45 mile ride with 7,000 feet of climbing. Ride with views of the Sierra Buttes on your return leg. Duration: 4-5 hours.

If you never travel north of the Tahoe Basin into the Sierra Valley and beyond, you should. It is gorgeous, peaceful country, with wide open spaces and, compared to Tahoe, relatively uncrowded roads. This loops takes us from Bassett’s Station toward Sattley, north on 89, a brief stop to regroup in Graeeagle and then south on Gold Lake Highway and back to Bassets. It totals about 45 miles with about 5000 feet of climbing.

Start: You can start anywhere on the loop, but a good place is Bassett’s Station on Highway 49. There is a small store here and some public parking and bathrooms across the way. It is also a stopping point for the Downieville shuttles taking mountain bikers into the nearby wilderness. From Truckee take 89 N and just past Sierraville, turn left on Hwy 49, drive all the way to Bassett’s station, about 12 miles. Turn North on Gold Lakes Rd, turn into the parking lot immediately off of Hwy 49. It’s about a half hour from Truckee.The ride: We take this loop going east first on 49 toward Sattley. But either way you go you are going to be doing some climbing right away. Our route takes you up about 1000 feet in the first seven miles, then down even more as you descend toward Sattley. After about 14 miles total you reach the junction with 89, which you take north. Here you climb again before descending to the lowest point in the route, the town of Graeagle. We recommend passing the left turn to Gold Lakes Highway and going the “extra mile” into town to regroup and refresh at the General Store on your right. After the break, retrace your steps and turn right this time onto Gold Lakes Highway, and prepare to climb again. Although the scenery is beautiful with the Buttes eventually in front of you, you will be huffing about 2000 feet in about 7 miles to a false summit. After a short descent you climb again, another few hundred feet to the actual summit, then begin a long, swooping descent back to Highway 49 and the finish. Watch out for boats and trailers on Gold Lakes Highway. That can be the only downside of this ride. Source

Pack List

  • Bike
  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses
  • Hydration
  • Cash for the general store
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Activities Cycling, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Lake
Scenic

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