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Outdoor Recreation & Activities in Truckee (when Tahoe National Forest is Closed)

Siobhan Kenney
September 14, 2021
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Planning a fall trip to Truckee? This guide will help you understand what areas are open or closed and give you ideas for alternative things to do, indoors and outdoors.

What outdoor recreation areas are closed?

California National Forests - Closed until Sept. 17, 2021

All California national forests are closed until Sept. 17, including the Tahoe National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. This is to help free up firefighting resources and provide public and firefighter safety during this period of high fire danger. 

View Official Press Release

Lake Tahoe California & Nevada State Parks 

  • California State Parks on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe are closed until further notice: Emerald Bay State Park, D.L. Bliss State Park, and Sugar Pine Point State Park.
  • Lake Tahoe Nevada State Parks are closed through Sept. 17: Sand Harbor, Cave Rock, Spooner, and Van Sickle.

What outdoor areas are OPEN for hiking, biking, climbing and trail access?

Donner Memorial State Park (in Truckee)

This beautiful state park on the east shore of Donner Lake is open for hiking, paddleboarding, kayaking, and beach-going. The Visitor Center is open from 10am-5pm. The campground is closed for the season.

View Website

Tahoe Donner Association (in Truckee)

Trails are open for hiking, running, biking, and equestrian. Dining is available, as well as other amenities including the golf course and Trout Creek Rec Center for members and guests. 

View Website

Palisades Tahoe  (15 min. from Truckee)

Formerly Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. The Village, activities, events, dining, shopping, and hiking trails on Palisades Tahoe private lands are open. High Camp and the Aerial Tram are open for sightseeing, dining, roller skating, e-mountain bike tours and other usual activities.

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Northstar California Resort (15 min. from Truckee)

Open and offering a variety of summer activities and events, including hiking, scenic lift tours, mountain biking, and golf. The Village is also open, a premier destination for dining and shopping.

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Martis Creek Lake Recreation Area (10 min. from Truckee)

A locals’ favorite spot for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking. Access miles of trails through conifer forests and open meadows in the Martis Creek Wildlife Area and Waddle Ranch Conservation Area.

View Website

What OUTDOOR activities can I do, and where, while the Tahoe National Forest is Closed?

Getting outside is important for us mountain folk. During wildfire season, it’s a good idea to check current air quality readings on our Weather Page before heading outdoors. When AQI allows, try one of these unique outdoor activities for a daily dose of vitamin D.

Scenic Paved Paths

Walk, ride, or run on Town of Truckee Trails, 22 miles of scenic paved paths. These dog-friendly paths are great for easy family bike rides or pushing a stroller. Don’t miss the nine-mile roundtrip Truckee River Legacy Trail which meanders along the river, starting at the Truckee River Regional Park and ending at the entrance to the Glenshire neighborhood.

Summer Resort Activities

Tahoe Donner, Northstar California, and Palisades Tahoe (Formerly Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows) all offer world-class trails for mountain biking, hiking, and trail running. They’re also a hub of events, shopping, dining, and unique activities like scenic chairlift rides and rollerskating at 8,200 feet! 

Tahoe Via Ferrata

No technical skills are required to scale the 800 ft cliffs of the Tahoe Via Ferrata, an assisted climbing activity that combines all the best parts of climbing, hiking, and scrambling. Book a tour and have a local guide lead you through the vertical world of Palisades Tahoe's tram face. 

Local Guided Adventures

When you hire a local guide, they’ll take you to their favorite off-the-beaten-path Truckee locations for activities like fly fishing, horseback riding, or e-mountain bike riding. Plus, you’ll get to spend time with the passionate locals that live and breathe #SustainableTruckee!

Donner Lake SUP or Kayak

Explore Donner Lake’s eight-mile shoreline from a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) or kayak. There are many places to launch a boat, including 37 public piers, Donner Memorial State Park, West End Beach, and Shoreline Park


Here’s a local tip, the best time for paddleboarding or kayaking on Donner Lake is in the morning before afternoon winds pick up. Fill your reusable mug at a Truckee coffee shop and enjoy your latte with a view!

Beaches and Piers

With 37 public piers and white sandy beaches on its east and west end, Donner Lake is the place to head for relaxing by the water. Grab a book from Word After Word Books and settle in with your beach read and a picnic lunch. Thank you for recreating responsibly while enjoying our beaches and piers, and always packing out what you pack.

Truckee Bike Park

Enter the flow state on your mountain or BMX bike at the Truckee Bike Park. The park has something for everyone of all ability and skill levels. Beginning to advanced jump lines, pump tracks, xc trail, dual slalom track, and more.

Truckee Skate Park

Show off your ollies at the premier place to skate in Truckee-Tahoe, the Truckee Skate Park. Roll up and enjoy the free skate park, located in the Truckee River Regional Park. Features include fun, flowy bowls, a small rail, ramps and ledges. 

Disc Golf

All you need are a few discs to get started playing disc golf, a fun family activity all ages can enjoy. Truckee’s free PDGA-rated course located at the Truckee River Regional Park is the perfect venue for beginners and enthusiasts alike to practice their throws. You can find disc golf gear at these Truckee outdoor sports shops.

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