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Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston

Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California

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Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston

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  • Parking area at the Farad Interstate 80 offramp.- Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston
  • Trail access immediately beside the parking area at the Farad Interstate 80 offramp.- Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston
  • Informational signage for the historical powerhouse that sits near the Farad parking area.- Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston
  • A wooden footbridge over the powerhouse flumes, which enabled public access to this area.- Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston
  • The trail passes an old wooden flume that once fed to the hydroelectric powerhouse.- Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston
  • Much of the Truckee River canyon has been home to past town sites and commercial ventures, though not much remains of these today.- Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston
  • Wildflowers grow along the hike.- Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston
  • A marker signs where the trail leaves the riverside and climbs up the hillside.- Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston
  • Views of the Truckee River and interstate near the Floriston end.- Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston
  • A gate marks where the trail leaves the old road near Floriston.- Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston
  • The trail near Floriston traces an old access road that has been made unusable for vehicles due to landslides.- Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston
  • Trail access at the end of the Floriston Trail.- Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway: Farad to Floriston
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Passes historical sites. Unique terrain. Low traffic.
Cons: 
Parallels freeway traffic.
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Region:
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, CA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
150.00 ft (45.72 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
2.30 mi (3.70 km)
Trail type: 
Shuttle
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,217.00 ft (1,590.14 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway Trail remains a slight misnomer for the time being, as the project's ultimate goal is to create a multi-use trail that connects Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake is incomplete. However it seems like progress on the path is picking up, and currently there are several portions that are open to use.

Though it is possible to hike in either direction, beginning at Farad is highly recommended as the final portion in Floriston crosses a slightly-less-than-scenic former roadbed removed from the river and with views and noise of interstate traffic. It can be avoided in order to create a slightly shorter out-and-back hike. The trail is 2.3 miles each way, and parking is available on both sides for those choosing to shuttle to and from a one-way hike. The hike should be suitable for people of all ability levels.

Farad to Floriston is one section that runs along Interstate 80 only a few miles west of the Nevada/California border that offers hikers the opportunity to parallel the Truckee River while tracing a route that has historically been the location of several significant townsites and commercial enterprises. Though few of these past enterprises still exist in any physical form, one that still remains and dominates portions of the hike is an old hydroelectric powerhouse and the wooden flume that routed water from the river into its turbines. Though no longer in use, the facilities are still maintained, and it was traversing some of its large pipes that posed issues to completing this portion of the bikeway until a wooden stairway and footbridge was built crossing the pipes.

Beyond the powerhouse, the trail drops and runs next to the river while heading in and out of stands of fir trees. The only downside to this hike is that the bikeway shares the narrow canyon wall with the interstate, and the freeway noise is, unfortunately, never too far away. However, the trail offers a hike in a semi-wild environment along the river, and it typically sees relatively few other hikers as it sits away from an sizeable town in the area.

There are some rolling climbs, though nothing too large. The trail is in an otherwise unmaintained area, so there are no amenities at or around the trail or parking areas.

Maps of the hike, along with more information on the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway project, can be found at http://www.tpbikeway.org

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