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Mr. Toads Wild Ride

Average Rating:    (4.26 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 50

From trail head:All singletrack- 4.5 mile climb=1900 vert. foot climb, downhill time now! 7 mile DH with lots of boulders, rocks, drops, creek crossings, jumps, big berms, and tight trees! DH is 2500 vert. drop! left on pavement 1/2 mile to Pioneer Trail Rd. Left to Meyers, Left on quiet side road South Upper Truckee Rd.(safer than riding on the Hwy you drove up to trail head on) its 1/4 mile past 88/89 turn and winds up nearly vacant back roads to your vehicle. 11 miles of dirt, 10 miles or less of pavement. This is a real technical ride!!!! June through October
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Latitude
39.50404070558415
Longitude
-119.8828125
Trail Directions
From town center, head Hwy 50 West small town of Meyers-(5 miles away) turn South on Hwy 88/89 towards Kirkwood ski resort. Go about 6 miles to Big Meadow parking on left,( has bathrooms too!)trailhead to the right, parking to the left.
Trail Length
20+miles
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
South Lake Tahoe
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (50 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
October 2, 2010

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Lopaka ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
This trail will test even the best riders. Even if you can clean the boulder fields near the top, there are plenty of other places to come off. There are technical and steep boulder shoots, plenty of drops and natural jumps, fast bermed turns, both man-made and natural stairs, pavers and bridges. Lots of the trail is steep but their are plenty of places that require pedaling. This trail is not for the beginner or for riders with marginal equipment. Lots of challenge and fun.

Recommended Route:
There is no easy way to the trail head. Everyone has to pay their dues. The closest access to Toads is to go north from the Grass Lake Trail Head or the Big Meadow Trail Head on Hwy 89. (Grass Lake Trail Head saves you 2 miles) Some will ride south from the Kingsbury Grade TRT Trail Head. We left a car at the highest point on the Oneidas Road (Where the pavement ends), and rode the single track to Armstrong Pass and then south on the TRT to the Toads Trail Head. (The TRT from Freel Meadows to Toads is actually pretty sweet.) Even if you shuttle, you will get plenty of climbing. For you purests who do this as a loop, you are insane.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Connector Trail



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Review Date
October 2, 2009

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: sminniear ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Toads, in my opinion, is clearly one of the best AM/DH rides in the Tahoe Basin. It will challenge the most advanced mountain biker, while rewarding those honing their skills. The only fly in the ointment, and this is for DHer's only, is that it is not easily shuttled.

This trail has been heavily documented so I won't repeat it here except to say that you should consider Christmas Valley and Stanford Rock if you enjoy Toads. CV and Stanford are not as technical, but still stand out as advanced rides that flow well.

Recommended Route:
Hwy 89 / Big Meadows - TRT to Saxon Creek or up Oneidas / Armstrong

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Christmas Valley -
Stanford Rock -
TRT



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Review Date
September 20, 2007

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: e-bo-b ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Rode this trail last weekend with a friend who lives in Meyers and rides it a couple of times a year. We started at his house and proceeded to Pioneer Trail, then up Oneidas all the way until the Armstrong Pass trailhead.

A lot of people just drove the 4.5 miles up Oneidas, then began their journey where the dirt begins.

The next 5 or so miles of single track climb up to the Rim Trail intersection was a lot of fun, but rocky and almost entirely uphill. We were at about 7500' by this time, so the air was getting thin and and I was feeling it.

Once up to the TRT, we proceeded south for about another 4-5 miles up through Armstrong Pass, then down to the Saxon Creek Trail (Mr. Toads). Out highest poing was 9580', and was quite windy and cold on my soaking wet cotton T-shirt (cotton kills!).

I thought I was in pretty good shape, but the length of the climb coupled with the elevation really exposed my weaknesses. I was completely spent by the time we reached the downhill.

The top of Toads is a very technical granite boulder section that seems to go on for about 2 miles. I cleaned most of it with 6 inches of travel, and probably would have cleaned everything if I wasn't so tired.

The next section is about 5 miles of really fun swoopy single track with huge berms and plenty of logs and boulders to drop. The trail seems to never end, and there are only a few little flat or uphill sections.

Some of the corners have very loose dirt or granite sand that can suck you in if you get off of the packed track, so be careful. I got lazy in one corner and washed out. Probably had a lot to do with my diminished energy level.

