I had a great ride to Star Lake via the Tahoe Rim Trail last Friday. I left the trail head at the base of the Stagecoach chairlift at the Heavenly North parking lot around 3:30 PM.
The first mile is a granny gear climb of with about 3 places you have to dismount and carry your bike. After that its a rolling climb to mile 4 at Motts Canyon. The trail is not marked very clearly here so if its your first time, you go down into the canyon on the fire road and keep your eyes open for the TRT that branches off to the right and starts climbing the other side of the canyon. Here I did run into some snow patches. I suspect they are melted off the trail by now.
At about 4.75 as I approached Monument Pass I walked my bike up the switchbacks. Once I got over the pass it was a smooth climb for the last 4 miles to the lake! I hung out there for a couple of hours. Vegged out and watched the sun get lower. I sparked up a conversation with some backpackers who were up there for a college class on map reading. 2.5 Credits!!! The fed me some left over pasta they had and I gave them a full pack of Starburst fruit chews which were a big hit.
As the sun was lowering on the horizon I said goodbye and rode my bike back to the parking lot. What a rush! The rolling downhill mixed with some hair raising technical sections makes this section of the Tahoe Rim Trail my favorite. What a blast. I highly recommend this ride! I got back to the car at 8:30. It is an 18 mile out and back.