10 Ways to Responsibly Enjoy Truckee & Lake Tahoe During Peak Summer Season

Face covering downtown Truckee

With positive COVID-19 cases increasing in California, Nevada, and across the country, Lake Tahoe and Truckee communities are appealing to travelers to wear masks to help keep businesses open and have outlined how to prepare in advance to make the most of time they have planned in the mountains this summer. Before traveling to Truckee, read through our Know Before You Go guide and stay up to date on the most recent updates and information.

10 Ways to Responsibly Enjoy Truckee & Lake Tahoe During Peak Summer Season (With Your Mask!)

Visit Truckee in Fall

#1 Reconsider Peak Season Travel & Have No Regrets

It’s no fun to struggle for a parking spot on Donner Lake, only to come back to a pricey parking ticket. And why pay peak season rates when the best time of year is just around the corner? Fall – Aspen trees will turn to gold, fewer folks will be on the trails, hotels and mountain home rates will lower and you’ll enjoy shorter waits in grocery stores and at our restaurants.

We know it’s challenging now. You’re itching to meet up with other families, friends, and escape to the mountains. But at the moment, it’s not safe to merge households and crowded recreation takes the joy out of this vacation you’ve so wanted, needed, and deserve. Don’t let down your guard and stop social distancing to be with people outside your household. If you are staying overnight with us, stick to your own household bubble at your lodging hotel or mountain home.

Family at Donner Lake

#2 Spread Out Over 40 Public Beaches

Explore public beaches scattered throughout Truckee and Lake Tahoe. Plan your visit for the off hours, either early in the morning (sunrise) or later in the evening (late afternoon), to avoid crowds and parking issues. Have a backup plan if parking for beaches looks tight, never double park or park in someone’s driveway.  Tickets and towing are no fun. Whenever you are outdoors, please wear a face covering if social distancing is not possible.

To take full advantage of the public beaches and docks in Truckee, book lodging near Donner Lake. And remember, if you plan a visit in the fall instead of peak summer, you can have these special spots to yourself! Learn more about Lake Tahoe’s beaches, West End Beach Park at Donner Lake, and Truckee’s lakes, reservoirs, and rivers

Coffebar Truckee woman wearing face mask

#3 Wear Your Face Covering

Face coverings are now required in California in public places with some exceptions. Whether you’re planning to eat out at a restaurant, shop at a retail store, or hike on local trails, make sure to wear a face covering. Wear one to take care of yourself, keep others safe, and to ensure places like Truckee and Tahoe stay open for business. Here are our Top 5 Reasons to Wear a Face Covering and answers to the top Frequently Asked Questions.

#4 Know Before You Go

Set yourself up for success and plan for COVID restrictions ahead of your visit. Start by reading through the following “Know Before You Go” details compiled by North Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, and Truckee if you plan to spend time in any of these regions. Then, contact your hotel or lodging properties and other businesses directly for clarity on their individual policies and guidelines. If you’re spending time on the trails, seek out off-the-beaten-path hikes and follow these guidelines on masks and hiking etiquette.

Jax at the Tracks server wearing a face mask

#5 Choose Outdoor Dining

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, local ordinances have been relaxed to allow for more outdoor dining in Truckee and Lake Tahoe. Seek out Truckee’s spacious patios, porches, and decks and enjoy mouth-watering takeout or outdoor dining for your next meal. Most importantly, don’t forget your face covering when you get ready to eat out. You are permitted to remove it while eating but for everything else – ordering, entering & exiting, waiting in line, picking up takeout – you must wear a face covering.

Hiking in Truckee

#6 Enjoy the Mountains Without a Campfire or Fireworks

Fire safety remains a top priority for the region and Truckee’s district wide fire ban went into effect June 15. All campfires and anything that burns solid fuel are prohibited. Campfires continue to be the leading cause of wildfires in the Tahoe Basin; it is important for visitors and residents alike to know that open-flame devices and all fireworks, including sparklers and firecrackers are not permitted. Learn how you can do your part to STOP wildfires from burning down Truckee and Lake Tahoe. Fire restrictions are also in effect in North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe.

Hiking with face coverings

#7 Go for a Hike With Your Household

Venture into the wild and consider seeking out some of Truckee-Tahoe’s less traveled trails. Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll for the whole family or a longer trek with steep switchbacks and stunning views, there’s something for everyone. Please remember to recreate with members of your household only (mixing households is a leading cause of recent cases in Truckee and Tahoe) and always wear a face covering when passing others. Learn how to plan for off-the-beaten-path hiking and follow this guide on masks and hiking etiquette while you’re on the trail. Find the perfect off-the-beaten-path hike in North Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe or Truckee.

Wear a face mask and practice social distancing on Truckee's Legacy Trail

#8 Explore on a Bike!

Whether you prefer paved paths or dirt trails, Lake Tahoe and Truckee have an extensive trail network for cycling enthusiasts of all experience levels to enjoy. From the new Tahoe East Shore Trail to paved trails that surround the lake and the Truckee Legacy Trail, to mountain bike trails throughout the region, make a plan and ride in North Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe or Truckee. Follow this important hiking etiquette and always wear a mask on paved paths and trails.

Paddleboarding on Donner Lake

#9 Get on the Water

There are plenty of ways to experience Truckee and Lake Tahoe’s high alpine lakes. Kayak. Standup paddleboard. Wakesurf. Water ski. Parasail. Jet ski. Explore the Lake Tahoe Water Trail. Human-powered or not, the options are extensive. Rental operators and experiences are linked on destination websites: South Lake Tahoe, North Lake Tahoe, and Truckee. Plan an early morning or evening water excursion to soak in the gorgeous sunrise or sunset and avoid crowds.

#10 Feel Good About Doing Your Part – Leave No Trace

Other rules and regulations are changing fast, but one thing remains the same – whether recreating at the beach, on the trail or elsewhere in Tahoe and Truckee, you can help Take Care of Tahoe by packing out and securing trash, cleaning up after dogs, not leaving cigarette butts behind, or allowing any kind of pollutant into the lake. Learn how to keep Tahoe and each other healthy and safe at takecaretahoe.org.

Enjoy Truckee and Lake Tahoe responsibly this summer! Follow these tips from North Lake Tahoe on responsible travel this summer to the Truckee/Tahoe region:

Traveling Responsibly in North Lake Tahoe from North Lake Tahoe on Vimeo.

Siobhan Kenney

About Siobhan Kenney

Siobhan traveled the American West as a National Park Ranger before setting down roots in Truckee. Outdoor adventure is her bread and butter and most days you can find her skiing, trail running, or backpacking.  Follow along with her adventures on Instagram @siokenney.