Rafting the Truckee River – A Perfect Choice for Your Next Family Vacation

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Planning a rafting vacation is never easy, but when you have an excellent location, efficient organizers and great places for renting and buying all the equipment you need, there’s no reason to worry. This is precisely what you’ll be able to enjoy once you get to the town of Truckee and prepare for your adventure rafting the Truckee River with the entire family.


Where Should You Go?


When it comes to family vacations, the Truckee River is a perfect spot. According to most experts, the ideal route will take you through Tahoe City which is close to both the eastern and northern shores of Lake Tahoe. From there, you can get all your supplies, including coolers, sunscreen, floating devices, drinks and everything else you need.


Finally, if you plan on staying longer, you might want to consider a rental. The best places can be found either in Tahoe City or the town of Truckee itself. From cheaper units to high quality, 2-level vacation rentals complete with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, you can get the perfect solution for your budget, and enjoy benefits that include access to a breakfast bar, gas barbecues and good proximity to the best spots for outdoor activities in the area – including various biking trails, the Donner Lake, and a few excellent locations for skiing and other winter activities.


Tips for Starting Your Vacation


The scenic 5-mile rafting tour represents one of the best approaches to rafting the Truckee River. It will provide you with the opportunity to view the most beautiful sights, float along the river through tall pine trees, and embark on a thrilling but safe rafting experience.


Before even starting on the journey, make sure your pack list will include sunblock, flotation devices, a swimsuit and any drinks or food you may want to carry with you. The relaxing trip along the Truckee River will not require any additional equipment or involve any special requirements. However, if you plan on going rafting with your whole family, it’s important to make sure you rent a larger commercial raft at one of the more reputable outfitters in Tahoe City.


The Best Food and Drinks


When it comes to eating and drinking, you won’t have to worry about bringing too many supplies on vacation with you. The River Ranch Lodge and Restaurant will provide you with everything you require and more, while its impressive location will make it easy to enjoy your meal with a great view of the surrounding landscape.


You can then start back and see other rafting enthusiasts dart past through the pool of emerald water, as they make their way past the restaurant’s impressive viewing and sunning deck.


Getting Back Home


The great thing about rafting on the Truckee River is you don’t have to worry about your return trip. Buses are scheduled to arrive and leave on a regular basis, and if you got there by car, you can easily make your way back to town. Once you’re in Truckee, several routes are available to take you just about anywhere you want to go, and the town also has its own airport – the Truckee Tahoe Airport-TRK – allowing you to take a plane back home at short notice.


A Few Quick and Easy Tips for Summer Hiking in Truckee

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Whether you just want to head to the town of Truckee and plan a quick hiking trip in the surrounding areas, or you’d like to organize a more elaborate vacation together with your entire family, there are many important considerations you’ll have to keep in mind.


Check the Weather and Make Your Reservations


Before embarking on your trip, make sure you check the weather and complete any prior preparation tasks in time. Depending on the weather conditions leading up to the hike, you’ll know whether or not you can continue with your plans, and you can also plan on what to wear.


Also, if you’re planning on a more elaborate family vacation during which you’ll be visiting several key locations for hiking, it’s important to call ahead, check for vacancies and also reserve your place at one or more of the vacation rentals you might think of using.


Choose Your Ideal Spot for Hiking


In the Truckee area you’ll find there are several great spots for finding excellent hiking trails. Two of the best are Lower Carpenter Valley and Point Mariah in Royal Gorge. New trails and parking areas are expected to be installed here this summer, and you can look forward to several beginner and moderate difficulty routes with distances of up to 5-6 miles and stunning views of the North Fork of the American River and the scenic Carpenter Valley.


If you plan on a more challenging climb, be sure to not miss the 9147-foot Mount Lola climb. With a distance of about 5.5 miles and a total elevation of more than 3200 feet, this route will be difficult even for the more experienced hikers, but passing through the fabulous Cold Stream Meadow will be well worth the effort.


Select the Right Trail for Your Level


If you’re a beginner, it’s important to take some time to ponder this step. The trail you need to choose should be shorter than the normal distance you might be able to walk on a level surface. Plan on walking at a pace of about 2 mph.


When reviewing the elevation changes for the route you chose, keep in mind that greater changes will involve a more challenging trip. So, make sure to add about an hour to your estimated arrival time for every 1000 feet of gain associated with the route.


