Today we did a fantastic 3 hour ride above the Greenhorn Gulch trailhead, 6 miles south of Ketchum. There are enough epic 100% singletrack rides to do just in this one area to justify a week stay. We climbed Imperial Gulch, which required a lot of walking. This is the steepest of the 3 ways up to Mars Ridge. I knew this, but didn't think much of it. We hooked up with Mike and Claudia Hattrup for the ride, and decided to just follow their lead. I knew Claudia was a pro XC racer. Putting 2 and 2 together half way into the ride, I realized to her this was just like any other ride. I can't say I know many people if any in Tahoe who could have climbed this trail, let alone got anywhere near her. Going up the Greenhorn or Lodgepole trails are the way to go up towards Mars Ridge.
There are great car shuttle options if you ride over to either Deer Creek or Red Warrior Creek. We didn't start riding until 1pm. This time of year it's quite cold in the morning, and also if you're out after 5pm. We hit some snow and slick mud, but most of the ride was perfect dirt thanks to recent precip.
Here's Geordie reaching Mars Ridge, which is kind of the goal in any day spent in Greenhorn Gulch. You can see for miles in every direction, and you have a few awsome descent options from here. You feel very far from your car, and the climb is tough...but you'll be back at your car FAST. These trails are smooth, banked, and just superb.
No foliage shots, but the color is still on about half of the trees below 8000'. It's a vast and open playground, with sparse mature growth along all the drainages. We felt like kids riding across creeks time and time again. A little snow here and there, and grippy smooth dirt. Tahoe mt biking is great, but there is nothing like this at home. If you like smooth trails or just hauling ass down mountains like it's paved, go to Sun Valley. These pictures don't do it justice. Most trails are quite windy ,and kind of sunken into the earth a few inches. You feel like you're on a rail, with the trail helping you relax and do some of the work. Bring your hardtail. Bring your 4-5" travel bike too, there are some great challenging desents as well. Especially as you head north towards Stanley.