An Insider's Guide, Fall 2023

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AN INSIDER’S GUIDE | FALL 23 Truckee PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID DENVER, CO PERMIT NO. 5377 Truckee Chamber of Commerce 10065 Donner Pass Road Truckee, CA 96161 Big Life Locals Truckee Excels in Education Exploring Tahoe Donner’s Business District
Table of Contents Truckee Excels in Education Options From Classrooms to Communities Winter Is Coming - Are You Ready? Truckee Chamber Spotlight FEATURES FALL 2023 8 15 24 26 28 DEPARTMENTS Fall Fly Fishing in Truckee LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Welcome Fall, the Locals’ Season WHAT’S HAPPENING Fall Events CREATE A BIG LIFE Exploring Tahoe Donner’s Business District EXPLORE Hike (and Hunt) Through History THE HOWS AND WHYS OF TRUCKEE How to Be a Mobility All-Star BIG LIFE LOCALS Marisol Rocha Peter Mayfield 4 6 18 20 30 7 14 7 ON THE COVER: Peter Mayfield, Executive Director of Gateway Mountain Center. See his Big Life Local profile on pages 30. Photo by Chris Talbot. 14 18

Welcome Fall, the Locals’ Season

With cooler air and fewer crowds, fall, especially October, holds a special place in Truckee. The chance to enjoy the crisp mornings and soak up the remaining warmth before winter arrives is truly unique. As kids head back to school and adults continue their learning, our latest Truckee Insider’s Guide offers insights into our education system and suggestions for making the most of the autumn season.

From Classrooms to Community

Turn to page 15 to learn all about how Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) students are engaging in hands-on environmental education through partnerships with organizations like Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships (SWEP) and Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS). These collaborations offer real-world experiences that empower students to become environmental stewards and teach them how to care for Truckee and the Tahoe Basin.

Fall Fly Fishing in Truckee

Are you looking for a new way to experience Truckee in the fall? Austin Zimmerman of Trout Creek Outfitters in Downtown Truckee lets us know all the best fly fishing spots to check out this fall on page 28. Whether you are new to fly fishing or are a seasoned pro, you don’t want to miss this article.

Hows + Whys: How to Be a Mobility All Star

Did you know that Truckee is celebrating its Mobility All Stars? Check out page 30 to learn how YOU can be a Mobility All Star in Truckee. Emphasizing the value of alternative transportation methods to combat traffic congestion and reduce emissions in our

community, Mobility All Stars recognize the need to decrease vehicle emissions and embrace programs like TART Connect, Dial-aRide services, and BCycle, the Truckee electric bike share, to help preserve the region’s unique essence. The article provides practical guidance on using TART Connect and Diala-Ride, details the convenience of Truckee’s electric bike share system, and lets you know how you can nominate your very own Mobility All Star.

Explore: Hike (and Hunt) Through History

Fall is the perfect time to get out and hike in our beautiful community. Our Hike (and Hunt) Through History story introduces some of the historical interpretive hikes in Truckee that not only are beautiful ways to enjoy nature but that also provide insights into the region’s past. The hikes range from the Commemorative Emigrant Trail Interpretive Loop near Alder Creek, which offers markers describing the Donner family’s winter of 1846-1847, to the Kyburz Flat Interpretive Site showcasing anthropological history from Native American populations to the Basque. Turn to page 20 to plan your next fall hike.

As we head into this season, the Truckee Chamber remains committed to supporting local businesses and the community. Join us at events like the Top of the Town - 70th Annual Chamber Awards Celebration, Truckee Wine, Walk & Shop, or Truckee Historical Haunted Tours. Whether attending these events or simply enjoying our beautiful community, we look forward to connecting with you before the first snowfall.

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“Fall is the perfect time to get out and hike in our beautiful community.”

An Insider’s Guide Fall 2023

EDITOR: Jessica Penman President & CEO Truckee Chamber of Commerce

PUBLISHER: Kathy Hess-Slocum Just Imagine Marketing and Design

CONTENT DIRECTOR: Tiffany Connolly InBloom Marketing


Melissa Williams

DESIGNER: J. Lewis Falconer Art & Design

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Chris Talbot Tahoe Donner/Daphne Haugard

Tiffany Connolly Melissa Williams An Insider’s Guide is a quarterly magazine published by Just Imagine Marketing and Design in cooperation with the Truckee Chamber of Commerce


Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within Insider’s Guide. The Truckee Chamber of Commerce and Just Imagine Marketing and Design assume no responsibility for misinformation. Please contact the Chamber with any additions or corrections.

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Printed in the USA on recycled paper with soy-based inks. The official website of the Truckee Chamber of Commerce. Get Started Today 415-446-9344 | We Design, Build and Maintain Custom Landscape Environments SEE MORE

What’s happening...



Truckee Certified Farmers Market

Every Tuesday through October 17 at Truckee River Regional Park

Good Morning Truckee

3rd Tuesday of every month

Program of the Truckee Chamber of Commerce. A community forum to provide timely, relevant information on a variety of topics and create a networking opportunity. New time - program now starts at 8:00 a.m.

Entrepreneurs Roundtable

Last Thursday of every month

Monthly Peer-2-Peer Workshop for entrepreneurs, nonprofits and small business owners held at the Lift Workspace in Truckee, cosponsored by the Tahoe Prosperity Center, Truckee Chamber, and Sierra Business Council.

SEPTEMBER 16 Mexican Heritage Festival

SEPTEMBER 22 Top of the Town - 70th Annual Chamber Awards Celebration

SEPTEMBER 24 KidZone Family Farm Festival

SEPTEMBER 30 Oktoberfest at the Village at Palisades Tahoe

SEPTEMBER 30 Great Trail Race, Run, Hike, Walk

OCTOBER 7 Truckee Wine, Walk & Shop

OCTOBER 7 Heart of Gold Gravel Race

OCTOBER 12+13 Truckee Historical Haunted Tour SOLD OUT

OCTOBER 15 28th Annual Truckee River Day & Fair

OCTOBBER 20 Cocktail Bingo

OCTOBER 21 Big Truck Day

NOVEMBER 4 Truckee Ski Swap

NOVEMBER 16 Soroptishop

NOVEMBER 17 Annual Bud Fish Tree Lighting and Holiday Festival

DECEMBER 1, 8, 15 Festive Fridays (first three Fridays of December)


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Scan to see all the events going on this fall!
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Marisol Rocha

YEARS IN TRUCKEE My whole life... 25 years! I was born and raised in Truckee and left for college in 2016. I returned in 2021 and kicked off my professional journey.

WHY TRUCKEE I chose to come back to my hometown after earning my degree. The simple answer is the people— I have lifelong bonds with the people I grew up and went to school with. Nurturing your high school friendships in your adult life is a special thing. My parents embarked on a brave journey from Mexico in their early 20s, seeking opportunity and I’m just lucky they landed in beautiful Truckee, California!

