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Sustainable Truckee Pre-Arrival Guide for Visitors

Jen Poe
October 23, 2023
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Thank you for planning a visit to Truckee! Sustainably-minded visitors who travel with respect for our beautiful mountain home and community are deeply appreciated.

Use this guide to learn how to reduce your impact, give back, and take care of Truckee-Tahoe while having a safe, fun, and adventurous journey. By doing so, your visit benefits Truckee’s community, environment, and local economy.

To view and download a PDF version of this guide, click here.

Black bear climbing a tree in Truckee.

Learn & Stay Informed

  • Bookmark the Truckee-Tahoe Travel Alert for daily updates about Truckee weather, roads, events, programs, and more at VisitTruckeeTahoe.com/travelalert.
  • Read Truckee’s Good Neighbor Flyer to understand what’s expected during your stay. We need your help to ensure Truckee can offer a wide variety of vacation homes. Please visit our neighborhoods with respect, responsibility, and mindfulness.
  • Sign up for Visit Truckee-Tahoe’s monthly visitor e-newsletter at VisitTruckeeTahoe.com/signup. Get the latest news about sustainability, events, activities, outdoor adventures, family itineraries, and more.

Read and bookmark Truckee’s Visitor Guides:

Two women using a Truckee reusable Green Box for takeout.

Reduce Waste

  • Order takeout in Truckee’s Reusable Green Box. This zero-waste alternative to disposable “to-go” boxes is currently accepted at nine restaurants in Truckee.
  • Use reusable bags, mugs, and bottles. Help reduce single-use waste. Use reusable bags for groceries, bring your reusable coffee mug to coffee shops, and use a reusable water bottle.
  • Avoid a 25¢ fee for single-use cups and takeout containers. Starting Jan 1, 2024, Truckee restaurants and food vendors charge a 25¢ fee for each disposable cup and takeout container. Single-use napkins, straws, utensils, etc. are only provided upon request. Bring your reusable mug and takeout container or dine on-site. 
  • Fill your reusable bottle with delicious tap water. Truckee’s tap water comes from a deep, ancient aquifer and is fresh, clean, and delicious. Drink up!
  • Feed gardens, not landfills. Compost food scraps at one of Truckee’s four convenient compost drop-off locations, accessible year-round.
Starry night sky over a campsite in Truckee.

Respect Our Land, Water & Wildlife

  • Leave No Trace by packing out your trash. During any outdoor adventure, remember that everything you pack in must be packed out - energy bar wrappers, apple cores, banana peels, etc. Bonus points for picking up extra litter and micro-trash!
  • Leave No Poop! Pet waste contains bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can harm Truckee’s rivers and lakes. Protect our watershed by cleaning up after your pet. Don’t forget to pack out dog waste and dispose of poop bags in the nearest trash.
  • Be a steward of Truckee’s dark skies. Help reduce light pollution and preserve the natural beauty of Truckee’s night skies by turning off outdoor lights.  
  • Know the Bearwise basics and respect wildlife. Truckee-Tahoe is home to remarkable wildlife, including black bears. Never feed or approach bears. View wildlife from a distance. Know how to keep your food, garbage, and recycling secured.
BCycle e-bikes at a docking station in Truckee.

Visit Car-Free & Lower Emissions 

  • Use Truckee’s FREE "around town" shuttle. Ride TART Connect, an on-demand shuttle that provides FREE door-to-door rides in Truckee. Download the app, order a ride, and get picked up in as little as 15 minutes. Pet-friendly, wheelchair accessible vehicles, ski/bike racks!
  • Get around Truckee on e-bikes. Look for BCycle docking stations throughout town. Use the app to rent a pedal-assist e-bike then go for a ride and return the bike to any docking station. Monthly and daily pass options.
  • Plan a car-free visit. No car? No problem. Our Guide to Sustainable Transportation explains how to get to Truckee and get around without a car using shuttles, free transit, and bike paths.
  • Walk or ride Truckee’s 26 miles of scenic paved trails. Use the network of paved trails to get from your lodging to shopping and dining. Or enjoy a run, walk, or ride in the fresh mountain air. Open year-round with over 20 miles plowed in winter.
  • Drive your electric vehicle. Have an EV? Truckee has 60 EV charging stations with more added regularly.
Smiling couple riding bikes on the Martis Valley Trail near Truckee.

