The Sierra Nevada Range is the birthplace of conservationism and the spot where John Muir defined wanderlust. The shimmering blue alpine lakes resting at the base of crumbling rocky giants are just a part of this breathtaking swath of land that awaits your next adventure. Nestled in the midst of all this beauty is the town of Truckee, a perfect basecamp for starting your many adventures. Whether you are hiking solo or with a friend, running miles along classic trails at the break of dawn, or introducing your family to the great outdoors, this corner of northeast California will surely inspire your imagination.
Here are a handful of fun hikes and areas to camp in and around Truckee.
Since this year is the year of the national park, the obvious place to start is the iconic Yosemite National Park, one of the National Park Service’s crown jewels. Yes, Yosemite is beautiful, but it’s also popular because of its accessibility to all levels and a variety of activities. You’ll find everyone from world-class athletes to first-time hikers and rock climbers, to inspired backpackers enjoying the park. Yosemite is the full package, and serves as the perfect spot for generations of families who hike and camp.
If you’re looking to spend a few days in the park, a great area to camp is the first-come, first-serve Bridalveil Creek Campground.This is an amazing front country site that offers campers a bit of quiet and calm compared to the more crowded campgrounds.
If it’s amazing hikes you’re after then you can’t miss the 8.8-mile round-tripper up North Dome. Head up there to catch the sunrise or sunset and you won’t be disappointed. Or, you can head up the aptly named Panorama Trail, an 8.5-mile, one-way hike that gives you some of the most jaw-dropping views in existence. Yes, the hike is a bit long, and the 3,700-foot elevation gain might seem intense, but if you are in good shape, have solid hiking experience, and are carrying the right Osprey Pack, this is the hike that will make you fall in love with Yosemite.
Families looking for a classic hike should load up their Osprey kid’s packs and head just outside of the park to the always stunning Mariposa Trail. This trail is just under a mile and gets you up close and personal with over 500 giant sequoias.
Closer to the city of Truckee and away from the summer weekend crowds of Yosemite is the always-beautiful Lake Tahoe region. Lake Tahoe is full of amazing trails, fantastic camping opportunities and, of course, the lake. While there are many amazing trails around Lake Tahoe to explore, one of the classic hikes is up Mount Tallac.
The Mount Tallac Trail is close to 10 miles round trip and has an elevation gain of over 3,000 feet, which may sound a bit difficult. However, if you have a little determination, a hydration pack loaded up with water, snacks, and the right gear, you’ll be rewarded for your effort with one of the most impressive panoramic views in the state.
If you’re a trail runner, the paths around Lake Tahoe will have you rejoicing—the highlight being the 165 miles of singletrack running options along the Tahoe Rim Trail. There are no greater runs in the Lake Tahoe region than this one. Running the entire trail will have you passing through two states, across one state park, into three national forests, and three wilderness areas. The Osprey Rev pack is a perfect trail running companion to bring on your journey.
North of the centrally located town of Truckee, is the classic six-mile trek up to the Sierra Buttes Lookout. Gaining 1,800 feet, including a final section of some vertigo-inducing stairs, this trail rewards hikers with panoramic views of more than 100 miles in all directions.
The fire lookout atop the 8,587-foot pinnacle gives a glimpse into the Lakes Basin Recreation Area, which is home to stunning lakes, incredible hiking and family-friendly camping destinations.It’s the ultimate weekend getaway destination, and is sure to push your limits while giving you a much deserved dose of natural beauty.
Before you head out on any of these adventures, make sure you swing by Tahoe Mountain Sports in Truckee, CA. For the past 12 years, this outdoor gear shop has been bringing the best gear to outdoor enthusiasts while working to maintain the land used for outdoor recreation and promoting Leave No Trace principles.
The team at Tahoe Mountain Sports offers expert advice about where to go, what to do, and what gear to take with you. They also love the region and actively help make both the town and the outdoor community a better place. Hand in hand, Tahoe Mountain Sports and the wild lands of the Sierra Nevada give you endless adventure in one of the prettiest areas in the world.