BIG LIFE The AMAZING people you can find in Truckee. We have such a welcoming community and truly some of the friendliest people you can meet. There are tons of opportunities and room to grow if you’re passionate about something. And of course... Mother Earth! I may not be the average local who skis or snowboards but I sure do have an appreciation for our phenomenal surroundings and love to take advantage of the outdoors in the summer.

OCCUPATION Account Executive at East River Public Relations & Marketing


From the pandemic through snowmaggedon last winter, Truckee schools have been through a lot of challenges the past few years. But according to Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) Superintendent Chief Learning Officer, Kerstin Kramer, data shows that unlike many districts across the country, TTUSD did not see a “pandemic slide” of learning loss. Why? According to Superintendent Kramer, “The teachers, community, and families rallied to support our students. It was extremely difficult and there were many frustrations and bumps along the way, but the Truckee community pulled through as they always do when it comes to our kids’ education.”

Truckee has a variety of education providers that go beyond standard curriculum ensuring that TruckeeTahoe students are ready for college, career, and life.

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In June of this year, the TTUSD Board of Education Trustees approved a new Strategic Plan Framework that includes key areas of focus and initiatives for 2023-2026. The three key pillars of the plan are: Academic Achievement, Support Systems, and Community Connections. The Strategic Plan Framework is the result of more than a year of collaboration between TTUSD Trustees, leadership teams, teachers, staff, students, families, and community partners. This roadmap to identify priorities was established through a 47-person Task Force, small focus groups across the District and more than 800 community survey responses and 105 pages of student input across all TTUSD school sites.

The clear message that came through was that the TruckeeTahoe community greatly values our schools, teachers, staff, and the area in which we are fortunate to live and attend school. The framework provides clear initiatives and actions that support Academic Achievement: providing evidencebased instruction for all students to pursue pathways of a personal interest and earn a high school diploma; Support Systems: address the needs of learners through continued enhancements to safety and wellness programs, counseling, resources for achievement, effective learning environments and facilities and infrastructure; and Community Connections: proactively supporting belonging and inclusion for all students, families, educators and staff and to continue to develop strong community connections to each other and to the valuable and precious resources in the Truckee-Tahoe region.


Although most students attend the school closest to where they live, TTUSD is an open enrollment district, offering bussing to accommodate family choice.

All of TTUSD’s elementary schools exceed state education standards, but each TK – 5th school has a unique focus. Many students can walk or bike to Glenshire Elementary, which has an excellent arts program and was recently recognized as a 2023 California Distinguished School and in 2020 as a Gold Ribbon school by the U.S. Department of Education. Newly renovated Truckee Elementary is a “global school” with the most diverse student body and boasts the first Green Team, mentored by the renowned Envirolution Club at Truckee High. Donner Trail Elementary on the summit has small, multi-age classrooms with a science and environmental focus, utilizing the South Yuba River and national forest as an extension of their classrooms. It was recognized as a California Distinguished School in 2023. Some Truckee families take advantage of the option to attend Kings Beach Elementary, a Two-Way Spanish Immersion School, based on the 90/10 model.

Alder Creek Middle School (6th - 8th)

has been designated as a prestigious California “School to Watch” for meeting the unique needs of early adolescents. Its state-of-the-art classroom technology allows for one-to-one digital programming and collaboration to personalize learning.

Truckee High School (9th - 12th)

was named by the Washington Post as one of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools,” and it is a California Gold Ribbon School as well. Truckee High offers 15 AP courses - an impressive amount for the school’s size. Truckee High also offers several Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways, including nationally recognized “Project Lead the Way,” a bio-medical science and human body systems program that students receive both high school and college credit for. Other CTE courses include Food Service & Hospitality, Emergency Response, Engineering Technology, and Product Innovation & Design (the Gone Boarding program).

In addition to AP and CTE programs, Truckee High students are able to receive dual high school and college credit for a wide range of classes at no or low cost, due to TTUSD’s partnership with Sierra College.

Sierra High School (9th - 12th)

is a great option for students who might not excel in a traditional high school model. Sierra High provides individualized educational, emotional, and social developmental opportunities, including mentoring and vocational experience with local businesses. It also has on-site childcare, so students with young kids can complete their education to better provide for their new families.

Cold Stream Alternative School

offers an innovative program developed to meet the needs of families who prefer independent/home study or participate in extracurricular programs that require flexibility. Classes meet in the mornings, so students can take afternoon classes at Truckee High, North Tahoe High School, or Sierra College.

Sierra Expeditionary Learning School (SELS; K - 8th)

is a public charter school sponsored by TTUSD. The Expeditionary Learning curriculum is implemented through months-long, project-based expeditions and fieldwork that challenge students to think critically by asking guiding questions that students find the answers to through hands-on research and testing/exploration. It was also recognized for academic excellence as a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. SELS was a 2023 Californa Distinguished School.

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TTUSD is excited to welcome familiar faces into new leadership roles. When Superintendent Chief Learning Officer Carmen Ghysels accepted a position in San Rafael this spring, returning to her Bay Area roots, TTUSD was happy to announce in June that they had filled the top leadership positions from within. Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Kerstin Kramer was promoted to Superintendent, and longtime TTUSD educator and Truckee High School Principal, Logan Mallonee was promoted to the Assistant Superintendent position.

Superintendent Chief Learning Officer Kerstin Kramer

Kerstin Kramer brings three decades of experience as an educational leader, dedicating herself to serving students in various capacities. Her journey began as a middle school teacher, where she taught English Language Arts, Math, and Science for 15 years. During this time, Mrs. Kramer demonstrated her passion for education. From there, she transitioned into a teacher leadership role, serving as a district-wide science and technology Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for five years. Motivated by her commitment to professional growth, she pursued a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from the University of Washington.

Mrs. Kramer’s leadership skills led her to be appointed as the principal of Snoqualmie Elementary School, where she served for four years. Under her guidance, the school achieved remarkable success, earning three WA State Achievement Awards from 2012 to 2014, along with the prestigious 2014 School of Distinction Award.

In July 2016, Mrs. Kramer joined the TTUSD team as principal of Glenshire Elementary. During her six years in leadership, Glenshire Elementary flourished and was recognized as a California Distinguished School. Recognizing her exceptional abilities, she was subsequently appointed as the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for TTUSD in 2022. And most recently, she has been promoted to the role of Superintendent Chief Learning Officer, overseeing the entire school district.

As the Superintendent Chief Learning Officer, Mrs. Kramer is excited to serve the community and wholeheartedly believes in the potential of every student to learn and grow. She understands that when educators work together collaboratively, school districts can achieve the highest levels of student learning. Mrs. Kramer also recognizes the significance of family partnerships in fostering successful school districts, as families always want what is best for their children. Her leadership approach is centered around collaboration, and she looks forward to expanding her relationships with the Tahoe Truckee community.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Kerstin shares a deep love for the mountains with her husband, Dave. Together, they have raised two adult children. Kerstin finds joy in hiking, bird watching, reading, playing board games, and spending time with her family.


