Best Things to do in Truckee and Lake Tahoe

What to do in Truckee and Lake Tahoe this Summer – by Nick Cisik

In the summer there is so much outdoor fun to be had here in the Truckee and Lake Tahoe area that deciding what to do can feel a bit overwhelming. Maybe you are looking for something to do that will be fun and appropriate for the entire family. Perhaps you want an adventure that is more rigorous and challenging, taking you out into the vast terrain that sits literally minutes away from the center of downtown Truckee. Suffice it to say that no matter where your interest lies, whether it be mountain biking, hiking, camping, golfing, wind surfing, paddle boarding, or kayaking, Tahoe has it all–not to mention a plethora of fun to be had once the sun starts dipping low in the summer sky.

I believe one of the best ways to commune with nature is through hiking and after having lived in Truckee for about a decade I have walked on many local trails all of which have led to some of Tahoe’s most breathtaking views.  Luckily, for someone who is in search of the perfect hike, but who is yet to familiarize herself with the area’s selection of trails, the Truckee Donner Land Trust provides guided hikes at no cost! Monday, August 7th will be the next guided tour into Lower Carpenter Valley Nature Preserve where an abundance of wild flowers carpets the floor and participants will be able to view wildlife in its natural habitat. What makes this hike special is that the land is not yet available to the public as the Land Trust is in the process of acquiring the land. Only through these docent-led tours can you access the property so take advantage through registering for free today!

For those of you who are looking for a more lengthy and demanding expedition, might I suggest the Shirley Canyon Trail which starts at the bottom of Squaw Valley and boasts a total elevation gain of 2,109’ over the course of 3.6 miles. Along the way you will see rushing waterfalls, serene lakes, jagged rock formations, and lush green areas all culminating at the top of Squaw Valley where you will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding region. My girlfriend and I hiked this trail last summer and cannot wait to do it again. It took us approximately 5 hours and we brought day packs containing water and food to snack on along the way. You might even want to throw a couple beers in your pack for a refreshing prize at your journey’s end (the only thing we forgot to pack). Here is a tip, make sure the gondola is operating that day because after climbing 2,109 feet of uphill terrain the last thing you will want to do is walk all the way back down to your car! Hop on the gondola and let it chariot you away, back down to the Village for another ice cold beverage at one of Squaw Valley’s local pubs or cafes.

Now you are back at your hotel…you are showered up and wondering about that plethora of nightlife activity, right? Well, not to worry, Truckee has that too–and a lot of it! Most visitors, at this point, know of the magnetic summertime event known as Truckee Thursdays where every Thursday night the town comes together to support local artists, vendors, and restaurants all of who set up tents and booths along the historic section of Donner Pass Road in downtown Truckee. There are only three more scheduled for this summer so take advantage! Enjoy astrology? On Friday, August 11th the Ritz Carlton will host a night of star gazing with star guide and poet Tony Berendsen.  He will provide astrological education, poetry readings, and prizes for those who listen and learn! This event is not free unfortunately, so call the hotel concierge for reservations. And of course, if you are simply looking for a quality dining experience there are several appealing options right in downtown Truckee. One of my favorite spots to recommend for those in search of a good meal served within the comfort of a relaxed yet classy environment is run by the gregarious and always witty Luke and Marlena over at Old Town Tap. The food is rustic, made with fresh ingredients, and a surprisingly distinguished attention to detail and presentation. They have a respectable cocktail program as well as an extensive selection of wine and craft beer. Wow! All this talk about OTT (as I fondly refer to it) has made me hungry! I’ll see you there this evening! Then, if you are lucky, I’ll take you over to Moody's located just down the street at the corner of Donner Pass Road and Bridge Street and we’ll “cut some rug” on the dance floor in front of what will assuredly be a ripping live band!

Well, we have only scratched the surface here of what our beautiful area has to offer. There is simply too much to cover in only one post, but I hope this gives you a few attractive options to get you started and on your way to enjoying the vast array of Truckee/Tahoe activity! Be safe, be sound, and have FUN!        

Please Keep Me Informed

Skip to content