Map of Sierra Nevada: Hike, Bike & Kayak including United States Of America

Natural beauty and outdoor adventure go hand in hand in the Sierra Nevada

California’s Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe regions are a mecca for lovers of the great outdoors. Come and discover mountains entwined with biking trails, walking tracks coursing through forests and a crystal-clear lake that’s asking to be explored. Whether you’re on two feet, two wheels or in a kayak, this 5-day adventure will reveal the most magnificent sights of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding landscapes. With a local leader to show you what they love about this part of the world, it won’t be long until Sierra Nevada has you under its spell.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
San Francisco, United States
Finish
San Francisco, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Original
Theme
Active Adventures
Code
SSXN
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Combining the best cycling, hiking and kayaking experiences that the Sierra Nevada’s has to offer, this adventure is sure to get your heart pumping (and that’s just from the views!).

  • Navigate the beautiful crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe in a transparent kayak, paddling past the famous formations of Cave Rock, grandiose lakefront estates and coves shimmering with pyrite.

  • Jump on a mountain bike to traverse Tahoe’s most spectacular trails, climbing through forests, past peaceful lakes and taking in showstopping views at every turn.

  • Pay a visit to Truckee, a little town with a big history, and explore the old train tunnels of the Donner Pass as your leader shares the story of the region.

  • Hike a magnificent trail through the El Dorado National Forest, taking in unbeatable views of Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake and the Carson Range.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.

  • This is an active trip, and it consists of hiking, cycling and water-based activities. Whilst previous experience in hiking and kayaking or rafting isn’t essential, your ability to cycle is. Sturdy footwear is recommended for the hikes

  • Equipment hire is included in your trip price, bikes, helmets, and all water sport gear. Bike helmets are compulsory to wear during all rides.

  • Please advise your height at time of booking so we can organise a suitable sized bike.

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Itinerary

Welcome to California! Your adventure begins in San Francisco, your gateway to the Sierra Nevada region. If you arrive with time to spare, you may like to check out the iconic Golden Gate Bridge or take a stroll through the city’s Chinatown, the oldest in North America. Meet up with your local leader and fellow travellers at 9am, then make tracks for South Lake Tahoe. Perhaps use the drive to get to know your new travel companions as the spectacular Californian scenery streams past your window.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is all about exploring the beautiful Lake Tahoe. Boasting blue-green waters and fringed by awe-inspiring alpine peaks, there’s no doubt this is one of the prettiest spots in the country. Jump in a totally transparent kayak for a tour of the north shoreline, allowing you to admire not only what’s around you, but also what’s beneath you (and with depths of up to 75ft, there’s a lot to see down there!). Explore the famous formations of Cave Rock, paddle past grandiose lakefront estates and admire coves that shimmer with pyrite. After your kayaking adventure, the rest of the day is yours for your own discoveries of the South Lake Tahoe area.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Tahoe - Kayaking Cave Rock State Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Time to lace up your boots and hit the trails of Sierra Nevada. Join your local leader for an on foot exploration through some truly remarkable scenery. Head to El Dorado National Forest, filled with diverse plant life, and set off along the Floating Island and Cathedral Lakes Trail. Climb past fir and pine trees, taking in sweeping views of Fallen Leaf Lake, Lake Tahoe and the Carson Range, then arrive at Floating Island Lake, named after the little grass islet that drifts along the lake’s surface. Take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous forest-flanked waters, then continue towards Cathedral Lake, sitting at the bottom of a secluded basin. This is your turning point to head back along the way you came, and another chance to soak in some unbeatable views of the Sierra Nevada region. Return to South Lake Tahoe and enjoy an afternoon at leisure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Tahoe - Hiking Floating Island and Cathedral Lakes Trail
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s hike is approximately 8.9km/5.5 miles with an elevation gain of 365m/1200ft.
Get ready to set your wheels in motion and explore North Tahoe on a mountain bike. Set off among shady forest then ride over single-track trails or dirt roads, enjoying short climbs and smooth downhill sections. You’ll be joined by an expert local mountain biking guide who will share stories of the region as you pedal, as well as pointing out interesting flora and fauna along the way.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Tahoe - Mountain bike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Say goodbye to Lake Tahoe and hit the road towards the charming little town of Truckee. First inhabited by the Washoe and Paiute tribes, Truckee was later populated by miners in the 1860s. Take some time to explore the heritage buildings of the well-preserved main street and grab a spot of lunch, then regroup for a journey through Old West history. Walk through the dark train tunnels of the Donner Pass as your leader shares stories of its past, and be sure to look out for the colourful graffiti that adorns the tunnel walls. After your explorations, drive back to San Francisco, arriving at around 6pm, at which point your adventure will come to an end.
Included Activities
  • Truckee - Historic Donner Pass Rail trail
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

4 breakfasts

Transport

Private vehicle, Mountain Bike (e-bike option available, subject to availability), Kayak, On foot

Accommodation

Hotel/Motel (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Lake Tahoe - Kayaking Cave Rock State Park
  • Lake Tahoe - Hiking Floating Island and Cathedral Lakes Trail
  • Lake Tahoe - Mountain bike
  • Truckee - Historic Donner Pass Rail trail

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Sierra Nevada: Hike, Bike & Kayak trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 9AM on Day 1. Please make your own way to the Joining Point Hotel listed in the Essential Trip Information for this itinerary.
2. You are expected to arrive back in San Francisco on the last day around 6pm at the same location as the joining point. There is no accommodation included on the last day in San Francisco.
3. If you wish to spend more time in the city we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Speak to an Intrepid booking agent for more information.
4. A single supplement is available if you'd prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
5. We will require your height at the time of booking to ensure we reserve you the right size bike.
6. Due to Covid-19 restrictions some of the local attractions may be temporarily closed, running reduced hours, or require booking ahead. Please check their websites for up-to-date opening hours.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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