One thing that became clearer during and following the pandemic is that student mental wellness is key to student achievement and overall well-being. Although students overall held their academic ground, social connections suffered and there has been a significant increase in the need for mental wellness support in the past few years. It’s no surprise that support systems is one of the three main pillars/areas of focus in the district’s new Strategic Plan Framework. Fortunately, the groundwork for mental wellness support was laid years ago in TTUSD schools. The middle and high schools already had “wellness centers,” therapy certified counselors, and partnerships with wellness support nonprofits, such as Gateway Mountain Center (see Big Life Local Peter Mayfield, page 14) Adventure Risk Challenge, Aim High, and more. Glenshire Elementary also recently added a wellness center.

At the high schools, the TTUSD Wellness Program is designed to support high school students with access to community supports that address physical, mental, emotional, and social concerns while offering activities to increase their resiliency and overall well-being. The Wellness Centers provide a comfortable setting for students to drop-in during their breaks to ask questions, get support, or just relax. The Centers are furnished with cozy bean bag chairs, couches, art work, music, games, art supplies, and healthy snacks to make it a fun place for students to hang out. Wellness Centers are both a place for refuge for students and a place for group help meetings. Coordinated by Wellness Manager, Kim Bradley, the centers are a collaborative effort by the school district, community partners, and youth to improve the health of TTUSD high school students. In addition to the Wellness Centers, TTUSD has increased the number of counselors available to students, and counselors are able to connect students to county services for more long-term care at low or no cost.

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Higher Education Right in Your Backyard

The Tahoe-Truckee campus of Sierra College delivers high-quality education through smaller class sizes, excellent instructors, and modern and specialized course offerings along with a broad array of general education courses. Sierra College sits up on the hill above I-80 and CA 89. The 28,000 square foot green campus opened in Truckee in 2008. Many attend with the goal of transferring to CSU, UC, or private schools.

Signature programs include Social and Behavioral Sciences, Psychology, Business Accounting, Business Administration and Natural Sciences Transfer Programs. Growing programs include Administration of Justice and Mechatronics.

Sierra College also offers career and technical education programs, such as Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Accounting and Business Services, Mechatronics, and Human Development. Student services include a learning resource library, tutoring, academic counseling, and administration and faculty office hours. The Sierra College Tahoe-Truckee campus is a great benefit for anyone wishing to advance or change careers by completing a technical education program or pursue higher education courses while working, or to try out a new interest, such as photography or creative writing.


TTUSD is dedicated to providing an excellent education to prepare students for college, careers, and life. Truckee High School boasts a 99% graduation rate. Did you know that Truckee High has a class called “Adulting” that teaches students practical applications such as opening a bank account, creating a budget, how to apply for a job, to rent an apartment, and more? Truckee 2023 graduates are attending colleges near and far, from Sierra College, UC Berkeley, and UCLA to the University of Michigan and Illinois Institute of Technology to Georgetown, Vassar, and Columbia. TTUSD’s educators and counselors nurture many different talents and skills and recognize that college is not for everyone. Many of the Career Technical Education programs available are beneficial whether or not college is planned and provide clear career paths to great careers - several, like EMT/ Firefighting and Product Engineering and Design, right here in Truckee.

Workforce development is key to the long-term success of every community. Todd Wold, Manager of CTE, College and Career Readiness, and Adult Education, works directly with local businesses to help connect talented students with local jobs. One of the participating employers is Quality Automotive Servicing, offering an excellent salary and benefits package. Truckee High and Universal Technical Institute (Sacramento) graduate, Gary Gunter, is one of four Quality employees who took advantage of this program. Gary is now the General Manager of Quality Automotive Servicing and an expert advisor, creating a strong, positive culture at the shop.

Many TTUSD graduates go to college and enter the business world and realize that they love the quality of life in Truckee and return. You can find born-and-raised locals who have returned to Truckee working in hospitals, entrepreneurs with their own businesses, and many other business sectors.

When you walk into TTUSD’s main offices, you are greeted by a professional, sharp, young woman who graduated from Truckee High School in 2021 and is now working in TTUSD administration. Several TTUSD staff were Truckee High graduates as well, like Nik Fertitta, who returned as a social sciences teacher and assistant football coach and now his children attend TTUSD schools.

Marisol Rocha is a Truckee High and CSU Chico graduate who returned to Truckee for a career as an Account Executive for East River PR & Marketing (see her Big Life Local profile on p. 7). Marisol’s mom is a chef at TTUSD - part of a team providing scratch cooking for TTUSD schools.

From passing measures that helped greatly improve TTUSD facilities, connectivity, art programs, and libraries, to many nonprofits and individuals who support our local education system and offer scholarships, the Truckee community helps our schools to support our students. The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation partners with more than 100 scholarship committees to award local students more than $1 million in scholarships/year in 2022 and 2023. There are many great opportunities and support for Truckee students.

For information about Truckee schools outside of TTUSD in Truckee, please visit

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Peter Mayfield

YEARS IN TRUCKEE 19 years this time around, lived here in 1985 and ‘86 too.

WHY TRUCKEE I moved here for the glorious opportunities for embodied peak experience. Rock climbing and cross country skiing have been my major passions for 49 years. I loved climbing and skiing here as a youth, and still love it as much as a “master.” Equally important for me is a community inhabited by interesting thinkers who lean into new ideas to make the world better.

BIG LIFE Sharing nature with children! My life’s work is sharing this beautiful, spectacular Sierra region with thousands of youth and young adults. In many ways my love of this region is because it is easy to get to from Oakland. Helping underserved youth explore the top of their watershed at Donner Summit, while creating ever more effective and adventurous ways to support transformation through immersion in nature is my mission and my joy. The same for our local underserved youth. Very often, when we get kids born and raised in Truckee on a kayak or snowboard it is the first time they have had that opportunity. For very high-needs youth, those who suffer from serious emotional disturbance, complex trauma, and/or substance dependence, we go deep with serious, nature-based therapeutic programs. “Out of the Clinic and Into the Woods” is our motto and our mission.

OCCUPATION Founder and Executive Director of Gateway Mountain Center


With wide eyes, pink cheeks, and dirty hands, first graders jockey for position, getting a closer look at a selection of Tahoe’s “creepy crawlers” brought into their classroom. Deep in the forest, students learn about macro-invertebrates and indicators for a clean watershed. And across town, high school students are drafting proposals for single-use plastic bans they will present at the next Town Council meeting.