I would have loved to attack this trail with everything I have, so next time I'll probably come in from the Luther Pass side, and forego the iron man climb. We saw a couple at the beginning of Toad's who had done just that, and they looked totally fresh and ready to go.

Recommended Route:
Not sure about the exact details since I didn't go this way, but starting from Luther Pass and leaving another vehicle in Meyers seems to be the way to go. You still get a good climb and have energy left for the downhill. Of course, if you're in great shape, go the Oneidas route.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Christmas Valley Downhill



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Review Date
July 10, 2006

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
1.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: dhouston ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
AM a pretty strong rider but not all that accoustomed to elevations. Was a little anxious, given the hype concerning this trail but found it mostly extremely managable. Only had a few troubles on rocky, technical uphill sections and probably would have conquered most of this had I done the shuttle route. Instead I did the full 21+ mile loop. First 6.5 miles extremely easy road riding with last 2 miles a good grind (1,000 foot elevation gain). Once on the trail it is a steady climb and I must admit it was the first time I have been in small sprocket for a couple of months. Scenery was great, some technical uphill sections impassible. All in all a very good cardio-jolt. Once you hit Saxon Creek Trail the fun begins. First 2 miles steep and technical, so lower your seat, lean back and enjoy the ride. Last several miles, nice, bermed, serpentining singletrack. Was not as fun as I anticapted as the dirt thorugh much of this section is soft, deep and powdery. Overturn and you are down. Thought I would be able to ride this section much faster. Finshed 21 mile loop in a little over 2.5 hours.

Recommended Route:
Park at end of Oneidas Street. Return to Pioneer and proceed left to paved bike trail. Follow to end of Pomo. Pick up Hwy 50 road shoulder to South Upper Truckee Road. After 7 miles cross Hwy 89 to Fire Service Road. After another mile or so of paved road, take a left on Rim Trail and continue climbing, climbing and climbing. Left at Saxon Creek sign post, for miles of downhill. Once you reach a fire gate, take a left back to Oneidas.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Flume



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Review Date
September 14, 2005

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: datenschwanz ,  Racer

Summary:
I went up to Tahoe this weekend and rode "Mr. Toads Wild Ride".

Some people take the shuttle from Lake Tahoe at 6200 ft. to the top of the run at 9000 ft. and go down that way. We rode up from the bottom. We started on

a forest service road, one lane and paved, albeit roughly. It climbed up for about 3 miles, gaining about 1000 ft of elevation. It was usually 6%-12% grade

which made us huff and puff right from the get go at that altitude. Near the end of the paved road the grade kicked up to about 14%-18% and I had to zig-zag

my way up to keep the cranks turning in my lowest granny gear. Then the pavement ended. We met a guy coming down on a six-inch travel bike wearing full

elbow and knee pads. I started to wonder what I was getting myself into. We hit the dirt, which is really just deep sand made from crumbling granite. It

went straight up. We rode up the loose, deep sandy granite crumblings at a pitch of 12%-20%. Much of it in the 16%-18% range. By now we were over 7500 ft.

and the air pressure is much lower. Imagine every deep breath you take feeling like it’s just a shallow pant. I had to put the tip of the saddle in my butt

and put my chin down by the handlebars in places to keep the front wheel from coming off the ground it was so steep. I spun out a couple of times because it

was so loose and steep, and had to walk a couple of short stretches. It's like riding up a steep hill that has the surface of a sandy beach. When we stared

out it was 65 degrees but by now it was down to 45; and dropping fast. The climb kept going, and going and going. We ended up climbing just over 3000 ft.

up in eleven miles. At the top of Armstrong Pass, we rode along a ridge, like a spine that connects a couple of peaks in the area. It had started to snow

and was quite windy. We were at about 9500 ft and now the air was really, really thin. Across the ridgeline the trail turns into a series of rocks at

alternating angles you ride across, like big saw teeth. They were only one or one-and-a-half feet big so it was no big deal; except for the fact that there

is no shoulder and if you went off to the left, you’d end up falling downward for 50 or 100 feet before you hit any of the really big rocks below. After

some of that there was a little rest stop with about five other guys up there taking a break before they started down the descent. By now I was soaked with

sweat and freezing my ass off. I sucked up another gel and half a cliff bar- carrot cake flavor- it was as hard as a rock form the cold. I got back on to

start the downhill.

