Kevin Joell, who owns the trail construction and contracting company Sierra Trail Works, uses a mini-excavator to clear a path through the forest for the C2T trail. (Image: Peter Doenges)

Highway 50 is no longer the only route linking the South Shore with Carson City. For those who are into human power, the Capital to Tahoe (C2T) trail is now open.

The 9.8-mile trail, which is the first single-track connection between Tahoe and Carson, is accessible to hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians and dogs.

“Cap to Tahoe ends at Laxalt Flat, which is where it makes a connection with the Tahoe Rim Trail. This is a fairly remote location on the TRT; roughly halfway between Mount Rose Highway and Spooner Summit,” explained Gregg Bergen, trails coordinator for Carson City Parks, Recreation and Open Space.

The Capital to Tahoe trail officially opens this year. (Image: Visit Carson City)

At this terminus a left would take people south on Marlette Lake Road, with an option to exit the forest near Incline Village. The new trail also intersects with Snow Valley Peak trail. The maximum elevation is 8,382 feet.

Note that it really is a 16.8-mile trek between Carson City and Tahoe because one must be on the Lincoln Bypass trail for 4.4 miles and the Ash-to-Kings trail for 2.6 miles before starting C2T.

Nonetheless, people starting in Carson City can now easily connect with the Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. And those starting in Tahoe can get to Nevada’s capital city without driving.

This $160,000 segment was first conceived about a quarter century ago, with real work beginning about eight years ago by Muscle Powered, Carson City, Nevada State Parks, U.S. Forest Service, Visit Carson City, private land owners and others.

Trail builders finished the project last October, but white stuff covered parts of the trail so it never officially opened until this spring.

Visit Carson City says the IMBA rating is blue, or more difficult. Most of the single-track trail is 2-feet wide. The average grade is 6 percent, with a maximum of 19 percent.

In March, Muscle Powered, the volunteer nonprofit organization that helps build trails in Carson City, received the national achievement award for the C2T from the Coalition for Recreational Trails for outstanding use of recreational trails program funds in the community linkage category.

Muscle Powered is the group responsible for maintaining the trail with the help of Carson City.

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