With the help of local partner organizations like the Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships (SWEP), Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS), and many others, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) students are receiving relevant, hands-on, and authentic science education for sustainability and environmentalism that results in self-identified, real-life changes that benefit the community, the planet, and future generations.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) describes environmental education that includes stewardship as “providing opportunities for participants to connect with local ecosystems and tools that can help them understand how individual behavior impacts the environment. These activities encourage people to take an active role in managing and protecting these resources.” TTUSD students are receiving stewardship education that is empowering them to take their knowledge outside the classroom and into our community, making measurable impacts right now: using their voices at the policy level, volunteering for restoration projects, mitigating waste at their school district, and so much more.

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TTUSD students are the next generation of our planet’s biggest advocates.

Learning From the Ground Up

Stewardship starts with knowledge—students use their understanding of local ecology and the delicate balance of our ecosystem to become activists in the community. SWEP and TINS are nonprofit organizations promoting environmental stewardship through school-based education programs. They provide real-world learning experiences for North Lake Tahoe and Truckee students, aiming to inspire them to understand and appreciate the local environment and engage in active stewardship.

TINS brings insects and more to the kids, helping them understand the ways local wildlife contributes to and benefits from healthy forests and watersheds. Their educators visit local classrooms to run programs like “Tahoe’s Bountiful Bugs,” “Tahoe’s Incredible Insects,” “Mysterious Bats,” “How Bats are Like People,” and “Tahoe’s Beautiful Birds.” The students and teachers anticipate these interactive learning experiences that align with national and state standards.

“With an abundance of screen time and packed schedules, in addition to recently coming out of the pandemic, a connection to nature is more important than ever for our youth,” says Sarah Hockensmith, Outreach Director for TINS. “Whether it is birdwatching, touching animal pelts, or observing local insects, TINS programs connect Tahoe and Truckee students to the natural world so they have a better understanding of the organisms that live in their backyard. Our programs promote a sense of stewardship of the local environment and spark curiosity in students to learn more about Tahoe’s local natural history.”

Students also engage in highly anticipated forest stewardship projects in collaboration with SWEP, TINS, and the Sugar Pine Foundation to plant sugar pine seedlings resistant to Blister Rust Fungus. Other fieldwork opportunities offered by SWEP and TINS immerse students in scientific explorations of the High Sierra and its watershed.

Student Scientists in the Field

Learning happens best when it’s authentic. The University of California at Berkeley (UCB) Sagehen Creek Field Station is a 9,000-acre experimental forest and live classroom off HWY 89, north of Truckee. Working alongside UCB, SWEP, and TINS educators, students visit the forest to engage in hands-on field study activities to assess the health of watersheds, learn about macro-invertebrates that live in Sagehen Creek, identify flora, fauna, and animals of the Sierra Nevada, study migration patterns, and more.

SWEP’s “Wonders of the Watershed” program provides handson science lessons to elementary students that explore issues impacting the Lake Tahoe Watershed, eventually culminating in an activity where students take action through a service project focused on improving its health. And the Tahoe Basin Watershed Education Summit partners high school students and teachers from the Tahoe Truckee region with resource specialists and resource conservation district personnel in an extensive watershed monitoring project in local places of need, including Meeks Bay, in collaborations with the Wahoe Tribe, the US Forest Service, and other partner organizations. Students from Tahoe-area high schools work alongside scientific professionals to engage in hands-on field data collection that is critical to developing future restoration activities.

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TINS’ extensive outdoor programming includes nature walks dedicated to natural local history, researching resident and migrating birds at bird banding stations, investigating the geology of the Sierra Nevada, exploring winter wildlife survival strategies, studying Tahoe’s Forest ecology, and more. TINS

These authentic learning experiences align with Next Generation Science Standards and facilitate an immersive exploration of scientific principles that give students the knowledge they need to engage in real action to promote sustainability.

Students as Activists

As students learn about our local ecology and ecosystem, they naturally begin forming their own ideas on being good stewards. Empowering students to act as advocates for issues they care about, SWEP leads Sustainability and Advocacy clubs for elementary, middle, and high school students at TTUSD.

At the high school level, Envirolution Clubs use art and performance to inspire the community and younger students. Elementary students’ Green Teams are interactive educational clubs that empower elementary students and teachers to be good global citizens by making changes at their respective schools. Middle school students’ Eco-Action Clubs explore green service learning projects that include waste reduction, reusing, recycling, composting, energy and water conservation, water quality, and pollution prevention.

“Action fosters hope. We feel our Sustainability Clubs give students a voice and a path toward creating the change they hope to see,” says Missy Mohler, Executive Director at SWEP. “Sustainability Club students attend town council meetings. Local students’ activism contributed to policy change concerning plastic straws and plastic bags, and they are currently participating in a potential plastic water bottle ban.”

The SWEP-led Sustainability and Advocacy clubs have empowered students to work closely with TTUSD to monitor waste in their 12 schools with an enrollment of over 4,000 students. They work to ensure that as much waste as possible is diverted from the landfill through organic waste diversion, best recycling practices, collecting electronic waste, and hosting Donation and Exchange Stations to reuse school supplies.

“TTUSD waste management programs connect to the sustainability clubs,” explains Missy. “It’s successful because

kids are teaching other kids and school staff how to do it right— separating recycling materials, organic waste, and so much more.”

The schools offer bulk milk dispensers, removed straws years ago, and implemented salad bars in every school in 2012 to increase bulk purchasing and offerings with less packaging. They cycle fruits and veggies into whole-grain breakfast muffins and bars, curbing excessive organic waste.

“We’re committed to values-aligned procurement, which includes purchasing locally grown, mostly organic produce and procuring beef that supports regenerative agriculture. Specifically, we are working with Richard’s Beef, Tahoe Food Hub, and Produce Plus in Kings Beach and procuring direct from farmers within 150 miles of our district boundaries,” explains Kat Soltanmorad, Director of Food and Nutrition Services.

These efforts, led by students, implemented by TTUSD staff and students, and guided by SWEP, were recognized with a Green Achiever award in 2018—the highest level California Green Ribbon Award a school or district can receive. California Green Ribbon Awards acknowledge excellence in resource efficiency, health and wellness, and environmental and sustainability education.

Students also receive knowledge about the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, the original stewards of Waší∙šiw ɁitdéɁ or “the homelands of the Washoe people.” In recognition of the native peoples who are the original, and ongoing, stewards of the Lake Tahoe basin, High Sierra, and surrounding areas, local students visit the tenets of the Wahoe Tribe: “Our lifestyles revolved around the environment; the people were part of the environment, and everything was provided by the environment.”

Students are imploring you: “What are you doing? Do one thing every day, whether it’s composting, choosing reusables over plastic, eating less meat, bringing your own bags to the market, or… ? Pick one thing that is contributing to a better planet, and dedicate yourself to that.”