Now, I was excited, as being from the Midwest the longest downhill I’ve ever done was maybe a couple of miles long and dropped 1000 or 1200 feet. This one

goes for 7 miles and drops 3000 feet. Awesome! The first part was fun and easy. Fast too. Then we came to an intersection and my buddy Brock wanted to

stop. He pulls out some knee pads and puts them on. I’m saying “what do you need those for”? He just looks and me and says “are you kidding?”. I look

down the trail and from this point it looks steeper. He says “go ahead” and I drop in. after a few quick, steep dirt shoots through some big boulders I

made a tight corner and all I can see ahead of me for 20 yards are about eight big boulders with four and five foot drops between them. It’s too late to hit

the brakes and stop, as I’ve got too much momentum and to do so would mean certain death via faceplanting. Right now I am not worried about anything beyond

my front wheel- which is nothing but air. I roll off the first one and four feet down my suspension takes the first big hit easily. I correct my steering

and hit the second and third drops, dragging my back brake and rear wheel over the edge in a vain attempt to bleed off some speed. Each time the bike is

completely off the ground not going so much foreword as down. I’m just trying to keep the front end ahead of the rear end without flipping over and smashing

my face into any number of the big boulders along the trail. After a few big hits I can realign the bike and I expect to see a nice run out ahead where I

can regain my composure. Nothing of the sort. Just craggy, big drops in the 3-5 foot range. One, after another, after another, after another. I had to

stop and lower my seatpost because I didn’t want to eat it on this and what a huge difference it made for me. I was able to ramp off a number of drops with

ease now, and they just kept coming. After another 50 yards of this things leveled off for a second and I stopped to watch my friend Brock roll through. He

rides a Turner 5 spot with 5 inches of front and rear wheel travel. He makes it look easy. I have seen big rock steps on tails in the Ozarks in Missouri

before, but NOTHING like these. I have never even seen terrain like this let alone ride down it, and I’ve been off-road biking for 10 years plus. Once the

big hits were behind us the trail becomes a series of steep sections resembling a bob sled run that is punctuated with middle of the trail jumps, and

randomly placed huge rocks and rock gardens that don’t appear until after you reach something close to terminal velocity, often appearing right after tight

turns. Each time there was nothing to do but get my ass off the back of the bike and let it rip, hoping I would not flip and die. The down hill now became

smoother and was a series (like 50+) of high, bermed, tight turns with sandy run outs and big jumps. I was catching 3 feet of air off of many of them.

Woo-Hoo! It feels like I’m flying! Then I saw what appears to be a series of jumps. Could it be? I hit the first one and lifted up a bit. I hit the

second one and got up higher. I was setting up for the massive third and fourth ramps when I looked closer, and felt sick when I realized these were not

increasingly bigger jumps or whoop-de-doo’s- these were washboard. Like the kind of washboard you encounter before a hard turn. So, I'm setting up to catch

huge air but the trail is going to end here and take a different direction? I had gotten so much speed up thinking I had to hit the third and fourth ones

hard to catch huge air when I saw out of the corner of my eye 90 degree right hand turn down the mountain. There was no way I was going to make it. I

locked up both wheels and tried to panic stop throwing my weight off the back and as the bike hit the third and fourth dips in the washboard I was catapulted

over the front end. I tucked my elbows in to my sides not wanting to break a collar bone and put my chin down. My missile like body launched over the front

end of the bike and I hit the ground in an area covered by more of the loose granite scree and I left an impression like the ones you see when a plane

crashes into a farm field. Thank heavens there was not a big rock there. I laughed at myself and got up, dusted myself off, put my helmet back straight on

my head and got back on the bike. I figured the fun part was over. No chance. Three more miles off screaming down hill, big hits, jumps and tight bermed

turns. I thought there was no way the whole trail could be like this, but it is! What took two hours to go to the top only took 40 minutes to come down.

I can’t wait to go do it again!

Recommended Route:
Get a ma at any of the local shops and they'll point you in the right direction. LBSW here are staffed by locals who know what's up.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Flume trail.



Comments
bpressnall (10/30/2006)
Why don't you just write a book about it?
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Reviews 1 - 5 (50 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5
 


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