Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
For years it has been the one ride in the area where you would go to see just how good of a biker you actually are. The climb is tough but it is worth every ounce of sweat once you let gravity take over on the downside. This is about as much fun as you can have on your bike.
• Loop or point to point with a shuttle
• Distance: 19/12.92 mi
• Highest Point: 8,964 ft.
• Climbing Elevation: 3,497/2,359 ft.
• Descending Distance: 6.26/5.49 mi.
• Technical Difficulty: Moderate to Extreme
• Aerobic Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
• Route Finding Difficult: Easy
• Riding Time: 2.5 - 3.5 hours
How to get there:
• From the Reno area take I-395 to route 88 to route 89 (see cover map). At the Hope Valley route 88/89 junction, turn right on 88 and follow it for 4.46 miles to the Grass Lake trailhead for shuttling the ride. Travel 5.95 to the Big Meadow trailhead if you plan on doing the whole loop.
• From the South Lake Tahoe are take US 50 west to Meyers (towards Sacramento). Just after you pass through the Inspection Station and just before ascending Echo Summit, turn left onto route 89. Follow 89 for 5.1 miles to the Big Meadow trailhead. For shuttling the ride travel 6.63 miles to the Grass Lake trailhead.
There are three choices to start the ride:
1.) Waypoint 9, just off of Pioneer Trail on Oneidas. Park next to the Gate and leave a car here for shuttling or take off to waypoint 10. 2.) The Grass Lake trailhead. Leave your second car here for shuttling. 3.) Park at Big Meadows trailhead. Ride out of the top of the parking lot and start the big Loop at the Rim Trail trailhead. The mileages on the left are based on the Big Meadows trailhead. You will have to recalculate if using one of the other starting points.
If coming from the Big Meadows trailhead keep going straight. If coming from the Grass Lake trailhead turn right.
Ahhhh! The evil false summit. Don’t despair, you are only about .75 miles from the top.
The Saxon Creek (Mr. Toad’s)/Rim Trail junction. Turn left here onto Toad’s. This is also a good rest area.
The beginning of the toughest section. Keep that weight off of the front end and remember, be gentle on that front brake!
Very few ride this section. If you can clean it, you got mad skills!
The infamous railroad tie with flat rocks covered by sand section. Not too bad if you keep your weight over the back and go easy on the front brake.
The end of the “Star Wars” section and the beginning of the fire road.
Turn left onto the paved Oneidas street.
Oneidas gate. If you parked here, get in your car.
Turn left onto Pioneer Trail.
Turn left at the light onto US 50.
Turn left onto South Upper Truckee road.
Cross the river and continue up the pavement to route 89.
Continue straight across the highway on the paved road into the trees. Only about a mile left!