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Exploring Tahoe Donner’s Business District

Spanning 7,300+ acres with more than 6,500 properties and 25,000 members, Tahoe Donner is one of America’s largest homeowner’s associations. Once thought of mostly as an area for second home owners, Tahoe Donner has gradually grown to include more full-time Truckee residents, particularly since the pandemic. Since 2020, the year-round population of Tahoe Donner grew by an estimated 22%. Although some of Tahoe Donner’s many amenities, like the beautiful pool, spa, and gym at the Trout Creek Recreation Center, are for members and their guests, others like the world-class Tahoe Donner X-Country Ski Center and several great restaurants are open to the public. If you don’t live in Tahoe Donner, you can still easily access it by bike or walking from downtown Truckee via the Trout Creek paved Class 1 bike path. The path is even plowed in winter.

There are also some private businesses that call Tahoe Donner home - from real estate to doctor’s offices, Z Market, snow removal, to a preschool and more. Here are just a few of the businesses that make up the Tahoe Donner business district.

Elements Mountain Co.

Elements Mountain Company is a snow removal and home services company celebrating its 45th year as a family business. They were first formed as a snow removal company but quickly expanded year-round, providing excellent asphalt, paving, painting, defensible space and tree removal, snow plow, and shoveling services. Elements was one of the first private companies to use a digital radio system, GPS tracking of snow removal tractors, and an interactive occupancy status tracking system. Their fleet of tractor plows is impressive, as is their employee retention (even in the most brutal snow removal years such as this past winter). They keep their employees well fed with company meals and a full snack cabinet, as well as many other employee perks and benefits. They have a strong community commitment as coaches and sponsors of youth sports and are regular donors to the Tahoe Donner Giving Fund and other community nonprofits.

Tahoe Getaways

Located in a beautiful building on Northwoods Blvd., Tahoe Getaways has been serving the entire North Lake Tahoe and Truckee region for more than 20 years. They manage every aspect of the rental experience for their clients. They have a solid team of dedicated professionals with decades of experience and modern tools that give them an advantage over their competitors. With a portfolio of 250+ homes, they take pride in helping clients find the right vacation home in Truckee-Tahoe that’s suited to their budget. From vacation rental sales to leasing, real estate consulting, and hospitality support, they are dedicated to delivering exceptional service to their clients.


Spirit Rebel Collective

Spirit Rebel Co. is a wellness studio located in Tahoe Donner that was founded by Kate Leist in 2022 and has just recently been remodeled. They offer group practices, gatherings, and individual sessions designed to guide people toward cultivating inner peace, vitality, and a deeper connection to self and the community. They offer affordable and accessible healing to our local community through yoga classes, a quarterly Community Wellness Event with donation-based yoga, breathwork, massage, energy healing, and more. They also offer a monthly or bi-monthly Community Acupuncture Day (donation-based) with Brianna from Whole Roots Health and Tara from Acuenergy and monthly or bi-monthly Community Massage Days (sliding-scale payment method). Spirit Rebel Co. also collaborates with Give Back Tahoe during their Give Back Tahoe event in the winter, offering donation-based and sliding scale classes. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation.

Tahoe Donner Association Businesses

We could write an entire magazine about the amenities and services that Tahoe Donner offers. Here are a few highlights. Visit the Tahoe Donner website to learn more.

Pizza on the Hill

It’s not surprising that Pizza on the Hill was voted best kid-friendly restaurant in 2023 by Sierra Sun readers. With delicious pizza, handmade pasta, classic appetizers, a good wine and beer selection, plus a nearby playground and cozy outdoor seating, it’s a go-to summer spot for families and anyone who loves good pizza. They also host a Saturday Music in the Meadow series in the summer, featuring bands that everyone will enjoy, and Monday night Bingo. Check their website for winter hours/possible closure.

The Lodge Restaurant & Pub

The beautiful Lodge Restaurant & Pub features a newly-remodeled outside pavilion where you can enjoy dinner Saturday and Sunday. The Lodge is an award-winning neighborhood bistro with plenty of outdoor seating and spectacular views. They offer a hand-picked wine selection and craft cocktail menu as well as serve local and organic meat and produce. The Lodge is open daily for grab & go breakfast from 7:00 - 11:00 a.m., lunch from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and open Wednesday - Sunday for dinner from 4:30 - 9:00 p.m. The Lodge also often has a lively bar scene and you can eat at the bar when they are open for dinner.

Alder Creek Adventure Center

With beautiful high, arched ceilings, huge windows connecting guests with the serene meadow and forest behind, and an airy, open feel, the Alder Creek Adventure Center offers an abundance of activities and entertainment. You can enjoy dinner Friday and Sunday as well as daily grab & go options at the Alder Creek Cafe and drinks at their Trailside Bar. It’s also your gateway to all the many adjacent outdoor options to choose from, including horseback riding at the Equestrian Center, mountain biking via Bikeworks, cross country skiing and snowshoeing at the world-class Cross Country Ski Center, and hiking and exploring the vast 60+ mile trail system. The Alder Creek Adventure Center also hosts a variety of seasonal events and offerings. Well-behaved dogs are welcome on the patio (except during cross-country ski season) as long as they are leashed, under control, and not disturbing other guests.

Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort

Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort provides families a unique and affordable ski experience. It’s a great place for beginners to learn, regardless of age. They offer ski instruction for children as young as 3 years old. At Tahoe Donner, you’ll find wide-open bowls, uncrowded slopes, gentle beginner terrain, excellent grooming, and a friendly, courteous staff. Their size allows Tahoe Donner to deliver that personal touch that the larger ski areas can’t always provide. Check back at the beginning of the season to sign up children for group lessons.

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Upon mentioning to a friend that we’re writing a story about Truckee’s historical interpretive hikes, she replied, “So you’re writing about all the cool hikes that tourists do and locals never do?” If you’re one of those said “locals” who have never experienced some of the incredible and informative hikes we’ve listed here, make it a point to do so this fall. It’s a great way to wrap up a busy summer season and reawaken that sense of wonder we often lose with the responsibilities of life.

You’ll find a brief overview of each hike below. We won’t give away too much history— you’ll have to go out and learn it for yourself. And, to make it even more fun, hunt for the answers to the “Find out” questions at the end of each hike description; you can find them on the trail markers. Happy hiking and hunting!



Just off HWY 89 north, past the Prosser neighborhood, pull into the Donner Camp Picnic Site to explore the Interpretive Trail—a ⅓ mile easy and accessible loop near Alder Creek, where historians believe the Donner family camped during that fateful winter of 1846-1847.

Markers dedicated to their nightmarish (their word, not ours) experience are placed strategically along the path. Those with a dark side won’t miss the irony of having lunch at the picnic area in the parking lot. For a lighter experience, the meadows, foliage, benches, and boardwalk provide a relaxing experience on one of the more scenic Truckee trails.

Find out: Which female survivor is depicted on one of the markers? Clue: She was four years old at the time of her rescue.


