Blackwood Canyon to Ellis Lake Out-and-Back Trail

Tahoe City, California 96146

Blackwood Canyon to Ellis Lake Out-and-Back Trail

Blackwood Canyon to Ellis Lake Out-and-Back Trail Professional Review and Guide

"This ride follows the paved Blackwood Canyon Road up to Barker Pass before tackling a steep singletrack climb to Ellis Lake. There are plenty of options for exploring the dirt roads throughout Blackwood Canyon and the adjoining McKinney/Rubicon Canyon to the south, but most of them are best left to off-highway vehicles. With the increasing miles of singletrack in Tahoe, why eat someone else’s dust? Avoiding that, this beautiful ride takes you to up to stellar views of the Desolation Wilderness and the El Dorado National Forest. The initial 7.0 miles of paved road is nontechnical, but a steady gain of 1,500 feet. You can skip the road ride and start at the trailhead to Ellis Lake. The first mile of singletrack is insanely steep. While this section is best for hiking, it’s also for people who don’t attempt a summit without their bike. Be prepared to push your bike, knowing it would be easier without the extra baggage. Once on the ridge, you will pass through a garden of wildflowers with sweeping views in all directions."

More Blackwood Canyon to Ellis Lake Out-and-Back Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Explores a beautiful, high area west of Lake Tahoe. Many lakes and viewpoints. Trail may not open until early July due to deer migration. Narrow, steep and rough in a few places but suitable for stock, high clearance SUVs. Some tight brush. Be careful when wet."

Blackwood Canyon to Ellis Lake Out-and-Back Trail Reviews

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9/21/2013
This is a great trail with interesting features on the way. Not hard for a modified Jeep, but the scenery is for sure worth. it. We did the trail in rain an fog. On the top was it hailing. Next morning was the whole mountain range covered with anow.
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8/8/2008
Amazing!
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9/1/2007
First 12 miles were fantastic. Directions very good. Some signs and markers were damaged or missing. Road to Ellis Peak difficult. Rubicon-McKinney Road very difficult.
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8/1/2007
Nice trail, but dusty as hell. It's really cool that such a "mild" trail is in the same territory as a legend- the Rubicon. I wasn't brave enough to take my brand new Wrangler on the Rubicon so I chose this one instead. Blackwood Canyon was milder than I was looking for. Ellis Peak was more fun. I was still looking for something a bit more challenging though so I turned off on the Rubicon anyway. I didn't think I was going over anything all that extreme so I didn't disconnect my front sway bars and promptly broke a link. Oh well, at least I can say I've been on the Rubicon and Blackwood Canyon/Ellis Peak was a great intro to the area and for my new ride.
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Trail Information

Tahoe City
Nearby City
19.4
Distance
2,000 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Technical Difficulty
Difficult
Physical Difficulty
3-4 hours
Duration
Best Late June through October
Season
6,300 feet
Trailhead Elevation
8,300 feet
Top Elevation
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Local Contacts
USGS Homewood
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018