Trail Running in Martis Valley
Start/Finish: Parking Lot off of 267/N. Shore Road – see map below
Distance: 4.2 miles
Elevation: 392 ft
This run is a short and sweet 4-mile loop, but there are several options to increase mileage and add on with different routes. As with most loops (I can’t imagine any in which this wouldn’t be the case), you can run clockwise or counter clockwise. This write up assumes it is run clockwise, so all mentions of mileage, etc will be representative of running the route as such.
Much like all our local running venues, Martis Valley doesn’t disappoint in terms of scenery and this area in general provides unbelievably beautiful backdrops for many an outdoor adventure.
You’ll start this run at the parking lot just off Highway 267. There are two dirt parking lots – one right as you turn off the highway and a second down the dirt road about a tenth of a mile. There is a gate which is sometimes closed and blocks access to the lower lot.
This loop is very well marked with clear signage leading the way. Besides the map at the parking lot, you’ll encounter your first map roughly 1 mile into the run. As mentioned earlier, there a several options to diverge and add mileage by running up into Northstar and/or around the golf course area. This trail description assumes you turn right and head southwest from this point.
Continuing through the valley for about another mile, the trail can be a bit marshy at certain times of the year. Fortunately, there are boardwalks scattered throughout this portion of the trail to keep feet out of the mud.
As you continue southwest on the trail, you’ll begin to see glimpses of homes and the golf course leading into Northstar. This portion of the route leads into the tree-line which borders the valley and also includes a couple of little rolling hills.
Just over halfway through this route, you’ll approach a stream with foliage lining the banks that is a bit lusher than a typical Sierra forest. About 2.5 miles in, there you’ll cross the stream via a little bridge with a picnic table to the left.
Making the return trip back to your car over the last mile, you’ll look out east, toward Waddle Ranch. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see some beautiful color in the sky and/or cloud formations.
Click the links below or stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports
in Truckee for more local trail information!
This trail review was written by Tahoe Mountain Sports Ambassador Mone Haen.