We imagine you have this magazine issue folded up and tucked under one arm as you head out to tackle every hike in this story. If so, Kyburz Flat Interpretive Site is just down the road from the Donner Camp Picnic Site, providing easy access for your adventures. Just continue north along HWY 89 for about 12 miles, pulling onto the dirt road on your right that leads to the historical site located a mile up. Kyburz Flat, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, will take you on a journey of anthropological history from the area’s Native American population to the Basque.

First, consider the lives of early humans as you experience 2,000-year-old petroglyphs known as cupules. Then, head over to the boardwalk lined neatly with markers telling the story of the original Henness Pass Road. This former bustling highway allowed for travel to mining camps along the Yuba River. See where More’s Station and Hotel used to stand, see the remnants of an old well, and imagine what life was like for the Basque as you gaze at their still-standing Sheep Camp Bread Oven.

Find out: How deep was the well at More’s way station that offered guests fresh drinking water?

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An Insider’s Guide | 21


Probably the prettiest interpretive hike on this list, the Donner Lakeshore Interpretive Trail is an easy 2.5-mile round-trip path with markers that discuss the area’s history and ecology. Children, leashed pets, and adults will enjoy this easy and informative walk.

The first markers remind us that we’re borrowing “these forests from our children.” Fifth graders at Glenshire Elementary created the ceramic tiles as part of a project to help students understand the complexity of the forest. Enjoy the hand-drawn images and words of wisdom created by some of Truckee’s past youth. A little further down, find informative markers outlining Donner Lake’s basic geology, local ecology, and Native American lives.

To access the hike, drive into Donner Memorial State Park ($10 per car entry fee applies) and leave your car at the Donner Lake Swim Area parking lot, where the trail begins.

Find out: The Glenshire students’ ceramic tile project was completed sometime in the 1900s. How old are those former 5th graders now?


If a train happens by as you’re standing on the trail of the old Boca Townsite, close your eyes and imagine life in the late 1800s in this once-thriving town of primarily men. They were here to work on the Central Pacific Railroad, mill lumber and harvest ice for the Boca Mill and Ice Company, and eventually brew beer. The Boca Brewery was a monster operation that produced 20,000-30,000 barrels annually and won awards at the Paris World Fair in 1883.

Some of the men moving to Boca did bring their families with them. As you meander along the trail, you’ll find remnants of a schoolhouse, an old cemetery, and tons of artifacts from homes, a postal office, train depot, hotel, Chinese Laundry, general store, dairy, butcher shop, brothel, blacksmith, saloon, and more.

The trail is exposed, so bring a hat. It’s also brimming with foxtails, so be careful about bringing your dog. The site is located along Stampede Meadows Road, over the railroad tracks, before reaching Boca Dam.

Find out: What was the population of Boca in its heyday?

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If you hike in far enough and you’re really quiet, you’ll hear bats chirping from high above. You can’t see them, but you’ll feel their presence as their sonar bounces off the rocks, walls, and floor, making it difficult to gauge exactly where they are. The Summit Tunnels wrap up this historical hike, during which you’ll step back in time and experience three significant pieces of Truckee’s history.

Start your hike on the shoulder of Old 40, just down from Rainbow Bridge. You’ll see a marker commemorating over 200 Native American petroglyphs estimated to be 1,500 to 4,000 years old. The geometric shapes can be hard to see, but if you look closely, you’ll eventually make out waves, swirls, and zigzags. Archeologists can only guess their meaning. When you’ve had your fill, look left to find a rock-lined path that will take you up toward China Wall. Be very careful not to step on the petroglyphs as you make your way up.

Hand-built by Chinese laborers, the 150-foot tall China wall was originally used as a traverse across the canyon as the Transcontinental Railroad was being built. “As they dug and blasted Summit Tunnel 6, they carried the rubble to the ravine just east of the tunnel. There they filled and perfectly fitted a dry fill (using no mortar) rock retaining wall,” writes Bill Oudegeest of the Donner Summit Historical Society in an article published in the Sierra Sun. He adds, “Take a look at how beautifully the rocks are laid together. Look at the tool marks from pry bars and star drills.”

Continue your hike to the right of China Wall to reach the Summit Tunnels. On your left, you’ll see Tunnel 7. You can walk in either direction to experience the extraordinary efforts of the Chinese rail workers to connect the east and west across an inhospitable and dangerous High Sierra Mountain Range. You have the option to bring a flashlights or headlamp. For the adventurous types, no light is needed, as plenty filters through various tunnel openings. However, if you don’t bring your flashlight, be mindful of the rocks and boulders that litter the floor—they can easily trip you up.

The Donner Summit Historical Society offers a wealth of information about the petroglyphs, China Wall, Summit Tunnel, and the entire transcontinental route that made its way across Donner Summit. Bill Oudegeest is the author of a 218-page historical book providing stories and maps to accompany nine walks and one hike along Donner Summit. It’s called Walking Through Donner Summit History, and you can purchase it online at pages/store.

Find out: What popular cartoon character is mentioned in the “About Graffiti” marker at the entrance to Tunnel 7?


An Insider’s Guide | 23


Right now while we’re enjoying “Tahoe summer” and are still on wildfire alert, it’s hard to imagine that winter is right around the corner, but Northstar, Palisades Tahoe, and Sugar Bowl are projected to open in just over two months - November 17, 23, and 24 respectively. In Truckee-Tahoe, winter is something to be prepared for. Truckee usually sees its first real snowfall in the early days of December, but it’s not unheard of to see some snow in October and we dance for joy when we see a good base of snow in November—start spinning those lifts! The resorts count the days until they can welcome us back for winter.

So, whether it’s your first winter or your 30th, it’s always wise to run through a quick checklist of winter preparation to-dos when fall comes around. In between school starting and planning for the holidays, winter has the tendency to sneak up on us all. Don’t be caught sliding down Northwoods because you haven’t put your snow tires on yet or dashing around putting your lawn furniture away in the first snowstorm. Use these tips and reminders over the next several weeks to ensure you’re prepared for when the snow starts falling.


Truckee has often been recognized as the coldest spot in the nation, but not during the winter ski season as one might expect. These nippy temperatures are noteworthy because they occur from June through early October, getting down to an average of 37 degrees on late-summer and fall nights. While it may be true, it really doesn’t give a true picture of Truckee’s pristine California weather pattern. Official temperatures are taken at the TruckeeTahoe Airport, located in Martis Valley. On clear nights, cool air from the high mountains sinks downslope into the valley, a high-elevation basin. The dense air mass settles into the basin, creating a chilled microclimate contributing to the chilly readings. As the sun begins to rise, so does the temperature, creating enviable summer and fall temperatures.

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Check for listings of local businesses to help with your winter preparedness.


