the Geiger Grade ride, a nice mix of sweeps and a few twisties to keep you alert. You’ll descend to about 5,000 feet as Geiger Grade empties into the Hwy 395 / Mt. Rose Hwy intersection.
Cross over Hwy 395 onto the Mt Rose Hwy and ascend up one of the highest road passes in the Sierra. When you reach the bottom, take a right turn on Hwy 28 through Crystal Bay and catch Hwy 89 south. Wrap up your day with a mandatory photo stop at beautiful Emerald Bay. If you have the time, check out the historic Tallac Site and Camp Richardson. A few miles down the rode you intersect with the “Y” area and U.S. Hwy 50. You’ll take a left turn here and cruise on back to your Tahoe South lodgings.
Congrats! You’ve circumvented 80% of beautiful Lake Tahoe, conquered at least two mountain passes, and visited the most popular historic live town west of the Mississippi.
Until next time - safe riding.