Pack All Your Essentials


Don’t forget to pack everything you’ll need. This should include a map and compass, sun protection, first-aid supplies, extra food and hydration (especially during the summer), good illumination and a tent for emergency situations, in case you’ll need shelter for the night.


Hiking at Your Own Pace


When hiking it’s important to know your ideal pace. If you’re a beginner, make sure you don’t power through the first few miles, no matter how smooth the route might be in those parts or how tempting it is to go faster.


Keep hydrated, and maintain a stable pace throughout the hike. Later in the day you’ll be glad you saved your energy, especially considering the fact that some of the hiking routes near Truckee can be quite challenging.


The great thing about summer hiking in Truckee is that you can never really know what most routes will present you with. Although it’s important to be prepared for any surprises, you’ll find that the whole experience will feel more like an adventure, rather than a challenge.


The Old Truckee Jail Museum – An Exceptional Travel Destination to Consider

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The town of Truckee has many attractions throughout the city and numerous important places for hiking, swimming, skiing and various other outdoor activities. However, by far the most famous place you can visit in the city is the Old Truckee Jail Museum.


This building has been around since the mid-1800s, and is one of the last remaining jailhouses from the time of the Old West. The jail is now a museum that is open to the public, and it houses some exciting relics and pieces of an era long gone. It’s also the oldest building in Truckee and the only remaining original buildings in the entire city.


The History of the Jail


One of the main reasons why the jail has survived all these years is its remarkably sturdy construction. The walls are 32 inches thick, and there are no windows in the cells. The only openings are a few small vents allowing air to come through.


The Truckee jail was built in September 1873, and the first prisoner ever held there was William Hart, a local who was held for 6 days due to being involved in a brawl. The jail was repaired for the first time in 1901 and given a 2nd floor that same year. Later, in 1908, additional improvements were approved on account of a jailbreak that happened four years earlier.


Over the years, some of the most notorious criminals in the American West have found their way to the old Truckee Jail at one point or another. Famous names include “Ma” Spinelli, “Baby Face” Nelson and “Machine Gun” Kelly.


The jail survived until the 1970s, when a plan was proposed to turn it into a museum on the eve of its 100th year standing. The long awaited restoration process was began in 1974, and by 1976, the new museum was named an official Point of Historical Interest.


A Museum Worth Visiting


The museum is under the care of the Truckee Donner Historical Society. The organization offers a fascinating tour and a display of rare artifacts from the Old West. Some of the items you will see include relics from a number of industries from the area – such as lumbering, ice harvesting and manufacturing – and there are also exhibits that pay tribute to the film industry, which became quite impressive in Truckee during the 1920s.


Also, sporting and outdoor enthusiasts can see exhibits from the early winter sport era, including complete skiing equipment and several fascinating historical photos.


You can visit the Old Jail Museum every day between 11 AM and 4 PM, and you’ll find the museum is easy to find, being the most recognizable building in the Truckee historic district. The price required per visit is extremely accessible, or you can opt to submit a donation to the museum and avoid paying for a ticket.


While much of the area surrounding Truckee is ideal for sports and outdoor activities, you’ll find the Old Truckee Jail Museum to be an impressive and welcome alternative, that will surprise you with its many impressive relics.


Planning Your Family Trip to Beautiful Donner Lake – Exciting Activities and Family Fun

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Are you looking for a place to spend a quiet and relaxing family vacation? If you want the best that California has to offer, but also a more affordable price, head down to Truckee and visit Donner Lake for a few days or even a week-long vacation.


Aside from being one of the most beautiful and natural places you can visit in eastern California, Lake Donner can give you a lot of opportunities for a fun pastime. From skiing and rock climbing, to a more relaxing time playing golf or swimming in the lake, all the outdoor activities you can hope for will be within your grasp.


Awesome Activities for the Entire Family


One of the best things you can do as soon as you arrive at Donner Lake is to relax at West End Beach with your family for a beautiful day in the sun. You can enjoy the beach, go for a swim, or even get into a boat and get farther off shore for some deep diving action.


An afternoon of hiking can be even more exciting and fun, especially when you consider the beauty of the region and the fascinating petroglyphs you will find while hiking at the nearby Donner Lake National Park.


