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  • Interesting Places

    This off season has been way different for us this year. Normally the off season for us revolves around windsurfing/kiting and the never ending challenge of chasing the wind. This year with lack of water in the West, a lot of options are off the table so it kinda boils down to making trips to Bay area and the Delta and dealing with driving and hassle of that or put it on the back burner for a year and move on to something else.

    So, this year we got more into Mt. Biking and exploring interesting and new places to ride. Riding out here in this part of the West during Summer is tough due to heat and this year has been brutally hot. We made a couple of trips to Utah and that state has great riding and trails but lacks shade at Moab and Hurricane so riding is only a early AM affair. For us maybe not worth the long drive. Northern Cal and Auburn/Grass Valley, great riding but Hot too.

    Anyway, riding locally around the flanks of Mt. Rose, Genoa and South Tahoe is good and a little shaded and lots of Granite. WTBS, we never spent much time around Truckee either skiing or riding and Lynn is almost a native of Truckee. Lately we have been going up there and Camping out and riding and have found a hidden Gem in Tahoe Donner. Tahoe Donner is a large community adjacent to Truckee on the North and East side. It was developed in the 70's with large and nice homes in the foothills with a very active association and professional management of the recreation. Seems lately they have put and are putting $$ into the Trail system and XC Nordic ski center. They are building a new XC ski center and lodge and the combo Hike/Bike/Ski trails is over 40 miles right now with connection to trails off property like Emigrant trails making the trails upwards of 100 miles. A lot of this is in the past year or so. The trails are mild to wild, not real rocky like So. Shore but a lot of loamy single track following creeks, manageable switchbacks and most in the glades.

    Word is that the Nordic improvements will put TD in a league of upper class Nordic resorts and the Summer bike trails will as good as anyplace. A little bored? Give TD a visit any season. So, anybody got any hidden Gems out there that they would like to share?
    "Just say no to groomed snow"

  • #2
    TD has been a first-rate XC center for decades. Even in the years when they were considered second-fiddle to Royal Gorge, their grooming was typically better, and they won hands-down for variety of terrain (the flip-side being that RG is better for cruising along all day, and the next day too on completely different trails). This past season, RG had the goods and TD didn't, but generally they're both the real deal for great XC. Also, unlike some places I could mention, TD's kilometers seem to be actual kilometers, and they don't double-count based on how trails can be skied in either direction.

    And another thumbs-up for the summer biking trails. I was up in July and didn't feel like driving to a "real" mountain bike trail, so I looked at the TD map and figured I'd occupy myself doing the "eastern perimeter trail", expecting it would be a bland fire-break or something. Wrong: Great single-track with lots of fun tricky stuff (granted, half the view is of people's back-yards).

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    • #3
      From TD you can also connect to the Donner Lake Rim Trail which will take you up to the Castle Peak area. From there you can hit the Hole in the Ground loop (a local classic).

      Not sure that TD counts as a "hidden gem" given the number of Bay Area folks who have weekend places there. Maybe it's just hidden from NV .

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      • #4
        Originally posted by teledad View Post
        From TD you can also connect to the Donner Lake Rim Trail which will take you up to the Castle Peak area. From there you can hit the Hole in the Ground loop (a local classic).

        Not sure that TD counts as a "hidden gem" given the number of Bay Area folks who have weekend places there. Maybe it's just hidden from NV .
        Sure, TD and their aggressive pro recreation plan has been in place for a long time. I think there is recent serious development of the trail system around the EUER Valley and adjacent areas, not some locals with shovels but mechanical efforts with a plan in place. So yeah TD is well known and the trad trails but there is a bunch of new terrain that will surprise bikers/hikers. Not sure what new trail options is going to be available for the Nordics as I don't Nordic and not familiar. They are building a large XC ski center with a big crew building it.

        WTBS, TD would be a fun place to live and hang out as well as the rest of Truckee if you love a variety of recreation. However, you need to be hardy and tough as the Winters are butt cold. The area is on the North flanks of the mountains and during the Winter there is little sun and warmth. So, fun for part timers and visitors. Year round locals, a tough breed........

        How about some other places?
        "Just say no to groomed snow"

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        • #6
          Since word is going to leak out anyway - the Tahoe Donner Land Trust has been building out new hiking and MTB trails in Royal Gorge as well as cleaning up the existing XC ski trails. New trails are mostly flowy single track. New trails over at Sugar Bowl too (north and west of the village) - not sure if those are being built by SB or TDLT. Lots of moon dust right now with the fresh dirt but they should be good to go after a rain or two. In a couple of years this is going to be a really nice system for XC riding (it's already pretty great for hiking and trail running).

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          • #7
            Idaho is the gem State and has many gems. This is from the south rim trail near Swan Valley, which has many exposed sections but also shade in the several canyons you cross, and you can get down to the Snake.

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            • #8
              don't forget to gas up before heading to arco
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              • #9
                Well, it is not hidden, but Park City UT is actually pretty neat. It has some of the best mountain biking anywhere, with 400 miles and counting of purpose built single track, and a very active trails group. (BTW, if you come to UT in the summer to bike and you go to Moab or Hurricane, you are not doing it as well as it might could be done.) There is also about 80 to 100 km of groomed nordic track in town, with most of that free (the free stuff does have walkers, and dogs and people on those funny fat tire bikes, though). During the summer a local non-profit puts on about 200 free music shows around town. Heck, we even have a giant Colorado corporate behemoth who now owns two of the tree ski resorts in town. And, it is not as hard as is rumored to get a beer in Utah, although Colorado it is not.

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                • #10
                  I remember camping overnight, while on a cross country bicycle ride, in Arco a long time ago...like the mid 1980s. I remember the campground was below the hill that had the big A on it. Anyway...the campground host told us he had retired from working at the INL. I asked him if he glowed in the dark. He was not amused...but at least he didn't kick us out of the campground. The buses that hauled the workers into the lab went by us as we rode out of town the next morning. Arco is an interesting place...but I wouldn't want to live there, thank you.

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                  • #11
                    Most interesting and finest peak I've ever skied...



                    I didn't ski this line but a different one from the same summit.

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