Destination Mountain Biking

I work in the tourism industry, where there’s a lot of talk about ‘destination travel’, the notion of going somewhere because of what it offers.  Think Tahoe for skiing, or Hawaii for the beaches, or New Orleans for the music.  I wanted to try to apply that to mountain biking, but on a much more micro level.

So, on July 4th we set our eyes upon a different sort of destination – Base Camp Pizza in the Heavenly Village.  To get there we admittedly took the least efficient route, but it was all in the name of food.

Riding the TRT from Star Lake

Riding the TRT from Star Lake. Photo: Jeff Glass

We began by climbing up to Star Lake and then taking the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) towards Heavenly’s Stagecoach Lodge.  This is a stunningly scenic portion of the TRT (really, what section of this trail isn’t?), one that I don’t ride that frequently.  In between technical sections there are dramatic vistas of both the Lake Tahoe basin to the west and Nevada to the east.

Views of Nevada from the trail

Views of Nevada from the trail. Photo: Jeff Glass

From the TRT we then descended the new-ish Van Sickle trail, another ridiculously scenic 3.3 mile section of trail, featuring views, technical sections and swoopy singletrack.

Sick views on the Van Sickle trail.

The Van Sickle trail ends at (wait for it) the Van Sickle Bi-State Park, located near the bottom of the Heavenly gondola…and the village.  Base Camp Pizza, located in said village, makes a Thai Chicken pizza that was enough of an incentive to ride 25 or so miles, which made for a much more decadent lunch than the smushed sandwiches we typically carry.

Destination thai chicken pizza.

After a lunch like that, a meandering ride home through the meadows was much needed, since both of us were not much in the mood to climb hills.

The final miles home.

But that said, it was a destination ride we would do again.  The pizza, and singletrack, were that good.

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