Navigating Lake Tahoe | 2 Different Routes

Due to the popularity of this emerald giant, navigating around Lake Tahoe in the summer can be a bit slower than expected. If you are up for a day of leisure and looking for incredible views of this expansive lake, beaches to chill at, and places to grab lunch, you might want to consider (2) different routes that will take you from camp to and around Lake Tahoe. We will start with our favorite, the El Dorado Loop.

With just 30-40 minutes on the 80 heading west, you’ll hop off and into twisting roads along the raging river and through the El Dorado forest all the way to Lake Tahoe (HELL YEAH!). Our favorite part of this ride is the epic views you’ll get coming out of the pass and descending into those emerald waters. Vistas galore so pull over and snap a pic.

Sierra Stake Out 3

EL DORADO

  • 199 Miles / 4.5 hours round trip

  • Bridge crossings

  • Start early and grab breakfast in Auburn

  • Pull over & take a dip in the river

  • Goes through the El Dorado National Forest

  • One hell of a ride down into Lake Tahoe along some of the best twists and turns we've been on

  • Rider be aware: It's summer so expect some delays and road work around Lake Tahoe but the views are so killer you won't mind stopping to enjoy it.

  • Get directions by clicking HERE 

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The river you’ll be swimming in on the El Dorado Loop.

The river you’ll be swimming in on the El Dorado Loop.

LAKE TAHOE LOOP

Want to circle the giant? We got you covered! This is for those who want to take it at a leisure as this loop does get a little more traffic in the summer. The best part of this ride is there are several falls that are firing around the lake this time of year so you can pull off, hike a tiny bit, and get your splash on. With the heavy snow fall, there are many falls active so give alltrails.com a quick look to see which ones are the most epic, less of a hike, and suite your fancy.

  • 163 miles / 4.10 round trip + maybe a tad more depending on road work / summer visitors

  • Great loop to see Lake Tahoe in its entirety

  • Tons of small towns to stop in for lunch / gas / ice cream

  • Swimming is accessible especially if on bike (more parking for you!)

  • Speed limit is low with tons of sweeping turns, you'll really be able to take it all in

  • Rider be aware: It's summer so expect some delays and road work around Lake Tahoe but the views are so killer you won't mind stopping to enjoy it.

  • Get directions by clicking HERE

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Sierra City Loop x Sierra Stake Out Day Ride

If staying off the beaten path is your goal when you come to the Sierra Stake Out, heading to one of the routes north of I-80 is the way to go. The Sierra City route will take you through a bunch of old gold mining towns and onto the beloved 49.

Sierra Stake Out

Point yourself west and take the I-80 a few exits down to HWY 20 where you'll pass through the Bear Valley portion of Emigrant Gap where pioneers would cross through the Sierra Nevada range before making their way to the California coast.

From there, you'll pick up the northern part of the 49 also known as the Golden Chain Highway. Spanning from Oakhurst to Vinton, this is undoubtedly one of the best roads for motorcycling in the US. While on the 49, you'll pass through tons of old mining towns like Downieville and Sierra City. This area is a great spot to stop for lunch. For the best options, click HERE

Sierra City Loop x Sierra Stake Out Day Ride

Once you are past Sierra City, you'll have a few more miles to go before you finish off your trip on the 49. Take it easy for the last few miles as it gets pretty tight and technical as you head down the hill to pick up the 89 in Sierraville.

Downtown Downieville. CA

Downtown Downieville. CA

Sierra Stake Out

You'll pass through some grazing land, meadows, and road lined with pines as you finish your ride off heading south on the 89.

Once you get to I-80, you'll have the option of taking that or Donner Pass Road back up to the campground.


Buck's Lake x Sierra Stake Out Day Ride

Looking for one of the more secluded lakes in NorCal that you can reach on your freedom machine? We got you. Bucks Lake sits at 5,167ft and is located West-Southwest from the sleepy town of Quincy, CA. It offers fishing, swimming, a great bar and grill with massive deck, and a couple watering holes. This route is one of chillest environments in the Sierras so prepare yourself to relax and enjoy these unobstructed roads.

