City Escape: Reno, Nevada

Text: Tim Kessel • Photography: Tim Kessel

This loop ride is a scintillating mix of clear skies, vibrant green forests, and deep blue waters, all viewed from the greatest seat in the world—a motorcycle saddle. Spanning two states, this escape south of the Reno/Sparks area includes views of several towering ski areas and hugs the banks of Lake Tahoe for miles. This ride is best made from late spring to early fall.

Length

Approximately 145 miles

Meet-up Spot

The Daily Bagel, 495 Morrill Ave #102, Reno, NV


Lunch Stop

Lakeside Beach House is an open-air and unpretentious little place right on the beach. Find it at 4081 Lakeshore Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA. beachhousetahoe.com 

Scenery (5 out of 5)

Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world. Every perspective on the lake offers up visual delights. Beautiful views of snow-capped peaks and crisp mountain rivers add yet another layer to the amazing scenery. 

Traffic (3 out of 5)

The beauty of this area brings thousands of summer visitors every year. Some of the most popular Tahoe attractions are always bustling with vacationers. Slow down and enjoy the view.

Difficulty (3 out of 5)

An abundance of wildlife, side traffic, and great curves and scenery means this is a ride that demands attention. 

Road Conditions (4 out of 5)

Summer is the time when road crews patch the damage that the region’s harsh winters inflict on the tarmac. There always seems to be some stretch of this area under construction. That being said, the road surface is normally quite safe and smooth.

Points of Interest

  1. National Automobile Museum
The National Automobile Museum in Reno is a must-stop. This world-renowned facility offers up creatively staged street scenes which bring the cars to life in a unique and visceral way. www.automuseum.org

  2. Emerald Bay State Park
This picturesque bay is punctuated by the rock island that sits at the center of its deep, topaz waters. The bay is visible from the road, but is worth an extended stop on your ride. www.tinyurl.com/emeraldbayca

  3. The Gondola at Heavenly Mountain
This 2.4-mile ride offers an amazing viewing deck at its mid-point. It will cost you a bit (between $ 25 and $ 49), but it is well worth it. www.skiheavenly.com
  4. Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park
Sand Harbor’s 55 acres of beaches are beautifully sandwiched between the waters of Lake Tahoe and the forests of western Nevada. The park sits three miles south of the beautiful Incline Village and is a mecca for sun-seekers, swimmers, and boaters. www.tinyurl.com/laketahoenvsp