• Drain sprinkler system

• Test smoke & carbon monoxide detectors

• Clear & clean gutters

• Test heating system

• Clean chimney and woodstove pipes

• Repair roof leaks

• Cut away branches that could fall on your home or other structures in a storm

• Get snowblower tuned up

• Sign up for snow removal service

Items to keep around the house:

• Salt or ice melt

• Antifreeze windshield wiper fluid

• Extra shear pins and oil for your snowblower

• Shovels (including a metal one for ice buildup) and Snohoe

• Candles, matches, battery or solar lanterns

• Alternative heat source

• Generator & extension cords

• Portable charger/power bank to keep phone & devices charged

• Battery or solar powered radio (pre-tuned to 101.5FM Truckee Tahoe Radio for local information)

• Get your car serviced

• Get snow tires put on (Insider Tip: Take care of it early! The lines at the local tire shops can get very long.)

Make sure you have:

• Ice scraper/brush and Snohoe

• Flashlight

• Shovel

• Blanket

• Warm clothes

• Phone charger

• Water & snacks (don’t leave snacks in the car for wildlife)

• Jumper cables

• Spare tire

• Flares, hazard reflectors or emergency flag

• Tire chains

• Windshield washer fluid

• Sand or cat litter to put under tires for traction

An Insider’s Guide | 25
phone charged and charger handy!
in your phone: Dispatch (530)
Caltrans Highway (800)
Public Works (530)
582-7707 Apps & web bookmarks: CodeRED Caltrans QuickMap


Who is the Truckee Chamber of Commerce and what do they actually do? That is what I am going to try (hopefully successfully) to explain in the next few paragraphs. No one dreams of being a Chamber of Commerce President & CEO when they are children and no one goes to school for it. A Chamber of Commerce is a special place. It is an organization at the cross section of community and business. I was drawn to this work because I love where I live. I want to make sure what I am doing on a daily basis is moving everyone forward, and through chamber work I have been able to do that. So let’s dive a little deeper into who the Truckee Chamber of Commerce is.

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Boosting Local Business Power

At the heart of the Chamber’s mission is our unwavering support for local businesses. Bringing together a diverse crowd – from mom-and-pop stores, remote workers, to industry giants – the Chamber acts as a bridge, connecting minds and sparking collaborations. This not only fuels our economic engine but also translates to better job opportunities for us, the residents. The Chamber focuses on programs that help to build a more vibrant business community and therefore a strong overall Truckee community.

Learning Hub and Community Builder

Education is key, and the Chamber takes this to heart. We organize enlightening workshops and events, such as Lunch

& Learns and Good Morning Truckee, which empower local business owners and employees with the latest skills and knowledge. But our focus doesn’t stop at businesses; the Chamber is the matchmaker between different groups that care deeply about Truckee. By fostering dialogue and collaboration, we work to tackle challenges and enhance our quality of life.

Advocates for Business

Ever wished someone had your back when important decisions were made? The Chamber steps up to the plate, acting as the voice for our business community. We engage with local government, politicians, and organizations to ensure policies make sense for everyone, fostering an environment where growth and prosperity can flourish hand in hand. The Truckee Chamber is excited to share our 2024 Legislative Platform with the community in late 2023.

Creating Community for Everyone

Yet there’s another layer to the Chamber’s impact: community connection. By creating spaces for interactions, be it at workshops, events, or networking sessions, we are nurturing a sense of togetherness among us. We work to foster connections that transcend business transactions, building a strong social fabric that ties us closer as neighbors and friends. This sense of belonging is what truly transforms a town into a community. If you haven’t yet, make sure to visit to sign up for our Big Life Connections program. It’s a great way to stay informed and connected.

In essence, the Truckee Chamber of Commerce isn’t just a fancy title; it’s the driving force behind our community’s vitality. Much like the compass pointing us towards adventure, the Chamber ensures that Truckee remains not just a place to live, but a place to thrive.

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Envision yourself hiking through a grove of aspens as the fall colors settle in. A subtle breeze flickers through the leaves, carrying with it a warm earthy smell rising from the soil beneath your feet. As you crest over a smooth slab of granite, you catch the first glimpse of clear blue waters. You’ve made it to the alpine lake you are soon to be fishing. In the lake, there are fish as bright and colorful as the leaves of autumn and as round as a pumpkin.

Fall of 2023 is going to be an exceptional season for fly fishing. The nearly record-breaking snowpack continues to bring cold water to the Sierra. Incredible wildflower blooms and clear skies cling to the twilight of summer. Soon, the leaves will turn from green to gold, orange, and red. The shoulder seasons are a favorite time among locals due to the light crowds and mild weather. It is the time for peace, solitude, and exploring the incredible Tahoe backcountry. Now is the perfect time for fly fishing!

Autumn offers some of the finest fly fishing of the year. Veteran anglers are gearing up for the season ahead at Pyramid Lake, home to the world record Cutthroat Trout. Fall is also the best time to pursue trophy browns on the Truckee River. If you like to hike, you will find that our high alpine lakes are loaded with brook trout, a voracious fish with vibrant vermiculation in mosaic colors: white-tipped fins with fiery orange bellies, halos of blue encircling punctions of bright red, and deep waves of black and forest green descending into golden hues reminiscent of the sunrise. The beauty of both the setting and the fish coalesce into a moment of fleeting perfection—this is fall fly-fishing on the Tahoe Rim.

Fall Fly Fishing in Truckee

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More Opportunities Than Days in the Season

For the avid fly fisher, fall is possibly the most anticipated season of all. The water begins to cool in mountain lakes and the fish emerge from beneath the thermocline. They can be seen eagerly feeding along the shoreline. Everything from Mackinaw to large lake dwelling Rainbow Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Brown Trout, Lahonton Cutthroat, Brook Trout, Tiger Trout, Golden Trout, and even Smallmouth Bass are available to the Truckee fly fisherman within a brief window of time. The options are endless this time of year and the fishing is excellent!

Truckee River Trophy Browns

It is no secret that the Truckee River is home to browns of trophy proportions. While they can be found year-round, September is the prime time to track down these hard-fighting and savvy wild fish. The Truckee River boasts fantastic public access via the Legacy Trail and several exits along the I-80 corridor. From the Town of Truckee, one can easily access the river along Glenshire Drive by way of several pullouts just off the side of the road. The Hirschdale, Floriston, and Farad exits all provide additional access to prime trout fishing waters. Trophy browns are often caught using streamers, crawdad patterns, and nymphs such as a Pat’s Rubber Legs, Pheasant Tail, or other mayfly imitations.

Back Country Brook Trout

If you want to find a little solitude, take a hike into the backcountry. Lakes such as Upper Velma, Fontanillis, and Aloha all provide excellent angling opportunities for those willing to make the hike. The fish in these lakes are some of the most beautiful you will find anywhere in the Sierra. Brook trout are often eager to take anything from a foam grasshopper pattern off the surface, to a damsel fly nymph stripped along the bottom. If you’re learning how to fly fish, fishing a backcountry lake is a great way to increase your chances of catching a quality fish. Lakes are beginner friendly and a safe place to bring the quality outdoor time to the family.