Sierra Stake Out

Due to heavy snow fall, we are not sure the current conditions of the loop so we are just going to post the ol’ out and back directions for now but these roads are plenty good to hit twice in one day.

To get going on your ride, you have 2 options. The easy one is to take I-80E for about 20 miles down into Truckee. That's not a terrible pull, but if you want to retrace the steps of the Donner Party, we suggest hitting Donner Pass Road and crossing over Donner Summit Bridge on the way.

CLICK  HERE  FOR GPS

CLICK HERE FOR GPS

Once you get into Truckee, head north on HWY 89. Fuel up in Sierraville before hooking a left to continue on the 89/49. When you are down the road a ways, keep in eye out for the right you will need to make on 89N. If you don't you'll end up on the 49 which will eventually take you on the Sierra City route. Not a bad way to go, but you'll never see the bounty of Bucks Lake if you make that mistake.

One more left onto the 70W/89N and you'll be well on your way to the town of Quincy and then on the climb up to Bucks Lake. Once you get to Quincy, just follow the signs to get off the 70/89 and then continue onto the climb up to Bucks Lake. The ride to this point won't be all that technical, but the last 3 miles up to Bucks Lake is a grade of +/- 15%. Take your time if you need to or get your 2 wheel freak on. It's your call.

The pristine waters of Bucks Lake are prime for taking a dip, fishing (if you got the time and equipment) or just taking a nap in the pine trees all along the shore. Bucks Lakeshore Resort is a good spot to grab a bite or a frosty beverage before starting your ride back to the campground. 

Once you are satiated, turn around and head back the way you came. We suggest stopping in the town of Graeagle for a sweet treat. There's tons of candy shops and ice cream stops for you to choose from. 

Click HERE for step by step directions

Not many cars on this one… enjoy!

Not many cars on this one… enjoy!

Goodbye God, I’m going to Bodie

A lot of our buds make the trip up the 395 from San Diego and LA to get to the Sierra Stake Out. This strip of road is one of our favorites to run because its a corridor to the mountain roads we love to ride. Along the way are some hidden gems we figured we’d share with those making the trek from Southern Ca who’ve planned some extra time in their routes to the Sierra Stake Out. Introducing one of our favorite ghost towns we are sure you’ve heard of, Bodie, CA.

Bodie State Historic Park – Bodie, California - a town frozen in time in a “state of arrested decay”...

Sierra Stake Out

Bodie is an original mining town from the late 1800’s. What’s left today stands in a state of “arrested decay” and is maintained by the California State Parks System, who took over the town in 1962 to make it a State Historic Park.

In 1859 William (a.k.a. Waterman) S. Bodey discovered gold near what is now called Bodie Bluff. A mill was established in 1861 and the town began to grow. It started with about 20 miners and grew to an estimated 10,000 people by 1880 (that’s aggressive) By then, the town of Bodie bustled with families, robbers, miners, store owners, gunfighters, prostitutes and people from every country in the world. At one time there was reported to be 65 saloons in town just in case you were wondering the priorities. Among the saloons were numerous brothels and ‘houses of ill repute’, gambling halls and opium dens – an entertainment outlet for everyone.

On a daily basis miners would emerge from the mills and head for the bars and the red light district to spend their earnings. The mixture of money, gold and alcohol would often prove fatal. Newspapers report that towns people would ask in the mornings “Have a man for breakfast?” Meaning ‘Did anyone get killed last night?’

Sierra Stake Out

Today, even though Bodie is down a dusty, bumpy, slow 13 mile long road off of State Highway 395, it’s amazing how many people are aware of this once glorious town. You can visit the old graveyard, see the bank, saloon, church, and even children sized caskets displayed in windows untouched for decades. The rules are simple, look but don’t touch, or you’ll be victim to the ghosts of Bodie’s past. These spirits are very active in the area or so we hear so watch your manners while visiting.

There’s a story about a little girl whose family was moving from San Francisco to Bodie; Depending on who tells it, she wrote in her diary either: “Good, by God, I’m going to Bodie”-or-“Goodbye God, I’m going to Bodie”. More on that later….

