Truckee River


Difficulty 1 Beginner
Length 2.0 miles round trip to bridge
6250 feet
Navigation Adjacent to plowed road and map
Time Few hours
Season January through March
Snowmobiles Low
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Tahoe City
Start From the bridge across the Truckee River in Tahoe City, drive south (west side of Lake Tahoe) on Highway 89 for 0.3 mile, turn west (right) onto a lesser road, and drive 0.2 mile to a parking area.


The Truckee River provides a corridor along Highway 89 for cross-country skiers. When deep snow makes skiing difficult elsewhere or when you have only an hour or two to ski, this tour provides a pleasant opportunity to stretch your legs.

The background noise from the nearby highway is an obvious drawback to this tour. Although the season for this tour is January through March, because the route crosses back and forth across the Truckee River it can only be done when snow and temperatures permit the crossings. It goes without saying, be very cautious when crossing the river! Also, your exact route will depend on the condition of the river.

Mileage Log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Miles: 0.0 - 0.3
Elevation change: Nil

From the trailhead (1) ski west for 0.3 mile until you reach a drainage (2) that heads south; power lines cross the river at this point. It may be necessary to take off your skis to cross a plowed road in this section.

Miles: 0.3 - 0.5
Elevation change: Nil

Ski west along the south side of the river, staying in the trees, for approximately 0.2 mile, and then descend to the river (3). Descend to the river at a location where you can ski along it. In a heavy winter it may be possible to avoid this section in the trees.

Miles: 0.5 - 1.0
Elevation change: Nil

Ski west along the river, crossing it where necessary, for 0.5 mile until you reach a bridge (4). If you can and desire to, continue to ski west along the river until the conditions do not permit you to continue.

Miles: 1.0 - 2.0
Elevation change: Nil

Retrace the route for 1.0 miles back to the trailhead (1).

Link to elevation profile
Link to waypoint data
Link to full page map
Link to see and submit reviews and corrections about tour