Native Americans wary of Lake Tahoe bike path

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Planning for a 30-mile bike path along the Nevada shore of Lake Tahoe is moving into high gear, but may be slowed by concerns over Cave Rock, considered to be a sacred site by the Washoe Tribe.

The Native American tribe doesn’t want people traveling around either side of the rock, which has been the target of past lawsuits over rock climbing. Proponents have looked into a route that would take the bikeway down the Old Lincoln Highway route, which roughly detours around Cave Rock on the lake side.


“The tribe is not interested in us using the Old Lincoln Highway,” project manager Karen Mullen told the Carson County Board of Supervisors earlier this week. “They are also not interested in us using the trail system around the other way.”

Project leaders told the board they want to keep the cycling route off U.S. Highway 50 as much as possible for the good of bikers and motorists alike. The path would connect Stateline on the south shore to Crystal Bay in the north.

The highway passes through Cave Rock with a pair of narrow tunnels just north of Zephyr Cove. And some officials don’t like the idea of closing a lane in one of the tunnels either.

The Nevada Stateline-to-Stateline Bikeway Project involves local, state and federal agencies, including Carson, Douglas and Washoe counties. But before the project is built, managers must address safety issues, private property concerns and environmental effects, officials said.

The project will be funded from a state ballot measure voters approved in 2002 funding conservation and preservation grants. It included a $5-million bond for the three counties for a bike path. “We want to get people out of cars and onto bikes,” Mullen said.

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-- Margot Roosevelt, with the Associated Press