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The Best Fall Activities in Truckee-Tahoe

Alex Silgalis
September 30, 2023
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You can smell it in the air. Feel it in your body. Change is afoot! Summer might be the star of the show and winter the bell of the ball in her white gown, but fall is the celebration of both in Truckee. Warm sunny days and cool crisp nights make it a time to savor each moment. Here’s the best fall activities in Truckee to do just that! 

Hop On TART Connect For A Hoppy Brewery Tour

Throw the keys on the table and leave the car at home. A Truckee brewery tour in the fall is about slowing down and experiencing the sights and sounds of the season in Truckee. An opportunity to catch up with friends and family as you cruise along with someone else driving. Savor the flavors of the season at each stop instead of rushing to the next destination. When you need a designated driver, TART Connect (Truckee’s FREE on-demand shuttle) is there for you from 6:30am to 10pm this fall and even comes equipped with bike racks. 

Take In The Leaves By Feet, Pedal, Or Cruise

The landscape, vegetation, and meadows in and around Truckee create a display unlike anywhere else in the world. You won’t forget the deep greens of the evergreens against the shimmering yellows of the aspen. The key is to know where to look. One of many easy trails with fall colors, the Ridgeline Nature Trail is part of the Trails for EveryBODY™ initiative that offers all shapes, sizes, and physical abilities a chance to take it in. For a scenic drive, routes like Donner Summit via Old Highway offer picturesque vistas alongside groves of aspen bursting in color. Looking for the lesser-known trails? Check out this list containing 8 of the lesser known trails to get some leaf-peeping in.

Touring Lake Tahoe Becomes A Breeze

Fall is arguably one of the best times of year to tour Lake Tahoe from Truckee. It’s when the autumnal tapestry is beginning to flourish, the beach bums have disappeared, and the powder hounds haven’t arrived yet. A chance to take in the iconic attractions without the crowds. And being a short scenic 20 minute drive from Truckee, it’s easy to make a day trip out of Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe fall colors, a quick 20-minute drive from Truckee.

Paddleboard On Donner Lake

For locals and those in the know, one of the best times of year to go paddleboarding is in the fall. The boats have been put away, and the summer afternoon winds known as the “Washoe Zephyr” are but a memory. With Donner Lake pretty much to yourself, you’ll find a water surface that’s like glass. Even so, always check Windfinder to see what the weather is going to be like before your session, get out early, always paddle with a buddy, and dress in warm, dry-fit layers.

Day Trip To Sierraville Hot Springs

Combine the leaf peeping with a destination by heading north into what was coined by Pony Express riders as the “Lost Sierra.” The section of Highway 89 between Truckee and Sierraville is especially beautiful with the aspens, willows, and cottonwoods painting the landscape with brilliant yellows. Then you get to finish off the drive with a soak in the Sierra Hot Springs (reservations required).

Nature Photography

If you’re a budding nature photographer or a grizzled vet, this is YOUR time to get the best shots of the year. This is when the ‘golden hour’ is at its richest providing the goldilocks of soft light and saturated colors. With pleasant temps, fewer crowds, and ample opportunities to explore and capture stunning pictures, it’s your time to shine.

Fly Fishing

This list of the best fall activities wouldn’t be legit if we didn’t highlight fall fly fishing. While the bears fatten up for the winter, so do the fish. As the crowds reduce to a trickle, the elusive Brown Trout become increasingly aggressive as they near their annual spawn. A grab from one of these browns is something you don’t forget. It’s a shock, and if not managed well, can lead to another ‘one that got away’ story.

Alex Silgalis

Born and raised as a flat lander in Chicagoland, Alex spent his summers working to save up for a season pass to the local hill along with any trips out West or beyond he could squeeze in. It was during his travels, both as a kid & an adult, Alex discovered his inspiration for Local Freshies® . His idea was to create the No. 1 Web site providing the local scoop on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer alongside the love of his life and business partner, Jaime Pirozzi.

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