Lake Tahoe Flume Trail: Best Out-and-Back Run

Why do you run? If you are like most runners, you have more than one reason. It might be to relieve stress, accomplish a goal, improve your health, lose weight, etc. All of these are absolutely wonderful reasons to run, but one of the reasons at the top of my list, is to get outside and enjoy my surroundings.

One of the patches of snow we found about .6 miles on the trail from the start.

One of the patches of snow we found about .6 miles from the start.

Although I wish that the running trails were still covered with five feet of snow, like they should be this time of year in Lake Tahoe, I am definitely happy that I can get back on my favorite running trail, the Lake Tahoe Flume Trail. Today, the pup and I had a great 3 mile out-and-back run and played what I call “doggie fartlek.”

Fartlek means speed-play in Swedish and it is a fun way of getting speed training into your run in the simplest form. Basically, you run fast for periods of time followed by slower periods of jogging. There is not much structure to it. Doggie fartlek means that I just try to keep up with my little Jack Russell. She will run fast (trying to chase squirrels, shadows, or whatever) and then slow it down from time to time. I basically just follow her lead and she always seems to kick my butt. We definitely had fun today.

This trail is like an old friend to me. I have been running it for 20 years and know every twist, turn, root, and rock. Today was the first time this year that I have braved it, as there tends to be some shady spots that can remain covered in snow well into Spring. I only came across a couple of these spots today and for the most part, the trail is absolutely runnable… Reunited and it feels so good!

This section of the Flume Trail is mostly flat and you can go as far or as short as you would like. When I run it, I usually do an out-and-back, as leaving my car at one of the outlets, Diamond Peak Ski Resort or Tunnel Creek Cafe, can be a hassle when you are trying to find someone to drop you off at the trailhead.

Here’s how you can get to the trailhead that I access:

About 1.25 miles from the start of the trail on the way to Diamond Peak.

About 1.25 miles from the start of the trail on the way to Diamond Peak.

  1. Coming from Incline Village, head up Mt. Rose highway as if you were headed to Reno.
  2. Just outside of Incline Village, you will go around a very large hairpin turn with a major lookout over Lake Tahoe on the right. You shouldn’t be able to miss it.
  3. After the lookout, about a quarter mile up the road, you will see a small dirt area on the right that can fit a few cars.
  4. You can either park in the dirt, or there is also a big pull out directly across the highway from the dirt lot where you can also park.
  5. At the end of the small dirt area, there are some medium-sized boulders and a trail that begins directly through them.
  6. Follow the trail about 25 yards and take a slight left. You will then be on a pretty well traveled single track trail.
  7. Continue to follow the trail and go as far as you would like.
  8. If you are interested in going all the way to Diamond Peak Ski Resort or Tunnel Creek, there are a couple of forks in the trail that you will have to navigate. At about .5 miles you will see a trail that goes down a hill to the right. Go down this trail and then left at the bottom of the trail. You will then cross a small stream and start going up a hill. At the top of this small hill, take the trail to the right. The trail will wrap around the side of the mountain and take you all the way to Diamond Peak (about 4 miles) or Tunnel Creek (about 3 miles further to where that trail meets up).
The other small patch of snow that we had to navigate. This spot was pretty sketchy.

The other small patch of snow that we had found. This spot was sketchy.

No matter if you decide to take the trail out-and-back or go from point-to-point, you will enjoy the serenity of the trail and the beautiful views of the Lake and mountains along the way. This is also a great trail for mountain biking and if you aren’t from the area, you can rent mountain bikes and take a shuttle to the various trailheads, all of which will eventually lead you to Tunnel Creek.

What are some of your favorite trails where you live? Comment below! I’m always looking for new trails when I travel.

13 Comments on “Lake Tahoe Flume Trail: Best Out-and-Back Run

  1. Pingback: Week-end Rewind: 3/30 – 4/5 | Running Primal

  2. Great place for running especially with dogs. Good article. Keep up posts like this where we can hit new trails and have some information about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! You can definitely plan on more posts with great trails to hit now that the snow is melting. Let me know if you have any favorites, too!


  3. Pingback: Week-end Rewind: 5/25 – 5/31 | Running Primal

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  5. Pingback: Rifle Peak Hike | Running Primal

  6. Good tips and whole blog about passion for running in awesome Tahoe outdoors. Coming back to Tahoe next week after 10 years… Love Flume Trail and rescheduled all mu business trip to go there for one day of running before I fly back to Europe. Really jealous that some people can live there and run / bike it all the time 🙂

    All the best, maybe we meet somewhere on trail one day.


  7. Pingback: Lake Tahoe Flume Trail: Marlette Lake to Tunnel Creek | Running Primal

  8. Pingback: More Than Just a Jar Full of Nails: Trail Therapy | Running Primal

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