Below are some general notes about the route in California. For a detailed accounting of my scouting rides from Echo Summit to Sacramento, see the Scouting California page.

Camping

Camping“From West of Casper, WY to outside of Sacramento, CA free camping on public lands can happen almost anywhere you can find a place to put your sleeping bag down. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest a hammock as there aren’t very many tall things to tie off to out in the high desert.

Mile 2076: South Lake Tahoe Bike Path

Bike path, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Bike path, South Lake Tahoe, CA

“Last section of the trip. The ride out of South Lake Tahoe to cross the last bit of the Sierra mountains is an ass kicker. If you’re wanting to get gnarly I would really suggest a hard tail mountain bike, flat bar, and true suspension fork. I really don’t know that there’s an ideal setup for the route. There’s plenty of great, graded, relatively smooth dirt roads. There’s a good amount of rough double track, rocky double track, and a nice sprinkling of technical single track.  Some of the downhills along the way would be great on a full squish, unloaded mountain bike, but you can take it slow and be deliberate with your lines and get away with less bike.”

[N.B. Post includes a YouTube video, “South Lake Tahoe to Pony Express single track to Sacramento along the Pony Express Bikepacking Route.”]