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Toad's is one of the premier technical trails in the Lake Tahoe area. There are plenty of challenging technical sections with drops and rock gardens. The technical sections are joined by fast buffed singletrack with bermed corners and the occasional jump.
There are multiple ways to ride this loop, the main three are Shuttling, riding the loop up Upper Truckee Road, or Riding the Loop up Oneidas Road. I prefer the route that takes you up Oneidas Road to Armstrong Pass. This is the most strenuous of the three routes but is also the most rewarding with some great added singletrack and some incredible views of the Tahoe Basin and Hope Valley.
If you prefer to shuttle this ride (which still involves about 1500' of climbing) you route is identical to the 'Easy' route below, starting from Big Meadow parking area.
The 'Easy' Loop involves taking your bike back to highway 50 and riding along highway 50 to a left turn on Upper Truckee Road. You stay on Upper Truckee (parallel to Highway 89) all the way to Big Meadow. When you get to Big Meadow there is a fire road that heads out of the east end of the parking lot. Take the fire road to the Tahoe Rim Trail which turns off to the right. You are going to climb on the Tahoe Rim Trail for some time before it starts to descend. After a short descent (perhaps 1/3 mile) you will hit Tucker Flat. There is an intersection, the trail that turns off to the left should be labeled Saxon Creek Trail, this is Toad's Wild Ride.
The Challenging Loop takes you up, up, up Oneidas Road. Eventually the paved road ends at a gate. There is a singletrack trail on the right just before the gate. Head up, up, up the singletrack to Armstrong Pass and the Tahoe Rim Trail. Turn right on the Tahoe Rim Trail and follow it for some time until you hit Tucker Flat. Turn right on Saxon Creek Trail and enjoy.
Since this trail is connected to the Tahoe Rim Trail there are also other options as well. One ride that I have heard about but never ridden starts at the TRT entrance at Heavenly and goes across the TRT to the top of Saxon Creek Trail. Truly a brutal ride.
From California take Highway 50 to Pioneer Trail (shortly after the town of Meyers) and turn right on Pioneer Trail. Take Pioneer Trail to Oneidas Road and turn right on Oneidas Road and follow the road back until you enter the national park. There is a paved parking area on the right, which is right where Toads will finish up. Leave your shuttle vehicle or park there.
If you are shuttling take your other car back out of the park, turn left on Pioneer Trail and get on 50 west. Stay on 50 until you hit highway 89. Take Highway 89 south and look for the Big Meadow parking area on the left.
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