Lake Tahoe Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

74.3 mi
4,050 ft
0 %



Riding clockwise around Lake Tahoe - this is one of the most scenic bike rides in the US.   See also our Top Lake Tahoe Bike Climbs.   Note - this is loop, not a climb.  PJAMM note:  there can and often is heavy traffic on this route, particularly the Highway 50 portion northeast of South Lake Tahoe.

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
Roadway surface:  Very good the entire route.

Traffic:  Traffic can be heavy - we recommend the rides before or just after summer on a Sunday and start early. 
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PJAMM Cyclist rides on two-lane mountain roadway surrounded by alpine forest; sign for Emerald Bay State Park

Cycling around beautiful Lake Tahoe

Ride 74.3 miles gaining 4,050’.

photo collage, PJAMM Cycling's John Johnson on Lake Tahoe ride; sign for Emerald Bay State Park, John stands with bike in front of deep blue Lake Tahoe, john stands with bike in front of Harvey's

Climb summary by PJAMM Cycling’s John Johnson.

Lake Tahoe is one of the jewels of California and Nevada - there are not many more beautiful places in California and Nevada than Lake Tahoe.

I have done the loop three times and consider it a bucket list ride for anyone willing to travel for their cycling experience.  This is a very mild ride in relation to grade - the steepest quarter-mile segment is only 8%, located just after the second big hairpin leading to Emerald Bay.

Some of the scenes along the way:

view looking down on Emerald Bay

My favorite spot on the ride is Emerald Bay, located at the southern tip of the lake.

photo collage shows scenes at Emerald Bay: bike parked against railing overlooking deep blue lake surrounded by alpine forest

Scenes around Emerald Bay.

You will encounter the following points of interest as you ride clockwise around the lake, beginning at Emerald Bay.  We recommend doing the ride clockwise so that the lake is closest to you as you ride.

photo collage, signs for Emerald Bay State Park; old stone building at state park, view from the beach

Viking Holm is just past Emerald Bay on the right - ride down about half a mile to the lake from here.

bike parked in front of Homewood resort

Homewood is between Emerald Bay and Tahoe City.

bike parked on Fanny Bridge

Fanny Bridge crosses over the Truckee River as you enter Tahoe City from the south.

PJAMM Cyclist John Johnson stands with bike in front of Harvey's; crossing the state line into Nevada

We enter Nevada at State Line just past Kings Beach at the north end of the lake.

sign for Incline Village

Incline Village and the road to Mt. Rose is a few miles past Stateline at the northern part of the lake.

informational signs at Memorial Point Scenic Overlook

Memorial Point Scenic Overlook is past Incline Village at the northeastern part of the lake.

bike parked on roadside at start of four mile descent

Start of the four mile descent towards South Lake Tahoe on Highway 50.

This is my least favorite part of the ride.

group of PJAMM Cyclists pose with bikes at base of ski runs on snowy hillsides

If you don’t want to ski or board, bring your bike . . .

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