Sierra Stake Out
Sierra Stake Out

Meet Up and Ride to the Sierra Stake Out 2 | San Francisco | Los Angeles | Reno

FREE Sierra Stake Out moto flags while supplies last at each of the (3) meet up locations. 

FREE Sierra Stake Out moto flags while supplies last at each of the (3) meet up locations. 

Sometimes you feel like rolling solo, sometimes a group sounds fun too. Either way you roll is fine by us but if you are looking to meet up and have one hell of a ride to the SSO2, there are (3) meet up and rides lined up from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Reno. Each location offers some pretty rad stuff + each spot will be giving out a FREE Sierra Stake Out moto flag to riders to attach to the back of their bike while supplies last. Huge thank you to Lucky Wheels Garage LA, Iron and Resin SF, and See See Motorcycles Reno for hosting and providing a place to meet & ride. Read on and start making your plans, Sierra Stake Out 2 is only a few weeks away. 

Other routes can be found HERE if you are traveling light or coming from Portland, Boise, Vegas, Bay Area, LA/ Southern CA, or Salt Lake City Utah. As always, feel free to plan your own adventure if these routes don't meet your needs. 


Los Angeles | Lucky Wheels Garage 

Sierra Stake Out Meetup Spot Lucky Wheels Garage
  • Thursday August 2
  • Meet @ 6:30AM w/ full tank of gas
  • Address:Lucky Wheels Garage 255 N Mission Rd, Los Angeles CA 90033
  • Kickstands Up 7:30AM
  • Free 8 oz Drip Coffee & Sierra Stake Out moto flag to the first 30
  • Route from your location to SSO: LA To Emigrant Gap via HWY 395, Camp Thursday Night in Lone Pine
  • Distances per day: Day one 234 Miles, Day two 295 Miles 
  • Ride lead's name: Ty

San Francisco | Iron and Resin 

Photo by @apollopeepshow

Photo by @apollopeepshow

  • Friday August 3
  • Meet @ 9am w/ full tank of gas
  • Address: Iron and Resin SF 7 Columbus Ave, San Francisco
  • Kickstands Up 10am 
  • Free Kombucha, Coffee and Donuts + Sierra Stake Out moto flag to the first 30 riders
  • Route: Rider's choice
  • Lead: TBD

 


Reno | See See Motorcycles Reno 

Sierra Stake Out Meet Up See See Motorcycles Reno
  • Friday August 3rd
  • Meet @ 8am w/ full tank of gas
  • Address: See See Motorcycles Reno 131 Pine Street Reno NV 89501
  • Kickstands Up 10 am
  • Free cup of drip Coffee for ticket holders + 50% off all food items +30% off see see brand merchandise +10% off anything else in store + Sierra Stake Out moto flag to the first 15 riders
  • Route TBD
  • Ride lead's name: Jack Beisel

COMPLETE SIERRA STAKE OUT 2017 SCHEDULE & WHAT TO EXPECT

For those of you who like to know a little more about what you just got yourself into, look no further. Give this a good read, review our rules and regs for the event, and also take a quick look at the FAQ. If you can't find it here or there, feel free to email info@sierrastakeout.com. We are happy to answer any questions you have prior to arrival.

SHELTER: Our campsite is sectioned off in the Cisco Grove Campgrounds. Our area has tons of shade, so bring your tents and hammocks. Every spot is beautiful so you really can't lose. 

WATER: Running water is everywhere and is drinkable from tap since it comes from a private spring fed well. We suggest bringing a refillable bottle. 

TOILETS & SHOWERS: We do have real toilets and showers in our section. We've also brought in more than enough port-o-potties to sprinkle around the campgrounds to help make it easier on our guests. These portos have scheduled cleanings so no dump runneth over! 

FOOD: We have Pie for the People on site with food for purchase so you don't have to go off foraging the wilderness. They will be vending various pizzas, roasted veggies, salads, and some sort of desert that we've never heard of before but sounds delicious. 

