Ellis Peak Motorcycle Trail

I finally got out on this trail. I didn’t take the new dual sport but I’m glad I didn’t. Here’s why…

The adventure started on the Barker Pass end of the trail. I was hiking not riding. The trail starts off very steep and with many tight switchbacks. Some of these switch backs have a step of 8×8 lumber. Not fun climbing on a motorcycle or mountain bike. A little further in there is a nice technical rocky climb. Tough on the novice (that would be me).

I have pictures I will post later.

Once you get past the first 1/4 or 1/2 mile the trail levels out to rolling climbs and dips and would be fun on a bike. The views along the north end are wonderful looking both east and west. The south end drops in to the trees and cools off on those warm summer days.

On a mountain bike or motorcycle, I would suggest riding this trail from the south side north. You can either gently ride down the steep stuff or turn around and head back the way you came in.

I would also suggest riding this trail midweek. Although this is a legal single track motorcycle trail, the trail gets a lot of foot traffic on weekends. By riding midweek, you avoid pedestrians and any possible conflicts.

The very southern end is poorly marked and there is an illegal section of trail. As you exit the 16E16 trail, you come to 16E18. This trail goes to Ellis Lake to the left and out to the Ellis Peak Trail to the right. The trail straight ahead is not legal. It has some very steep sections to it and should be avoided. The correct route at this intersection is to go right out to the Ellis Peak Trail (03-04-12-05) and turn left when you get there.

At the end of the Ellis Peak Trail, there appears to be a last steep section of trail. It is very pronounced but is not a legal trail. Do not climb this section with a motor vehicle. It is a loose, steep, rocky section that is eroding badly. Park your ride and hike the last 70 yards. It’s good for you!

Here is the link to the Tahoe National Forest page:


Blog posts about the Ellis Peak Motorcycle Trail:


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