Be prepared. Be safe. Stay healthy.

Trail Safety

Trail Etiquette & Recommendations

Tahoe XC is committed to practicing trail stewardship, reciprocity, and responsibility. What does this mean? It means that we believe the actions we take have an effect on the land and people around us. We understand it is our responsibility to give to the future, by maintaining the physical condition of the trails today, for tomorrow’s generations of riders, hikers, and explorers. There were those who enjoyed this land before us, and it is up to us to ensure the trails will be here for those who come next.

Whether you’re new or an experienced pro, here’s what to expect on Tahoe XC trails. And here is what we expect from YOU on the trails. From Tahoe XC trailhead, you can access trails and land owned by Tahoe City Public Utility District (TCPUD), California Tahoe Conservancy (CTC), California State Parks (Burton Creek State Park), and U.S Forest Service.

  • It is your responsibility to be aware of the trail-use policies and land boundaries of each of the above entities.
  • Boundaries are not clearly marked and policies may change without notice.
  • Trails accessible from Tahoe XC trailhead are largely mixed-use trails on public land.
  • No motor vehicles are allowed on the Tahoe XC trail system.
  • It is YOUR responsibility to stay safe and be prepared for any emergency you may encounter.

Before Using Trails

  • Tell someone you trust where you are going and what time you expect to be back.
  • There is limited cell service on the trails.
  • Carry your own water, snacks, and layers.
  • Carry a first aid kit and repair tools.
  • Save local emergency numbers in your phone.

Table of Contents

Trail running at Tahoe XC

Mixed-Use Trails

  • Watch for horses, cyclists, hikers, runners, walkers, dogs, and wildlife.
  • Respect trail and road closures, private land, and protected wilderness areas.
  • Use existing trails only. Do not create new trails or use shortcuts.
  • Avoid soft, wet, or muddy terrain. Do not cause erosion, ecosystem damage, or unnecessary widening of trails.
  • If you see illegal activity, take photographs and report directly to Placer County Sheriff.
  • Leave no trace. There are trash receptacles at the trailhead for your convenience. Pack out all trash. Do not leave dog poop bags where you’ll “remember to grab it on your way out.”

Mountain Bikers

  • Control your bicycle and your speed.
  • Keep yourself and others safe by riding within your limits.
  • Slow down around corners. Anticipate seeing other trail users or wildlife even if you can’t see them.
  • Uphill riders have right-of-way, unless there is clear “one-way” or “downhill-only” signage.
  • Downhill riders should pull off to the side until the uphill rider has passed.
  • Be aware. Let fellow trail users know you’re coming with a friendly greeting or bell ring.
  • Expect 2-way traffic.
  • Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users.


In addition to the above list for mountain bike etiquette, please read the current rules & regulations for e-bikes in the Tahoe Basin:

Mountain biking at Tahoe XC

Dogs & Owners

  • Dogs must be on leash in Tahoe XC parking lot, at the trailhead, and on California State Parks land.
  • Pack out your poop. If your dog poops off trail and you “didn’t see it,” please go pick it up anyways and dispose of your poop bags in the trash can located at the trailhead.
  • Do not leave poop bags trailside. There is a better way.
  • Do not allow dogs to chase wildlife or other trail users.
  • Keep your dog on leash or strict voice command at all times.

Wildlife & Nature

  • Never scare wildlife.
  • If you see an animal on the trail, slow down. Give them enough room and time to adjust to your presence.
  • Do not chase wildlife.
  • Do not allow your dog to chase wildlife.

Become a Trail Steward

Thank you for considering volunteering for trail work. To be notified about volunteer opportunities sign up for our newsletters.

  • Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that builds, maintains, and advocates for multi-use trails in Tahoe while providing education to all trail users and hosting fun community events.
  • Tahoe XC Trail Work Days occur throughout the year, where Tahoe XC staff, board members, and community volunteers work together to do trailhead maintenance and prepare for winter grooming.

Emergency Numbers


Law Enforcement/Search & Rescue
Placer County Sheriff North Lake Tahoe
(530) 583-6305

Local Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
North Tahoe Fire Protection District
(530) 583-6913

Local Hospital
Tahoe Forest Hospital
10121 Pine Avenue
Truckee, CA, 96161
(530) 587-6011

Tahoe City Urgent Care
Truckee Tahoe Medical Group
925 North Lake Blvd
Tahoe City, CA 96145
(530) 581-8864 ext. 3
(limited hours; not suitable for life-threatening illness)