ADULT DRINKS: We do have a free 805 and Sailor Jerry each night until it runs out (and it probably will at some point). Our good friends Java a Go Go will be vending coffee, espresso drinks, and will have a full bar with mixed drinks for purchase. The $ from the bar goes to charity so oddly your drinking will do some good for once! You are also allowed to bring in what you want, but we kindly ask NO GLASS! The Campstore at the entrance sells can beer, water, fishing stuff, ice, water, energy drinks, snacks, bread, sandwich meat, and canned foods if you are wanting that hobo experience. 

FIRES: Despite all the water we got this year, the state of California is still insanely flammable. We will have burn barrels in the main area but sadly NO FIRES, HOT COALS, ETC can be lit other than these. We have off duty fire fighters patrolling so please respect this rule and don't make it hard on these guys as they are just trying to keep the Sierras from burning down. 

CHECKING IN & WRISTBAND PROCESS: When you pull up to the address for the event you will be flagged into a parking lot right before the kiosk to the campground in order to sign in. Here's what follows: 

  • You'll sign a waiver
  • We'll check your ID to verify age and confirm your ticket(s)
  • We'll give you a wristband to put on for access to the event
  • You'll get a raffle ticket (everyone gets one, so the odds will be equal!)
  • We'll set you up with a schedule of events and some info on the routes we suggest exploring.

Once you are sorted, hop on your moto, make sure your wristband is visible, and stop at the kiosk leading into the park. No need to turn off bike, once they see your wristband, they will be putting another band on your handlebars to show you already signed in so you can now come and go as you please. Each time you come back into camp, you must slow and show your wristband. This kiosk is manned 24/7 so you will have no issues. The campstore is on the left just past the kiosk. You can't miss it if you want to get some extra supplies or libations on the way in.

Take the main road into the campground for about a half mile and then follow the black and white directional signs towards our private area for the Sierra Stake Out. Cars will be sectioned off from motorcycles and all camping will be first come first serve. All spots are beautiful so don't stress, you'll be stoked. 

Schedule of Events

Nothing is better than riding all day and then partying in the woods with your friends at night. Here is our schedule of events:

Friday, July 21st

Gates Open 2:00PM 

Pie for the People | Food for Purchase 4:00PM - 8:00PM

Campfires in burn barrels lit in Main Area Only 8:00PM - 11:00PM

Karaoke Contest 8:00PM - 9:30PM

Dance Party 9:30PM - 11:00PM

FREE 805 & Sailor Jerry 5:00PM -  ? while supplies last

Bar with Drinks for Purchase Open 5:00PM - 10:00PM

Saturday, July 22nd

Coffee & Espresso for Purchase 6:00AM - 10:00AM

Breakfast for Purchase 7:00AM - 10:00AM

GET OUT THERE AND RIDE MOTOS! 

Merch Sales 3:00PM - 7:00PM (we do have limited supplies, so get there early if buying a patch or shirt is a priority)

Pie for the People | Food for Purchase 4:00PM - 8:00PM

FREE 805 & Sailor Jerry 5:00PM -  ? while supplies last

Bar with Drinks for Purchase Open 5:00PM - 10:00PM

Old-Stf Bike Show 5:00PM - 6:45PM

Bike Show Awards 6:45PM - 7:00PM

Bands: Pete & Repete 7:00PM - 8:00PM

Raffle & Long Rider Award 8:00PM - 8:30PM

Campfires in burn barrels lit in Main Area Only 8:00PM - 11:00PM

Pine State Ramblers 8:30PM - 10:00PM

Dance Party (time to get your freak on) 10:00PM - 11:00PM

Sunday, July 23rd

Coffee & Espresso for Purchase 6:00AM - 10:00AM

Breakfast for Purchase 7:00AM - 10:00AM

Pack it up! The event is over! Safe travels home and see you next year! 11:00AM

Photo @twofoursixer Geoff Kowalchuk

Photo @twofoursixer Geoff Kowalchuk

BAY AREA GROUP RIDE - HOSTED BY IRON & RESIN / LED BY @SFDOGGERWALKER

If you want to hook up with riders leaving from San Francisco, Iron and Resin will be hosting a free breakfast and kick off location July 21st! Lead by San Francisco's premier dog walker, @SFDOGGERWALKER! 

