Forest Service Seeks Improved Access at Lake Tahoe for Electric Bikes

Alex Mangels | CycleCycle
Lake Tahoe bike trails
View from one of Lake Tahoe’s bike trails, the Flume Trail. Credit: Oscar Havens

The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) wants to improve electric bike accessibility on its trails. The project would expand the number of trails in the basin that electric bikes are allowed on. The Forest Service is calling it the Basin Wide Trails Analysis Project.

Along with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the Forest Service will be hosting a virtual open house on Wednesday, March 10, from 5:30-7:30 PM Pacific Standard Time. During the webinar, they will introduce the project and field questions regarding their proposals.

The Basin Wide Trails Analysis Project would approve Class-1 electric bikes on specific trails. The Forest Service will determine which trails are appropriate for e-bikes and amend the current LTBMU trail system. The updated maps will clearly mark the trails allowed.

“The Forest Service recognizes that e-bikes are growing in popularity across the country and at Lake Tahoe. We are excited to be moving forward with our planning effort and want to hear from the public, partners and stakeholders how we can best improve e-bike access in the basin, while continuing to protect and maintain our highly valued scenic and natural resources.”

– Forest Supervisor Bill Jackson

electric bikes
Electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular on trails. Credit:

The Forest Service must go through a multi-step process to get there. They will perform an environmental assessment, analyzing the current road and trail systems to meet the need for e-bike access on NFS lands. An evaluation of the potential environmental impact is necessary as well.

Currently, only roads and trails specified for motorized vehicle use allow electric bikes. The Forest Service will work to expand access to unauthorized trials. The project will also look at other jurisdictions and their e-bike allowances to create a system of connected electric bike trails in the region. Work includes installation of proper signage, upgrading trailhead parking, and reinforcing trail crossings over streams.

The Forest Service and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency encourage participants to register via Zoom for their webinar. They also provide a proposed action and scoping letter for readers to comment on before Sunday, March 28th.

electric bikes
Electric bike in action. Credit: Cannondale

Related Articles

5 thoughts on “Forest Service Seeks Improved Access at Lake Tahoe for Electric Bikes

    1. you’reva sellout obviously as well
      if you’re not obese and outta shape what do you need an e-bike for??

  1. Tahoe is being destroyed surely buy Airbnb/STR’s and over tourism due to promtion to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in hotel transient occupancy tax TOT.
    Garbage collection is through the roof and locals are also having to pay increased prices due to such.
    Those in political power are total sellouts. Keep Tahoe Blue? Talk about cancel culture.
    One of the best examples of such ever.

    John Muir originally wanted Lake Tahoe to be the national park but politicians influenced by money yet again, go figure, made and gave him Yosemite instead.

    Tahoe is on a serious decline in environmental quality and standards, thanks alot boomers, thanks a lot.

  2. When are our agencies, politicians, and others with power going to realize that Tahoe has finite resources, and opening it up for larger and larger crowds destroys the very thing that makes it desirable???

  3. Bikes keep getting better, trails keep getting smoothed out and regraded to be less steep, and now people want motors. Please write to the forest service if you would like to keep motorized bikes off non motorized trails. And while you’re at it now would be a good time to ask for some legit advanced trails.

Got an opinion? Let us know...