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A Three Day, Two Night Truckee Fall Weekend Family Getaways Itinerary

Alex Silgalis
October 2, 2023
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Fall is arguably one of the best times to visit Truckee. From scenic drives to foliage scavenger hunts, here are some great ways to enjoy Truckee at its best this fall.

Day 1

Slow Yer Roll And Make It A Scenic Drive To Truckee

Instead of rushing to Truckee, make the journey the destination by taking a scenic drive down old Highway 40. If you’re coming from the West, take exit 174 on I-80 and follow Donner Pass Road as it winds its way from Soda Springs down from Donner Summit all the way to Donner Lake below.  The road follows the rocky South Yuba River. This time of year its shoreline pops with color as the aspens and cottonwoods become highlighter yellow. Then finish it off with an eye popping view from one of the most underrated landmarks in Truckee - McGlashan Point.

Take In Downtown Truckee And Stock Up For The Weekend

Pick up some games and books for a night of fun and relaxation. Spending time in the mountains with family is all about reconnecting and creating memories. Use Friday afternoon to pick up groceries or better yet a grab n’ go meal for your cabin or hotel room. Then set off to Truckee Variety Co. in Historic Downtown Truckee, a store that harkens back to the five and dime shops. Within its tight confines, you’ll find a wide variety of items that both kids and kids-at-heart will enjoy including board games for a night in. Book lovers will then want to make a stop at another one-of-a kind store in downtown Truckee - Word After Word Books

Day 2

Embrace The Season And Take In Fall Colors

Seize the moment and celebrate the seasons changing by taking in the fall colors. Truckee is one of the easiest mountain towns to get around without a car. Leave the car parked at your lodging and book a FREE ride with TART Connect to Historic Downtown Truckee. From there, begin your day with a cup of coffee from one of the local shops. After you’re fully caffeinated, explore the quaint historic district and all of its one-of-a-kind shops. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a hearty breakfast and continue onwards to your fall foliage scavenger hunt.

Just a stone’s throw from the downtown area is the Truckee River Legacy Trail. The scenic paved trail follows the Truckee River and can be accessed from three trailheads: East River Street (closest to downtown), Truckee River Regional Park, or Glenshire Drive. Along its route, you’ll find vegetation filled with cinnamon browns and lemon yellows. One of Truckee’s Trails for EveryBODY™, it's been designed so kids, strollers, those youthful at heart, e-bikes, and even dogs can enjoy it. And if your kiddos or you get a little tuckered out, you’ll find e-bikes available to hop on/off along the route.

Add A Splash Of Excitement & Conquer Your Fears

Dip your toe into rock climbing by hiring a local guide for a day on Donner Summit. Donner Summit is the crown jewel of climbing in Tahoe. You’ll find sport, trad, and multi-pitch all on high-quality granite. Perched above Donner Lake, there are guided rock courses which are great for families, friends, & groups. 

And for those who want to stay closer to the Earth, hop on TART Connect and head over to the Truckee Bike Park. The park is designed to cover the full spectrum of riders. Beginners will love the progression section and a strider friendly pump track. While experts will test their limits on the Black Slope Line which contains some seriously large wood and dirt features. 

Sample Truckee’s Past Or Monkey Around Inside

On the rare occasion that weather doesn’t cooperate, take a tour of Truckee’s history. Although this time of year is primarily sunny and warm, it is a time of transition which means on occasion the first winter storm arrives. If it does happen, there is plenty of indoor fun to be had like the KidZone Museum. The only kids museum in the Tahoe region offers unique hands-on exhibits such as the Sierra Settlers play exhibit. Here children can shop at the Chinese Herb Shop for dinner, pick up their pots and pans in the blacksmith shop, and even reserve a room in the Boarding House. Or if you want to have your kids expend some energy, take the family to Truckee’s world-class indoor climbing gym, High Altitude Fitness. This is a great place to learn rock climbing basics and have fun monkeying up the walls.

Day 3

Inspire Your Kids To Love Nature

Does your kid love animals and the great outdoors? Inspire them to take the next big step and become a Junior Ranger! Check in at a visitor center at the Donner Memorial State Park to receive a Junior Ranger activity book. Inside you’ll find a series of fun, educational tasks for your little one to complete. Once finished, it will be checked by a Park Ranger. They will then ceremonially swear them in as a Junior Ranger.

Your kids are only going to be this age once, so enjoy every moment you have together. Don’t let the last glimmer of fall’s weather pass you up without one more family trip to Truckee. We guarantee you this action packed weekend will ensure that both you and your kids come with big smiles and memories that will last a lifetime.

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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