Address: 7 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94111

Read more about Iron and Resin's SF store by clicking HERE

Mikey and his beloved Stevie. Rest in Peace beautiful Stevie <3 

Mikey and his beloved Stevie. Rest in Peace beautiful Stevie <3 

ROUTE PREVIEW - LAKE TAHOE LASSO

By the sound of it, you've probably guessed what this route looks like and where you are headed. Out of the four, this is probably the easiest one to follow and is the second shortest at 163 miles. At a super relaxed pace, you'll knock this out in 6-7 hours with a few good meals and at least one dip in the water.

You'll start this ride off by heading east on I-80 and before heading south once you hit the 89. That'll put you in downtown Truckee which is a prime spot for a hearty meal. We hit Marty's Cafe a few weeks back and the Green Chile & Chorizo Burrito did not disappoint. 

If you are not already in a food coma, hop on the 89 South and you'll soon be on the western shore of Lake Tahoe. Expect it to be relatively slow going while you are riding along the Lake as it will be prime tourist season and lots of people will be enjoying the views. At the bottom of the 89, you'll run into Emerald Bay State Park. As you can see from the pic below, this is one of the most iconic spots to view Lake Tahoe from.

Continue on down the road until you with the 50E/Lake Tahoe Blvd. Bang a left and continue on through South Lake Tahoe and over to the eastern shore. There's a glorious tunnel you can't miss and plenty of spots to snap a pic along the water. 

At the top of the lake, take a left onto the 28 South and then a few miles later, you'll take a right onto the 267 North back towards Truckee. If you have not taken a dip in the water yet, yer nuts, but there's still one more chance. Donner Lake sites right outside of Truckee and is a great spot to relax before climbing back up and over the Donner Pass. 

Pro Tip: Taking the slow ride up Donner Pass Rd rather than jamming up I-80 West has it's benefits. The biggest would be crossing over the Donner Summit Bridge which was designed by the same guy that did the Bixby Bridge in Big Sur.

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ROUTE PREVIEW - BUCKS LAKE

Looking for one of the more secluded lakes in NorCal that you can reach on your freedom machine? We got you. Bucks Lake sits at 5,167ft and is located West-Southwest from the sleepy town of Quincy, CA. It offers fishing, swimming, a couple watering holes and one of the calmest envirmonments in the Sierras.

As of this post, The Bucks Lake Route is an out and back due to road closures on the Oroville-Quincy Hwy.&nbsp;

As of this post, The Bucks Lake Route is an out and back due to road closures on the Oroville-Quincy Hwy. 

We're not big fans of out and backs, but these roads are plenty good to hit twice in one day. To get going on your ride, you have 2 options. The easy one is to take I-80E for about 20 miles down into Truckee. That's not a terrible pull, but if you want to retrace the steps of the Donner Party, we suggest hitting Donner Pass Road and crossing over Donner Summit Bridge on the way.

Once you get into Truckee, head north on HWY 89. Fuel up in Sierraville before hooking a left to continue on the 89/49. When you are down the road a ways, keep in eye out for the right you will need to make on 89N. If you don't you'll end up on the 49 which will eventually take you on the Sierra City route. Not a bad way to go, but you'll never see the bounty of Bucks Lake if you make that mistake.

One more left onto the 70W/89N and you'll be well on your way to the town of Quincy and then on the climb up to Bucks Lake. Once you get to Quincy, just follow the signs to get off the 70/89 and then continue onto the climb up to Bucks Lake. The ride to this point won't be all that technical, but the last 3 miles up to Bucks Lake is a grade of +/- 15%. Take your time if you need to or get your 2 wheel freak on. It's your call.

Bucks Lake 4.jpg

The pristine waters of Bucks Lake are prime for taking a dip, fishing (if you got the time and equipment) or just taking a nap in the pine trees all along the shore. Bucks Lakeshore Resort is a good spot to grab a bite or a frosty beverage before starting your ride back to the campground. 

Once you are satiated, turn around and head back the way you came. We suggest stopping in the town of Graeagle for a sweet treat. There's tons of candy shops and icecream stops for you to choose from.