The Tyrolean Downhill is a “must ride” trail. When it comes to smile inducing trails there can’t be many in the Lake Tahoe area that create a wider grin than the Tyrolean Downhill. This fast and fun descent drops 1647ft over 3 miles and is one of the most popular trails in the area & with my coaching clients.
The easiest way to access Tyrolean Downhill is to grab a bunch of riding buddies (or you can ride with me) and shuttle using Mt Rose Highway from Diamond Peak upper parking lot to Tahoe Meadows. This allows you to avoid the TRT “even day only” bike restrictions. You can also access the trail from the Tahoe Rim Trail by riding south and turning left at the first vista point.
This is a multi-use trail.
Intermediate/Advanced riders only!
(Cell service is limited in the area)
The Tyrolean Downhill Trail is rated as a Black Diamond on Trailforks so you should be comfortable riding at this level before attempting this trail. As you can see from the photographs I have coached a couple of hardy groms down this trail, so with the correct balance of skill and determination an intermediate rider should be able to ride this trail using the optional feature ride arounds. This Lake Tahoe Mountain Biking trail is definitely not for beginners!
Riding season on the Tyrolean Downhill Trail is usually June (it was July this year) to October but I have ridden it well into November in the past. Trail conditions are typically loose and dusty unless you ride after a rare rainy day, when the trail can be very fast and grippy. The trail is approximately 90% singletrack and offers riders an exciting combination of fast flowy sections, switchbacks, jumps, rock gardens and the occasional small drop. All technical features have optional ride arounds, but if you are struggling with these I can help you.
Starting from Mt Rose Highway (southbound) take the double track road for about a mile to reach the trailhead. The trail begins with some fun corners into a couple of increasingly bigger jumps which culminate in some small gap jumps. The next section is a series of fast corners and a nice tight tree section with a sweet little rock feature that may catch out less experienced riders. It is worth stopping here and sessioning this section to improve your speed.
After this, the trail really opens up and becomes fast and flowy. A series of bends with the occasional straight fast section will bring you out at a small trail intersection. Stay left at the intersection to ride lower Tyrolean Downhill, veer right to ride out to Mt Rose Highway (a good option for less experienced riders).
Shortly after the trail intersection you will find yourself in a small meadow and the only river crossing on the trail. Continue through the river and up the small climb making sure to stop at the top to take in the vista and take some photographs (remember to pull your bike off the trail). It is definitely Instagram worthy!
This is where the fun really starts. The trail drops at an increasing rate with lots of small jumps to the right of the trail and then heads into what could arguably be considered the trickiest feature of the entire ride. The rock section pictured below has three main lines; stay right for the easiest “ride around” option, go to the far left for the main line & finally, advanced riders can take the middle line as Cam is seen taking here. I strongly recommend you stop and walk this section if you have never ridden it before. Then go back and attempt to ride it.
The final notable section of trail consists of three short back to back rock gardens. Once again all of these feature ride arounds but when you can ride these with speed and confidence it makes this trail a lot of fun!
The trail ends in a small meadow behind some Tyrolean style houses (hence the trail name). Follow the path out to the road and down to the Diamond Peak parking lot where you are obviously going to jump in your shuttle wagon and do it all again….right!?
When you are done riding I recommend grabbing lunch at Tunnel Creek Cafe.