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
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.
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
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 -
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
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.