There’s something simplistically beautiful about fall in Truckee Tahoe that makes us want to get outdoors. Whether you have an afternoon for a family hike, a full day for a big climb, or a long weekend, you are sure to find a trail that suits your needs. So lace up those shoes — here are seven wonderful fall hikes in Truckee and Lake Tahoe to enjoy the autumn colors before winter arrives.
A short drive north of Truckee, Lacey Meadow near Webber Lake offers a stunning hike at the headwaters of the Little Truckee River. The out and back trail is wide and mostly flat which makes it a good choice for families with children. Budding naturalists should remember to bring their binoculars; this is an amazing trail for birdwatching!
Looking for a gorgeous picnic spot? Perazzo Meadows is it. Two picnic areas on bluffs above the river invite you to sit and stay awhile, so pack a picnic lunch! Please remember to Leave No Trace as this site sustains a number of rare species and plays a vital role in the Truckee River Watershed.
Hey peak baggers, have you crossed off the highest peak in the Tahoe National Forest? At 9143 feet, Mount Lola is the highest Sierra Nevada peak north of Highway i80. The trail takes you through forests, meadows, along Cold Stream to the summit, where you get breathtaking views of Independence Lake and White Rock Lake below.
Paige Meadows in Tahoe City
Paige Meadows is a moderate, 5-mile loop with beautiful aspens and is regarded as one of the best places in Tahoe to see fall colors. The trails in this area offer great biking and beautiful hiking.
Sagehen Creek Trail
Up north 89 you will find a wonderland of trails at all difficulty levels. Sagehen Creek is a moderate 5-mile there-and-back trail that boasts vivid fall colors. The trail starts on 89 about 7 miles from Truckee. You will find the trailhead tucked away to the right (if heading north from Truckee) immediately after a highway bridge for Sagehen Creek. If you hit the Little Truckee, you’ve gone too far. The trail will follow the creek all the way to the southeast arm of Stampede Reservoir. The trail is great for bringing along youngsters, dogs, and picnics.
Mt. Rose Wilderness Trail
Mt Rose is one of the highest peaks on the North Shore and it displays a lot of flora. With two different loops and intersections of the Tahoe Rim Trail and the Ophir Creek Trail, Tahoe Meadows is a great place to explore Mt Rose. If you’re coming from Truckee, take 267 to 28. Head east towards Incline Village. When you get to the roundabout before Incline, head left towards Highway 431. You will drop down into a valley before the summit of Mt. Rose. We suggest parking at the first loop (the first parking area in the meadow on the right). From here, you can meander along the Meadow Loop. From there, you can catch the well-marked Tahoe Rim Trail. The trail has a moderate climb but will summit you at a vista point of Lake Tahoe. If you are interested in the Tahoe Meadows trail only, it is a very easy trail. Most of it lies on a boardwalk and is handicapped-accessible. Dogs and children will love the trail as well.
Spooner Lake Trail
Spooner is a scenic drive down East Shore Tahoe from Truckee. The lake lies in a State Recreation Area that is almost at the intersection of Highway 28 and 50. The trail is an easy 2.5-mile loop that follows the shore of the lake. It is great in the fall because of the many Aspens that grow in the area. There is a fee for entering the park. It is handicapped accessible, child and dog-friendly.