This easy trail run loops you through a magnificent Sierra valley with mountain views in all directions. Well known as a loved area officially protected from recent plans to develop the valley, Martis Loop is a popular destination for visitors and locals alike.
What Makes It Great
This dirt trail takes you through rugged shrubbery and grasses on a flat, 4 mile loop. Keep an eye out for wildlife as you meander alongside and over Martis Creek. 360 degree views of California Mountain ranges make this a gorgeous run from every angle. Most trail runs in the Tahoe Area feature steep terrain through forests, which is why this run through Martis Valley stands out among the rest. During certain times of the year this route is snow covered or muddy in places, so prepare for the conditions based on weather.
Start your run at the trailhead just about a mile past the traffic light by the Truckee-Tahoe Airport. The short path is just barely outside of town and you might get lucky enough to spot planes flying in and out of the tiny transportation hub as you wind your way through the valley. Early morning runs feature lovely shades of pink and orange reflecting off the snow peaked Sierra and Carson ranges that surround the valley. There is very little change in elevation, which is a welcome change for runners used to the severe terrain of other runs in the Truckee-Tahoe area.
Who is Going to Love It
Everyone from ultra-marathoners to casual joggers will have something to love about the Martis Loop trail. Aside from the dramatic scenery, the soft trail will allow you to fall into a steady pace as you begin to loosen up your muscles and develop a rhythm. It’s also great for families, those with limited accessibility, and groups looking for a good stroll because of the clearly marked and well maintained path. Less challenging than many other Tahoe routes, this is a great one to experience protected land in a less wild and rigorous setting. Expect to encounter lots of other people, especially dog walkers.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From I-80, take the exit for 267 towards Lake Tahoe. Continue for about 2.5 miles and look for a sign labeled Martis Creek Wildlife Area on the right hand side of the road. At the trailhead, you will see a map kiosk and be able to park in the dirt/gravel area.