fbpx

Truckee Outdoor Adventures

In early September, Reet and I finished up the Interbike event in Reno and headed west to the town of Truckee, just north of Lake Tahoe. We were stoked to check out this part of the country in our RV – we had never explored the area together and were excited to check out the many outdoor adventures the Tahoe area is known for. The clear blue lake tucked into the snowy Sierra Nevada mountain range is right up our alley. Unfortunately our bikes had been stolen in Reno – super major bummer.  We were still reeling from the loss – our RV lifestyle has really helped us reduce our attachment to things…with the exception of our mountain bikes.  We just felt so violated!  As we worked with our insurance company to file claims, we got the chance to use our own website to book us some bikes for the Tahoe trails.  Our first night in Truckee we spent shortlisting the trails we wanted to explore on Trailforks for the next day.  The Truckee outdoors scene has so much to offer!

TripOutside also allows you to compare rental bike pricing at the best Truckee bike shops before you rent.

mountain biking truckee

Day 1: Mountain Biking the Gnarly Tahoe Singletrack

We got some local beta on trails to ride in the north Tahoe area, and found out that Yogi Bear trail is the locals’ well-kept secret. We had to try it!

It began with a tough 6.5-mile, 2000-ft fire road climb, but was followed by an epic downhill ride on the Jackass trail with lots of switchbacks that made up for the climb. Reet enjoyed trying out his 27.5” Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt rental bike (his last bike was a 29er) on the jumps and huge rock features built right into the trail. I demoed a fantastic Juliana with the new 1×12 Eagle gear – and I am not sure I would have been able to ride all the way up without it! Getting in the low gear really helped me hang on during the steep sections. The Yogi Bear ride is a 14.5-mile loop and starts and ends off of highway 89 a bit south of Highway 80. You won’t find this trail on MTB Projects or Trailforks, so make sure to ask at the bike shop for exact directions!

Next time, we plan to hit up the Northstar Bike Park – we’ve nominated it one of the 10 best US Bike Parks!

Truckee mountain biking

Day 2: Paddling the Crystal-Clear Waters of Lake Tahoe

The next day we decided to go for an afternoon paddle to enjoy the sunset over the infamous Lake Tahoe. Luckily the thieves spared our kayaks!  Paddling the purest waters in North America at Lake Tahoe was on our list of must-dos. In our research on where to paddle, we read that Sand Harbor is one of the clearest and most beautiful parts of the lake to paddle. It is about 35 mins from Truckee, and an incredibly scenic drive.

The warm weather and clear skies were perfect for our scenic paddle on America’s purest lake. I inflated our paddleboard, and Reet took a kayak out. We couldn’t believe how clear the water was! We could see all the way to the bottom, even as we paddled out from shore. The water was so calm that I even tried some paddleboard yoga, which was harder than I thought it would be… The sun set behind the mountains as we paddled, and we took some great photos as we watched it disappear.

That evening we had a beer and Mexican food in Kings Beach after the paddle, which was the perfect way to end our north Tahoe adventure. Reet and I liked it so much that we are planning to come back for a longer stay in spring already. You should also explore this hidden gem of the north this summer!  We can help you find the best kayak or paddleboard rental for your trip.

Julie Lake Tahoe

Add On: Hiking the Donner Tunnel Trails

If you have a little extra time and want to explore more of the Truckee outdoors, we recommend exploring the Donner Tunnel trails.  We found this highly rated hike on the All Trails app.  It is very unique, and unlike any other hike we’ve done.  The hike takes you through an abandoned railroad tunnel adorned with graffiti.  This tunnel stretches almost 1700 feet and was constructed by Chinese laborers in 1867 – the first train line to cross the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

We hiked several miles through the tunnels, stopping at various openings to admire the valley below with stunning views of Donner Lake.  The hike is an out-and-back, so you can make it as long or short as you like.  We started the hike on Donner Pass Road, just past Donner Pass Summit, where there are beautiful rocks and petroglyphs if you look close!  There is a sign denoting them so you don’t miss them.  The stark contrast of beautiful, natural landscapes and graffiti filled engineering marvels made this hike quite remarkable!

donner tunnels

 

Why Trust Us?

We fully understand how tough it is to find trustworthy travel advice, and that’s one of the main reasons we built TripOutside. We live for outdoor adventure, and we take these blogs and content very seriously. Here are some of the reasons you can trust us:

  • We only work with the highest-rated outfitters in the industry.

  • We’ve traveled to hundreds of destinations that you see on TripOutside in our RV over 6 years and want to share the places that we love with you.

  • We don’t distract you with any ads and never sell your personal information, ever.

  • We are a small, self-funded team and only grow with your support. You can support us by booking your next outdoor adventure on TripOutside.

  • We want to help you get outside. Please share your feedback with us on how we can help make TripOutside work for you!

Related Post

North Wash Canyoneering Trip in the Irish Canyons

We recently took a full-day North Wash Canyoneering trip to the Irish Canyons near Hanskville, Utah ..

Read more

Kayaking for Beginners – Ultimate Guide

Ultimate Guide to Kayaking - Gear, Clothing & Destinations Guide Think kayaking is just for the ..

Read more

Outdoor Enthusiast’s Guide to Door County: 3-Day Adventure Itinerary

Exploring the Picturesque Peninsula and Outdoor Adventures of Door County  Welcome to Door ..

Read more

8 Best Places for White Water Rafting in Colorado

Top Colorado Rafting Destinations From Wild to Mild The Rocky Mountain snowpack we skied this wi ..

Read more

Beginner’s Guide to White Water Rafting

Beginner White Water Rafting - From the Rafting Experts Thinking about trying out whitewater raf ..

Read more