Fall Foliage – Hike or Bike Truckee’s Trails

Truckee in autumn is a special time of year – with stunning fall foliage,  crisp mountain air and an atmosphere as relaxed as your sweater, it’s a perfect place to unwind. Right now fall colors are at their peak. Golden Aspen and Cottonwood trees are set against dark pines with beautiful low-lying red brush accents. Whether you drive, walk, bike, hike or paddle – you don’t want to miss nature’s show of color in the Sierra. There are so many great trails in Truckee to explore. Check out some of these:

Legacy Trail

A 6-mile paved Class I bike path starting at the Truckee River Regional Park (or on the east end of the path, at Glenshire Road, just before entering the Glenshire neighborhood sign). This beautiful path winds along the Truckee River with a bridge over Martis Creek and is a popular trail for bikers, runners, dog walkers and families.

Donner Lakeshore Interpretive Trail
2.5 mile path along Donner Lake, with Donner Memorial State Park history and ecology exhibits along the way. The deciduous tree stands are particularly beautiful if you continue to China Cove Beach and do the loop trail on the east side of the lake.

The Tahoe Donner trail network offers 60+ miles of all purpose trails that showcase beautiful overlook views from mountain peaks that gaze over the alpine valley floor of Euer Valley.  In addition to the great trail network, Tahoe Donner hosts great amenities offered at the Alder Creek Adventure Center where you can wrap up your ride or hike with a steaming cup of hot cocoa, cider, (and food during select hours). 













Martis Peak Hike
The ground cover and shrubs on this hike are beautiful in the fall as well as the trees; you can do all or part of an 8 mile hike from just south of Brockway Summit on HWY 267 to the Martis Peak Fire Lookout, with about 1700 ft in elevation gain and views of Lake Tahoe. It’s also a great vista to watch the sunset (don’t forget your headlamp).

Sagehen Creek Trail
2.5 mile single track trail from 89N at Sagehen Creek to Stampede Reservoir.

Waddle Ranch Preserve
Hikers and nature lovers enjoy this hike through meadows and over creeks that leads to Lake Ella and Martis Creek Lake in Martis Valley. The trailhead is located just off of Hwy 267 before Northstar.

Loch Leven Lakes
HIke leading to four lakes at the end of Donner Summit Trail.

Commemorative Emigrant Trail
A single track trail following Alder Creek through Tahoe Donner. You can park off of 89 north for the most popular section of the trail, out to Stampede Reservoir and skirting Prosser Creek and reservoir, following in a historic path of pioneers in the 1800s.

Sawtooth Trail
Single track trail starting near the Ponderosa Pines neighborhood with great vistas; most popular for mountain biking. .

Donner Camp Trail at Alder Creek – Historical Site
Interpretive 1/3 mile trail with plaque commemorating where part of the Donner Party camped near Alder Creek, trapped during the severe winter of 1846-47.

Prosser Creek Reservoir
A popular local recreation spot, four miles from downtown Truckee with single track and dirt roads weaving through the woods and around the reservoir. Camping is available at the north end.

Lakeshore Interpretive Trail
2.5 mile path along Donner Lake, with Donner Memorial State Park history and ecology exhibits along the way.

Donner Summit Canyon
The trails of this historic area off of Old Hwy 40 on Donner Summit follow clear creeks and look directly down on Donner Lake. Only non-motorized vehicles are allowed on the trails that follow the old train tunnels.

Martis Creek Wildlife Area Trail
4.1 mile easy to moderate hiking loop.

Johnson Canyon
Trails leading through Johnson Canyon (formerly called Negro Canyon) connect with Summit Lake to the west or Glacier Way and the Donner Rim Trail in Tahoe Donner to the east.

Trout Creek Trail
Walk, jog, or bike from historic downtown Truckee at bridge street to Tahoe Donner up a beautiful canyon filled with pine forests and Aspen trees. Listen to Trout Creek babble and birds sing while you enjoy this trail’s secluded feel.

Donner Lake Rim Trail
Multi-use single track trail on the mountains and ridges above Donner Lake.