Truckee Attractions

Nature colors many Truckee attractions. And, just like winter’s shades of whites to the pale greens of spring and the deep verdant hues of summer grasses and golden spheres of aspen leaves in autumn, the attractions vary. History is found at the heart of many Truckee and Northstar attractions, while Mother Nature influences others.

The ill-fated Donner Party of the mid-19th-century was just one emigrant experience of those crossing the Sierra Nevada. Learn about the hardships and triumphs at the Donner Memorial State Park with its thought-provoking Pioneer Monument. The Visitor Center was recently renovated to showcase stories of not just the Donner Party but also the Washoe Native Americans, Chinese construction workers of the Transcontinental Railroad and early automobile enthusiasts crossing Donner Pass.

There’s a Truckee attraction that highlights one of America’s most massive projects – the building of the Transcontinental Railroad – from a small venue: a caboose. Yes, it’s small, but it’s very interesting. Northstar attractions bring visitors to famous ski resorts and slopes that are popular for their picturesque and thrilling trails.

A popular Truckee attraction is found not in just one location but in 20! Drive old Highway 40 from Nyack (I-80) to below Rainbow Bridge. There are signs at each spot with individual historical information, stories and activities to best enjoy that location.

Truckee Attractions for Every Interest

Downtown at Jibboom and Spring streets is the Old Jail Museum. Be aware that this particular Truckee attraction is run by docents, so sometimes it’s closed despite signs of operation saying otherwise. Art studios encourage creativity, while the indoor play structure helps unleash energy. The seasonal Nature Play area encourages the young to protect the environment. Check out the Truckee attraction up at the Boreal Ski Area, where you can explore the Western SkiSport Museum. Learn how Gold Rush miners used long boards to entertain themselves when Sierra snow became too deep to pan for gold.

Truckee Attractions by Category

Clair Tappaan Lodge

19940 Donner Pass Road, Norden, CA
(530) 426-3632

One of Truckee’s hidden gems sits atop Donner Summit at 7,000 feet. Clair Tappaan Lodge was constructed in 1934 by Sierra Club volunteers, and, just like Donner Summit itself, the rest is history. The stunningly rustic mountain lodge offers accommodations for up to 145 guests, many of whom are cross-country skiers and snowshoers in winter and hikers, rock climbers and cyclists in summer. The lodge... read more

IRIE Rafting Company

11253 Brockway Road, Suite 103, Truckee, CA
(530) 582-4900

Lake Tahoe has only one outflow — the Truckee River. And for 20 years IRIE Rafting Company has given visitors a close-up view of the waterway as well as the region's north and middle forks of the American River and the Carson River. For those wanting to stay closer to Truckee, IRIE offers half- and full-day trips on the Truckee River after it flows past... read more

Tahoe Donner

11509 Northwoods Boulevard, Truckee, CA
(530) 587-9400

The sprawling Tahoe Donner subdivision and its 6,000-plus homes above Truckee is many things to lots of people. For some it is their home neighborhood; for others it’s where they rent a house for a few days in winter or summer. Locals and visitors all take advantage of the Tahoe Donner Association’s 7,000 acres and equally vast amenities available to homeowners as well as to... read more

West End Beach of Donner Lake

Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District
15962 South Shore Drive, Truckee, CA
(530) 582-7720

Lake Tahoe, 15 minutes away, gets all the attention, but Truckee has a gem of its own: Donner Lake. While not as big and broad as Big Blue, Donner Lake offers up a good bit of watery fun too. One of the best places to access Donner is West End Beach. In summer months during the day, there is a modest admission fee to enter... read more