The World’s Largest Cutthroat Trout

If catching a trout over twenty pounds sounds exciting, consider checking out Pyramid Lake. This is a world-renowned, destination fishery, and it’s right in your backyard. Most days you’ll have to go early for the best chance at landing a trophy. However, the uniquely lunar landscape is worth the trip all on its own. The opportunity to witness the pastel sunrises of pink, red, and orange reflected off deep blue alkaline waters and otherworldly white tufa rock is enough to draw anglers back year after year. Add the potential for world-class fly fishing, easy access, and camping to the mix and it is easy to see why this lake is so popular among locals.

Most anglers fish Pyramid Lake from the shore with a “switch” rod for an easier roll-cast. The most common set up is an 11’6” six weight rod, with a twelve-foot tapered leader down to 1x tippet. Most fishermen prefer to suspend a midge or a balanced leech under an indicator. Leeches in a “Midnight Cowboy” color, or large red or black midges with silver or copper wire and a white bead, are popular choices for Pyramid Lake. Catching upwards of twenty fish a day ranging from five to twenty pounds is possible at Pyramid Lake.

Trout Creek Outfitters

Austin and his brother, Miles, opened Trout Creek Outfitters in downtown Truckee in 2020 with a small group of friends who are fellow anglers. Austin and Miles have been avid local fishermen from an early age. At the age of 10, when asked what he was going to be when he grew up, Austin replied, “A fisherman!” Along with all of the gear that you need to fish in Truckee, they provide daily fishing reports in the shop, sell fishing licenses, and publish a comprehensive weekly fishing report every Friday. Sign up for the Friday fishing report/ newsletter on their website:

An Insider’s Guide | 29
“Autumn offers some of the finest fly fishing of the year.”

The Hows and Whys of Truckee

How to Be a Mobility All-Star

The privilege to live, work, and—if you’re a parent—raise kids in Truckee is like snagging a VIP pass to life. We’re truly living the dream with the High Sierra as our backyard and a supportive community of like-minded people. But as we go about our days, driving kids to school and sports, making quick runs to the market for a forgotten ingredient, hitting the trail, or snagging a quick dip in the lake, frustrations mount quickly when we find ourselves creeping behind a long line of automobiles. And, as the saying goes, “If you’re sitting in traffic, you are the traffic.”

More significant than our annoyance, increased traffic also brings increased emissions. According to the Federal Transit Administration and United States Environmental Protection Agency, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 1 pound of carbon dioxide per mile and 4.6 metric tons of CO2 annually, respectively, while taking transit saves .64 pounds of carbon dioxide per passenger mile.

As stewards of the High Sierra, it’s our responsibility to recognize the impact of our daily choices on the delicate ecosystem and our role in preserving it. Embracing programs like TART Connect, Dial-a-Ride services, and the new Truckee electric bike share is crucial to safeguarding the essence of what makes Truckee so unique.


Since launch in July 2022, TART Connect, Truckee’s app based “door to door” transit service, has provided over 100,000 rides, drastically reducing the number of cars on our roads and reducing users’ carbon footprints and improving residents’ quality of life and visitor experience for our guests. Using TART Connect is simple. Just download the app at link/tart-download to book a FREE ride and TART Connect will pick you up and drop you off anywhere in the Town limits. And don’t forget the Town of Truckee and Placer County also offer both Fixed Route and Dial-A-Ride services serving the Town and North Lake Tahoe.

Truckee TART Local Route/ Fixed Route Services

Routes vary by the season. Find the current schedule and information on hours at Vehicles serve the Truckee Recreation Center, Regional Park, Downtown Truckee, Tahoe Forest Hospital and Medical Offices, Gateway Shopping Center, Crossroads Shopping Center, Donner State Park, and all the way to the west end of Donner Lake. Seasonal services are also provided from Truckee to Northstar Village as well as year-round service to North Lake Tahoe.

Cost: Free!

Truckee Dial-A-Ride

The Town’s other door-to-door service is offered year-round to the public, with priority service for seniors, persons with disabilities, and ADA-certified riders. Dial-A-Ride is available for trips within the Truckee Town limits, seven days per week. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance of your trip.

Cost for one-way:

• ADA-certified riders - free

• Adults: $6

• Seniors and children: $2

To reserve a ride, call (530) 550-7451

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If you have yet to try Truckee’s electric bike share, get your ride in now! The Truckee BCycle system currently offers 50 pedal-assist electric bikes that can be checked out from over 100 docking stations clustered throughout the town, from the Truckee River Legacy trailhead in Glenshire to Donner Lake. Operating from May through October, weather permitting, the bike share system will take a break during the winter months.

Download the BCycle app at grabbing a bike effortless, with real-time updates on bike and dock availability.

1. Buy a pass via the kiosk near the bike station or on the BCycle app

2. Choose your bike

3. Ride

4. Return the bike to any station with an open dock

5. Repeat

Station locations:

• Glenshire Legacy Trailhead

• Truckee Town Hall

• The Rock Shopping Center Bus Stop (FiftyFifty Brewing Co.)

• Donner Pass Road / Round House Way

• Donner Pass Road / Truckee Way

• Shopping center at Wild & Ruff and Drink Coffee Do Stuff

• Eagle Plaza (Donner Pass Road & Spring Street)

• Drink Coffee Do Stuff

• MOBO Law

• RMU Truckee

• Pocket Park, across from Alibi Truckee

• Truckee Way at Coburn Crossing/Springhill Suites

• Henness Rd / Edwin Rd

• Tahoe Forest Hospital


• Meadow Park

• Cold Stream

• Donner Lake East End Beach

• Donner Lake Shoreline Park

• Donner Lake Boat Launch

Complete information on station locations, bike availability, and “how to ride” can be found


To highlight the success of the Town’s Mobility Programs, the Truckee Town Council has developed a “Mobility All Stars” Award. Do you know someone who regularly uses TART Connect and/or TART to get around? Nominate them by sending their name and story to nominate@townoftruckee. com, and they may be featured as a Mobility All Star and earn a FREE monthly pass to the Town’s BCycle Bike Share Program.

Mitigating Risk

TDPUD takes action to reduce the risk of fire ignition from our equipment. We clear vegetation from power lines, and ensure defensible space on our properties, just like all Truckee residents should. And if you’re ever wondered why we have more and longer power outages in summer and fall, it’s due to a safety setting in our system that reduces fire risk.

PSOM Outages

NV Energy may shut power transmission to our area during times of severe wildfire risk. Visit to learn how to prepare for these outages.

Stay Connected to TDPUD

The best way to stay informed during an outage or an emergency is to enroll in TDPUD’s text alerts. Visit for a step-by-step guide for how to sign up.

An Insider’s Guide | 31

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