The trail then forks twice, then reaches a large meadow. This part of the trail is somewhat confusing. Mike deMicco provides the following details: "There are 2 forks between the gate and the meadow. At the first fork, go left (up the hill). At the second, take the right (or middle, if it is a 3-way fork; I can't remember exactly)." More recently, Ryan Weibel adds an alternative(?) description: "When you get to the top of Fountain Place there is a gate crossing the road. At this point there is a trail on the rightwhich is how the Forest Service wants people to use to get to Armstrong Pass. The trail forks shortly after beginning, the right takes you through the river and the left takes you to a log crossing they then merge back together. As for climbing up the Corral trail I dont recomend it due to the heavy use by downhillers who tend to be going at very high speeds."
After crossing the meadow, keep climbing up the trail, past some pretty clearings, to Armstrong pass. Here, at ~8400 feet or so, we hit the Tahoe Rim trail. Turn right (westish) along the TRT and then climb to the ridge. This takes you past some of the most awesome vistas I've ever seen. (Maybe it was lack of Oxygen, as this part of the trail is up near 9400 feet.) On clear days, you can see south past Carson Pass (hwy 88), at least as far as the stuff around Ebbets/Pacific Grade passes (hwy 4). Possibly even some of the peaks just north of Yosemite. Clear, great views of the nearby Hope Valley. Beautiful meadows full of wildflowers up there.
Anyway, the trail then levels off and comes to a great Tahoe viewpoint, another amazingly flower-filled meadow (Freel Meadows), and then it drops you onto the top of Mister Toad's Wild Ride. Plenty of technical challenge here! And plenty of places where it's sensible to get off the bike and walk past this or that obstacle. Mr Toad's drops you, with a few little climbs along the way, back down to the junction of Oneidas and Power Line.
This ride is about 21 miles, but has well over 3000' of climbing; all three of us ran out of water before the end, and we each had three large bike bottles. Next time, I'll bring the Camelback plus two large bottles.
©1995-2015 Doug Landauer
©1995-2015 Ross Finlayson