During the winter months, skiing is a favorite activity among Lake Donner visitors. The Tahoe Donner downhill ski area is very close to the lake, and if you don’t have your own skiing equipment, you can easily rent it from local outfitters.


Considering the Practical Benefits of Choosing Donner Lake


  • Donner Lake can be accessed with ease, whether you’re coming from California or trying to get there on a longer road trip from out of state. The I-80 E road offers you the best chance to arrive safely and conveniently regardless of where you’re visiting from.

Accommodation solutions are always available nearby, so you don’t have to worry about having to drive too long before you get to your favorite spots. You’ll find the best accommodation solutions are close not only to Donner Lake, but also to Lake Tahoe, the Sugar Bowl Ski Area, the Alpine Meadows/Squaw Valley Ski Area and any other of your favored destinations.

  • The lake is just a 15-minute drive or a 90-minute walk from the town of Truckee, where you can find the best solutions when it comes to lodgings, food places and any services you may need.
  • Donner Lake is also close to the famous Tahoe National Forest, considered to be one of the most beautiful places to visit in California as well as a very friendly family destination.


Should You Go to Donner Lake?


There’s no doubt about the fact that Donner Lake is one of the best places you can visit, even if you’re not on a budget. Unique, convenient and able to offer you the best in amenities, fun family activities and pure relaxation, it’s also a place where the locals are extremely friendly, and you don’t have to worry about the safety of your family.


This magical place, close to the pleasant town of Truckee, will give you just about the best experience you can hope for when it comes to family bonding and relaxing outdoor activities.



Learning About Truckee History: The Most Important Historical Events

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From the Donner Party disaster to the famous Gold Rush, many important historical events had ties with the fascinating town of Truckee. Below we will take a journey through time to revisit some of the happenings that have marked the history of the area the most.


The Most Famous Historical Event in Truckee


The journey of the Donner-Reed Party is arguably the most significant historical event recorded in Truckee over the years. The group of settlers from Illinois started moving west in 1846, and experienced an immense ordeal battling the elements and trying to stay alive.


After fending off a blizzard, experiencing the early onset of winter that year, trying a few shortcuts to avoid the longer Oregon Trail, and attempting a crossing of the Utah salt flats that proved to be uninspired, the party stopped at what is now Donner Lake, and tried to cart off their remaining oxen and supplies in near impossible conditions. In the end, they were forced to remain at the edge of Donner Lake, while part of the group veered off to the east, to the Alder Creek campsite.


Starvation and extreme condition have led to nearly half of the party perishing during that winter, as only 48 remained of a total of 87 people. The Donner Memorial State Park remains today as a monument dedicated to these settlers.


Native American Occupancy


For a long time, the Truckee river used to define a well-traveled route for Native Americans who settled in the area. Tribes like the Shoshone and Washoe Tribe were known to have inhabited many of the areas surrounding the location of today’s town of Truckee, although no single tribe has actually inhabited the region for more than a couple of seasons at a time.


North of Truckee, you can find a large, circular petroglyph that speaks of the time when the area around the Truckee river was a route commonly used by Native American travelers, and many artifacts found around the region attest to the fact that it was first inhabited at least a few hundred years ago – although the date of the petroglyph is not agreed upon by experts.


Archaeologists believe that the Native American populations in the area have fluctuated throughout the centuries, and some historians even estimate that the pre-Fremont culture and other earlier tribes known to have inhabited Utah and South Nevada may have been near the Truckee river even up to 10,000 years ago.


Despite having thrived for thousands of years, Native American populations decreased as the number of European settlers continued to increase – especially in the 1840s and ‘50s, when the Gold Rush brought many eager travelers to California and Nevada.


Other Important Historical Details


The Crandall Brothers converted the famous Hilltop Lodge into a restaurant in the 1940s, and it later became known as the Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar. Charlie Chaplin shot part of his famous Gold Rush movie in Truckee in 1925. Also, 1886 was the year when a party of more than 1,400 Chinese inhabitants were expelled from Truckee as a result of an effort to boycott businesses that dealt with Chinese immigrants.


Overall, it can be said that the town of Truckee has seen its fair share of impressive historical events over the past few centuries. You can learn of many of its most important stories and relics by visiting the famous Old Jail Museum located in the town’s historic district.