Things to do in Truckee California

If you’re looking for your next vacation hotspot, Truckee may just have you covered. Truckee, California is a smaller town off of the Interstate 80, but there is no shortage of things to do here. For starters, it’s just a little ways away from Lake Tahoe, a popular hiker’s attraction. The lake itself is gorgeous, not to mention that it’s surrounded by populous trails and teeming with wildlife. Truckee, California sits at an elevation of 5817 feet above sea level, offering moderate to hot, dry summers as well as cold, wet winters. However, what Truckee is most well known for is its fantastic ski resorts. The winter months are fantastic for visiting Truckee, as that’s when the ski resorts begin to open up, and the best winter holiday packages are on sale. Skiing, snowboarding, ATV trips and more are all on sale.

Truckee California

The best time to visit Truckee is around the winter, as the snow and the cold offers limitless opportunities for solo visitors as well as families. Visit any of the ski lodges for an exhilarating experience, or go downtown to old Truckee, where many historic landmarks still stand. Truckee, California is almost like a time-capsule, still standing strong after all these years.

If you don’t want to visit in the winter, the summer also offers numerous hiking options, though many of the activities that Truckee is known for will be closed down. Nevertheless, you and your family will still be able to enjoy most of what this town has to offer, that being good food, good friends, and a gorgeously scenic view of California. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a quick drive down to Lake Tahoe and go hiking.

Frequently asked questions about Truckee:

Where is Truckee, California?

Located along the Interstate 80, Truckee, California is a small, quiet town in Nevada County. Truckee is located close to the north-west tip of Lake Tahoe, which opens up many tourist destinations in both the summer and in the winter. Truckee is not a very busy town, boasting a population that hovers around 20,000 residents. Because of this, visiting Truckee is nice and quiet, without lacking in things to do. If you’re looking for your next big outdoor excursion, this is the place to be.

How far is Truckee to Lake Tahoe?

truckee california

In total, the drive from Truckee to Lake Tahoe is about 20-30 minutes, weather and traffic permitting, and is fairly straight-forward to get to. There are two well marked roads that will lead you to Lake Tahoe, which means it’s a very easy drive if you’re prepared ahead of time. If you aren’t in Truckee during the winter, Lake Tahoe offers many hiking opportunities for the adventurous traveller. The lake is beautiful all months out of the year, but there’s something truly special about visiting during the fall, where the trees are their most colorful.

What is the elevation of Truckee, California?

Truckee, California is situated at an elevation of 5817 feet above sea level, which causes the climate to be hot and dry in the summer, but cold and wet during the winter. As a result, it’s a good idea to come prepared for anything when visiting during the peak of these seasons. On average, Truckee measures in at around 16F for their winter months, and about 87F in the hotter summers.

Top attractions in Truckee, California:

Truckee is well known for its ski resorts and luxurious hotels. It’s a great place for the whole family to enjoy some outdoor fun, and there are plenty of packages available to make the most out of your time there. Besides the limitless ski and snowboard opportunities, there’s also hiking and shopping. Downtown Truckee still holds the most beautiful scenery, virtually unchanged through the years.

It’s no surprise, then, that the best time to visit Truckee is sometime in the winter, as that’s when all of the hot skiing spots are open. However, visiting in the spring and summer allows for longer excursions into the parks that surround this quiet little town. Below are the top spots to go to if you’re visiting Truckee, CA.

1. Donner Memorial State Park
Donner Memorial State Park is a popular attraction near Truckee, California. It features large expanses of wilderness, as well as numerous hiking trails for the adventurous visitor. There is also opportunities for camping in the summer, as camping is closed during the winter months.The main feature of Donner Memorial State Park is, naturally, Donner Lake, a crystalline body of water that is home to plenty of fish and waterfowl. If hiking isn’t what you’re into, then Donner Memorial State Park also has a museum which you can visit and learn about the history of the area.

For camping areas, there are bear resistant food storage lockers supplied to all campsites. Because the area is full of wild animals, it’s required that you keep food, drink, as well as toiletries inside the food locker at all times. This reduces the chance that a bear or other animal intrudes upon your campsite.

There is also fishing available along Donner Lake for people who like to fish, though you need a fishing license to be able to fish here. Fish available in this lake are kokanee and planted trout, so while not the most enticing fishing area, the option is definitely available.

The state park is right near Truckee, being closer to southern Downtown Truckee for ease of access.

2. Downtown Truckee

Downtown Truckee is well loved by visitors and locals alike. It is the historical center of Truckee, and has a lot of information pertaining to the history of the town and surrounding area. Not only are there museums throughout, it’s also a great place to relax and unwind after a long day of hiking near Truckee or down near Lake Tahoe.

Downtown Truckee is a great place with numerous options for dining and shopping, and is perfect for tourists to pick up a bit of memorabilia from their time in Truckee. There are also other shops available to do regular shopping as well, such as any groceries you may have forgotten at home. If you don’t want to cook, Downtown also has numerous restaurants and diners in the area. It’s a great place for the whole family to enjoy!

3. Ski Parks
If there’s one thing that Truckee is known for, it’s the fantastic skiing and snowboarding scene. Truckee is at the perfect elevation for powdery snow, so going down the slopes is a smooth ride. Many of the ski resorts near Truckee offer family packs so that everyone can enjoy a good day out in the snow. skiing near truckee

Donner Ski Ranch is one such snow park near Truckee, California, that offers bundles for skiing and snowboarding. This ski resort near Truckee embodies everything that the town is known for; fresh powder and challenging ski runs. This ski resort is fun for everyone, with numerous slopes for skiers and snowboarders to partake in. The ski resort is also open on weekends, so if you’re down for only a weekend, you can still enjoy your time outdoors.

Donner Ski Ranch also has the famous Old 40 Bar & Grill, a place to grab hot, fresh food. It’s a great place to relax and have dinner after a long day out in the snow, and the prices are actually very reasonable for where it is and what it offers.

Why you should visit Truckee, California

Truckee is a historical center in California, with a rich past full of adventure. Today, you can experience that adventure yourself through the numerous hiking trails and ski resorts that surround Truckee. Donner Lake, a nearby lake, is full of wildlife, and fishing, while not abundant, is very relaxing. Truckee is also very close to the popular hiking location of Lake Tahoe, and there are even more opportunities for family fun down that way as well.

Truckee has a bustling downtown area, where tourists and locals alike can get hot food and a pleasant conversation. The view is fantastic, the air is clean, and all around you’re surrounded by a view of the forests. Downtown is also home to many historical landmarks and museums, so if you want to learn more about what makes Truckee so fantastic, Downtown is the way to go.

Finally, Truckee has a little bit of fun for the whole family. Whether you’re staying for a weekend, or you want to take a two-week vacation, you’re sure to not run out of things to do while staying here. Between the numerous ski resoirts, camping grounds, hiking trails and more, you and the whole family can enjoy a customized getaway unique to you.