There is something wonderful about following the roads less traveled, and as you eat at Restaurants Only the Locals Know, visit the towns that tourists have forgot, and explore off the hidden path attractions that are less crowded and more fun, your stay in Truckee promises to be an adventure that you hope will never end. This guide to the top five under the radar attractions in Truckee is bound to engage the intrepid explorer inside you!
Donner Pass Summit Tunnels, 58977 Old Donner Summit Road
The railroads that once went through Truckee and the surrounding areas were built by Chinese immigrants over 100 years ago and are still running today; however, the current tunnels and tracks are not the same ones built all those years ago. Rerouted in the 1990s, the old tunnels still exist and are an extremely popular hiking destination for those in the know! Tunnels 6, 7, & 8 are on private property, still owned by the railroad, (with number 6 being the most popular to explore) but if you go, remember to bring flashlights and wear good walking shoes. The tunnels stretch out for miles and are mostly dark with only a few rays of light shining in to light your way. The snow sheds and tunnels begin near Donner Ski Ranch.
Webber Falls, Near Truckee
A good hike can reveal an innumerable number of surprises, from the simple (a fat and happy bumblebee flitting from flower to flower) to the breathtaking appearance of water tumbling over a series of rocks—Webber Falls, for example! Named after one of Tahoe’s earliest settlers, Dr. David Gould Webber, the falls can be heard long before they are seen, adding a touch of adventure to your hike. The roar of water tumbling over boulders is your first hint that you are going in the right direction, followed by an increase in moisture, the smell of water hitting concrete, and finally, you turn around one last bend and the beauty of the falls open up before you!
Truckee River Bike Trail
The Lake Tahoe area is a mecca for mountain bikers but you may not realize that it is also a great place for regular street bikes as well. The Truckee River Bike Trail is a 7.5-mile paved trail that travels along the Truckee River, through some of our region’s most beautiful landscape! Rent a bike from Bike Truckee, located at 10015 Palisades Drive Suite A, (they also rent mountain bikes and electric bikes!) pack a picnic, and spend a few hours enjoying the natural beauty of Truckee. The river is one of the more popular places to visit in Truckee, and a popular Kayaking and Rafting spot! The views from the trails are guaranteed frame-worthy, so snap a few shots and take a piece of Truckee home with you!
Snowshoe Thompson Memorial Statue, 19470 Donner Pass Road in Norden
Located just 8 miles outside of Truckee, the “Snowshoe” Thompson Memorial Statue pays tribute to a different type of hero, the American postman! Today their jobs are a little easier as they drive from mailbox to mailbox, but no less important as they deliver the mail without fail. John “Snowshoe” Thompson, however, had the near-impossible task of delivering mail through the Sierra Mountains, which were nearly impassible during the winter months. Strapping on a pair of snowshoes and carrying mailbags that never weighed less than 60 pounds and were quite frequently as heavy as 80 pounds, Snowshoe would twice a month take nearly a week to deliver the mail (three days there and two days back) without ever getting paid for his duties. He is known to have saved some stranded travelers, and he never stopped until he died in 1876 from appendicitis and pneumonia. Today, this humble statue pays honors the original super-postman for his heroic journeys and is a sweet destination to add to your bucket list!
The Old Jail Museum, 10142 Jibboom Street
During the wild west days Truckee was a rowdy place, filled with brawling loggers that just needed to let off a little steam after long and dangerous days of chopping down trees, and when a Jail was determined to be a necessity in 1873, construction began on the building that still stands today! Created from stone found in the area, the walls are thick, the windows are few, and the cells are virtually inescapable, what with steel being the second material used to keep prisoners in! The Old Jail is reputed to have been the temporary quarters for many legendary bad guys, including Baby Face Nelson and Machine Gun Kelly (the bad guy, not the popular rapper) but today is a museum that tells a fascinating story and is definitely worthy of the number one spot on our ‘places to visit in Truckee’ list!