Be a Good Neighbor

  • Embrace the mountain town spirit. Be kind and generous as you explore our home. We extend our warmest welcome and ask that you return the good vibes with a friendly smile and extra patience, especially during peak seasons.
  • “Take it slow, Tahoe.” Look for these neighborhood signs around Truckee, a reminder that driving slowly makes the roads safer for people and animals. Take a moment to slow down and enjoy the view, while always keeping an eye on the road. 
  • Share the trail and pedal responsibly. Please abide by Truckee’s 15 mph speed limit while biking on our scenic paved trails. Wear a helmet, take it slow, call out when passing, and yield to pedestrians.
  • Truckee loves well-behaved dogs! For the safety and respect of others, make sure your pet is under visual and voice control or on a leash. Be conscious of noise during your stay, and always clean up after your pet. 
Mountain home in Truckee from Tahoe Exclusive Vacation Rentals.

Book Lodging Direct

  • Get the best lodging rates. Save up to 15% in third-party service fees when you book direct on Truckee's official tourism website lodging.visittruckeetahoe.com instead of sites such as Expedia and Booking.com.
  • Booking direct supports locals. Independent homeowners, local property managers, and hoteliers employ Truckee's workforce, supporting residents and families. Make sure your dollars stay local.
  • Get to know your expert lodging host for the best vacation experience, whether you are wondering what restaurants offer sustainable dining or how to rent an e-bike or catch the shuttle to ski areas.
  • Choose Eco/Green lodging. Find vacation homes, hotels, lodges, and inns that have been certified as achieving the Sustainable Truckee Eco/Green Standards.
Woman shopping local at a boutique in Truckee.

Shop and Dine Local

  • Buy Sustainable Truckee Gift Cards. This digital gift card is redeemable at 60 locally-owned businesses. Visit Truckee-Tahoe matches 25% of every card for stewardship projects. Great for friends, family, teachers, co-workers, and staff! 
  • Shop at Truckee’s locally owned and operated businesses. When you shop local, more dollars stay within our local Truckee community. Explore outdoor gear shops, boutiques, one-of-a-kind gifts, vintage stores, and five certified California Green Businesses. 
  • Eat local & farm fresh in Truckee. Truckee’s natural food stores and farmer’s markets (Tahoe Food Hub, New Moon Natural Foods, and more) supply our community with organic, sustainable, locally-grown food all year.
  • Explore the local mountain cuisine. Many Truckee restaurants and breweries source fresh, seasonal, organic ingredients locally from farms that use sustainable and regenerative practices. Vegan, vegetarian, and allergy-friendly menus are easy to find!
Volunteers picking up trash near Donner Lake.

Give Back

  • Volunteer during your visit. Donate a bit of your time to a good cause that gives back to your host town. Enrich your trip by immersing yourself in the community and meeting Truckee residents. 
  • Dive into Truckee’s history and culture. Ignite an appreciation for the diverse tapestry of people who have come before us. From Chinese immigrants, the unsung heroes of the Transcontinental Railroad, to the Washoe people, who have called these lands home since time immemorial.
  • Your donation makes a difference. Find a Truckee nonprofit that shares your values and consider donate to amplify their impact. Go to GiveBackTahoe.org to browse 60+ nonprofits, learn about their work, find volunteer opportunities, and make a donation.
  • Inspire others with your sustainably-minded visit. Share your experience with friends and family! Encourage others to visit mindfully with respect and appreciation for Truckee’s natural environment and community. 

About Sustainable Truckee

In 2020, Visit Truckee-Tahoe formed as the first official tourism authority for Truckee, California. The immediate focus was to preserve resident quality of life, visitor quality of experience, community character, and protection for our environment.

Since then, Visit Truckee-Tahoe formed the Truckee Stewardship Council as an advisory board for the Truckee Stewardship Plan - a sustainability roadmap driven by resident input.

The Truckee Stewardship Plan geographically encompasses the Truckee Watershed, including Northstar California, Palisades Tahoe, and Donner Summit.

This Plan intersects with the Lake Tahoe Stewardship Plan on unified regional messaging for safe, responsible recreation and promotion of public transportation.

We invite you to join us in making sustainable choices that keep Truckee authentic. 

To learn more, go to SustainableTruckee.org.

Jen Poe

Hi there, I'm Jen. I was an elementary school teacher in Yosemite Valley and now a Truckee local, going on three years. I love this town! I also love to rock climb and write about all of the amazing things to do in Truckee all year long. We're totally into feedback and any ideas you might have, so please use our "contact" link in the footer and I'll be sure and get back to you. Thanks and see you around town!

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