There’s no better way to get to know some of the most famous bodies of water in Nevada—and the world—along the mighty Tahoe to Pyramid Bike Trail. As one of the newest trail systems in northwestern Nevada, hike or bike sections, or navigate the entire trail network that follows the Truckee River from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. When all is said and done, riders will descend more than 2,000 feet throughout the entire Tahoe-Pyramid Trail over the course of 114 miles, riding combinations of dirt and paved paths, historic roads, and new sections of bridges.
The Truckee River flows an impressive 121 miles long, and is the sole outlet of Lake Tahoe, emptying into Pyramid Lake. From Tahoe City, Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River and the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail leads northwest, into the Truckee area, then makes a sharp east turn following Interstate 80 to downtown Reno and Sparks. From here, follow the Pyramid Trail and Truckee river east toward Wadsworth and Fernley to its terminus at the ancient Pyramid Lake.Whether you’re looking to hike, bike, fish, or look for wildlife along this amazing trail system, discover five separate portions of the trail.
Tahoe City to Hirschdale
Starting in Lake Tahoe, the entire length of this section is paved and 23 miles total. Jump on a multi-use path from Tahoe City to Palisades Tahoe, which eventually transitions to a wide bike lane skirting Highway 89 into Truckee. This specific stretch has been a bike path long before the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail was implemented, so plan to share the trail with runners, hikers, and other cyclists, especially during the summer months.
Hirschdale to Verdi
From Hirschdale Road, this portion of the Truckee-Pyramid Trail begins near the Boca/Stampede Reservoir, skirting the Truckee River along I-80 and into the quiet community of Verdi. The trail crosses over the Truckee River following old Highway 40, then joins a newly constructed trail at Floriston, containing a steep section, switchbacks, steps and a boardwalk. The final section of trail contains a gravel, then paved road and another steep section that descends from Fleish powerhouse to Quilici Ranch Road. In total, this section of trail is 16 miles long, integrates a variety of trail surfaces, and is a great ride for experienced mountain bikers.
Verdi to Reno/Sparks
From Verdi, follow the trail through Mogul and into downtown Reno all the way through Sparks, ending at Vista Boulevard. A total of 20 miles, almost the entire route is paved, and is a popular trail for walkers, runners, and cyclists.
Mustang to USA Parkway
Say goodbye to cityscapes and ride into 10 miles of dirt trails brimming with wildlife and unspoiled nature. Opened with the help of The Nature Conservancy, BLM, NV Energy and the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, this stretch is mostly flat, sandy, and rocky, and ideal for mountain bikers of any skill. Rider beware: There is no trail from USA Parkway to Wadsworth, so ride smart and plan accordingly!
Travel Nevada Pro Tip
Wadsworth to Pyramid Lake
Ride the final leg of the Tahoe-Pyramid trail from Wadsworth all the way to the Truckee River’s terminus at the ancient glacial Pyramid Lake. In cooperation with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, a day-use permit is required to ride this section of trail, which can be obtained at the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Ranger Station in Sutcliffe (which is not along the way), or purchase head of time online at the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe portal here. Prepare to ride lots of elevation changes many hikers or cyclists aren’t accustomed to. If you’re not up for riding the whole distance to Pyramid Lake, jump on the popular ride from Wadsworth to the Numana Hatchery and back—17 miles total.
Getting There & Know Before You Go
Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake is a long distance—the best way to access the trail is figuring out which section of the trail you want to ride or hike. Get your hands on the most current Tahoe-Pyramid maps, trail difficulty, recommended bikes per section, the lowdown on active trail alerts and beyond at the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail website. Before you hit the trail, learn about “Trail Tools” or what to keep an eye out for to ensure you’re on the proper trail, with on-trail signage, informational kiosks, and digital maps available for all trail users. There’s not a whole lot of shade along the Pyramid Trail, so be sure to bring the gear you’ll need to stay comfortable and safe, like plenty of sunscreen, a hat, lots of snacks, and more water than you think you’ll need. Be sure to let someone know where you’re headed and when you plan to return, and be sure to brush up on how to Recreate Responsibly so we can keep the places we cherish special—and open—for us and future generations.
The Tahoe-Pyramid Trail is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The only thing preventing you from accessing the trail system would be a seasonal, weather-related closure or on-going trail maintenance. For the most current info on trail conditions and alerts, visit the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail’s site directly by clicking the link above, or dial (775) 825-9868.
Spanning across all types of private and public lands, the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail is mostly open and available for public recreation at no cost, with the exception from Wadsworth to Pyramid Lake. You’ll need a Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe-issued day pass, which can be purchased online for $22.