Road Cycling in Carson Valley

AMGEN Tour of California

Carson Valley is an ideal base camp for your next road cycling adventure. Kick off with a moderate ride, then push your limits on a steep climb. Whatever your choice, you’ll find yourself hitting rewind while admiring the stunning terrain. 

The Sierra Nevada feature an abundance of challenging climbs over notorious passes, state routes and rural highways to build a dream road ride for all abilities. Start here to explore the area’s top five classic road cycling routes.

Many rides begin in Genoa where you can easily park, find restrooms, and snack-up at the Genoa Country Store & Deli. Start in Genoa with a warmup on Foothill Rd. then ride to the bottom of Diamond Valley and Carson River Road Park.


Genoa photo by Paige Turnipseed.

Kingsbury Grade – Luther Pass Loop: Starting in Genoa, this 57 mi., 5,117′ ascent loop takes you over two of the region’s famous Tahoe mountain passes: Kingsbury Grade and Luther Pass. Water, food and lunch stops are plentiful along this route including Lira’s Market in Myers, CA and Hope Valley Cafe near Picketts Junction. Kick back and enjoy your effort with a post-ride tri-tip sandwich and a crisp beverage at Minden Meat and Deli.

Woodfords – Blue Lakes Out-and-Back: Again starting in Genoa this 78 mi., 5,072′ ascent out-and-back takes you through the beautiful and rolling Hope Valley and continues a gradual climb to the secluded Blue Lakes region of Hope Valley. Carry plenty of water as the campsites at Blue Lakes are seasonally closed, including the facilities.

Topaz – Monitor Pass: This 63 mi., 5,885′ ascent loop can start anywhere in Carson Valley, taking you south to Topaz Lake along scenic Highway 395. The route then climbs brag-worthy Monitor Pass, dropping you in Markleeville, a great rest and refuel stop for weary legs. Enjoy rolling Carson River Rd. before finishing the loop.

Ebbetts Pass: Ebbetts Pass is comparable (if not better) than famous alpine mountain passes of Europe. Brag-worthy, breathtaking, thrilling, quiet and serene are adjectives that come to mind when remembering out-and-back rides to Ebbetts Pass. Add this to your cycling bucket list.

Diamond Valley Loop: This 20 mi, 876′ local loop is a wonderful moderate ride, leg opener or recovery spin.

Carson Valley

Photo by Chris Dickerson.

Local Bike Shop

Should you need a spare tube, a quick bike tune or friendly, local advice, be sure to visit:
Big Daddy’s Bicycles & Fitness
1546 U.S. Hwy 395 N # 1
Gardnerville, NV 89410

Bike Habitat
911 Topsy Ln #238
Carson City, NV 89705

Blue Zone Sports
3790 U.S. 395 #402, Carson City, NV 89705

Where To Eat

Baked goods, nitro cold brew, espresso and coffee in a feel-good family-owned atmosphere…quick fuel to kick off an epic ride.
Coffee On Main
1572 U.S. Hwy 395 N
Minden, NV 89423

Lakeview Coffee Shop at Topaz Lodge has all your favorite comfort foods.
Lakeview Coffee Shop
1979 Hwy 395 S.,
Gardnerville, NV 89410

For 31 beers on tap and a menu sure to appeal to anyone, check out Minden Meat and Deli.
Minden Meat and Deli
1595 Hwy 395 N.
Minden, NV 89423

Sierra Chef serves up delectable Italian baked goods and all kinds of daily specials like soup and frittatas.
Sierra Chef
2292 Main Street, Suites 3 & 4
Genoa, NV 89411

The Pink House is a historic building with Gothic revival style, an adorable white picket fence and bicycle-friendly outdoor picnic table seating. It’s is a wonderful post-ride stop for specialty coffee, beer, wine, sandwiches and artisanal cheese-and-charcuterie plates.
The Pink House
193 Genoa Ln
Genoa, NV 89411

Where To Stay

Here are some boutique-style and bike-friendly lodging properties.

Best Western Topaz Lake
3410 Sandy Bowers Ave.
Gardnerville, NV 89410

Genoa Country Inn
2292 Main Street
Genoa, NV 89411

Historian Inn
1427 Hwy 395, N.,
Gardnerville, NV 89410

Holiday Inn Club Vacations David Walley’s Resort
2001 Foothill Road
Genoa, NV 89411

Looking for a comfortable value option? We have those as well.

Carson Valley Inn Casino 
1627 Hwy 395 N.
Minden, NV 89423

Holiday Inn Express & Suites
1659 State Route 88
Minden, NV 89423

Quality Inn & Suites
1795 Ironwood Dr.
Minden, NV, 89423

For more assistance email us at or stop by the visitor’s center at 1477 US Highway 395 N, Gardnerville, NV 89410.

All the information in this post is designed as a guide only and is not all inclusive – the reader takes full responsibility for any use they make of the information. Please check road conditions as weather and seasonality can cause closures. Please check route guides and GPS files as there can be differences between GPS devices and formats.