Sugar Pine to McKinney Rubicon Trail Connector
ElevationAscent: 285' 87 m
Descent: -219' -67 m
High: 6,721' 2,048 m
Low: 6,436' 1,962 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 24% (13°)
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“This trail connects Sugar Pine State Park to McKinney-Rubicon Road (part of the Winter Olympics!).”— S. Lengyel
On the Sugar Pine (south) side, this is a wide open fire road. It is an easy climb to the ridge from the Sugar Pine Park side. Once at the ridge, the trail becomes a mix of singletrack and long decommissioned jeep road.
This trail is part of local history as it was the main climb in the 1960 Winter Olympic Cross Country Ski and Biathlon Courses. At the time, there was a bit of controversy as the XC Ski course was considered to be "too difficult" for international standards. The Biathlon shooting ranges stretched almost up to McKinney Lake, and the grandstands for the longer XC courses were closer to Homewood on Meadow Drive.
Two important notes:
1) The trail is unmarked at both ends. I uploaded photos of both ends of the trail for reference. The State Park has no signage on the south side, and motorcyclists regularly tear down the "No Motorized Vehicles" signs on the north side (USFS land). The trail is clearly shown on the Adventure and Nat Geo maps of the Tahoe Basin.
2) There are a number of unmarked intersections along this trail - part of the well used neighborhood social trail system. If you take a wrong turn and wind up "lost" in the neighborhood trail system, just head towards the lake. Most trails eventually dump into the neighborhood or onto a paved road.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna