“Locals Summer” Come to Truckee in the Off-Season


When the sun rises, the Tuesday following Labor Day, people in Truckee and around Lake Tahoe look forward to a new season - “Local’s Summer.” This is the time of year when locals feel like they have this special spot on the map a bit more to themselves, and this is why you should come visit. Shhh, this will be our little secret.

While visitors wait for the snow to fall and ski season to start, Truckee residents are taking a deep breath from a busy summer and embracing cooler temps, less traffic, and wide open trails. If you thought the Lake Tahoe Area was beautiful before, take a drive up in September or October and you’ll have the serenity to match the beauty. Here are three reasons we, local residents, encourage you to come on over before the snow flies.

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Three Words: Cozy, Peace, and Quiet

Have you ever woken up on Sunday morning, ready to head to the coffee shop for a mellow start to the day, only to find long lines and caffeine induced chaos? You most likely left the city to get a break from this but here it is anyway. Well, local’s summer is here and that cozy corner you were looking for is waiting. Local cafes, bars, and restaurants will still have a comfortable number of people coming in and out but you will notice that more of them are members of the community and are happy to welcome you in. Your barista or bartender will have a few extra minutes to say hello and offer advice on what they think you might like during your visit. Overall, you will feel more at home and Tahoe will show you its slower side this time of year. Try Dark Horse Coffee for a caffeine boost or Pianeta for a relaxing dinner during your time in Truckee.

A Place with a View

Truckee, Donner Lake, and Lake Tahoe all have endless opportunities for outlooks, roadside pull offs, and Ansel Adams esc photo ops, but many times when you arrive the views are littered with others catching a glimpse at the surrounding beauty. There is good reason for this, it’s stunning; but wouldn't it be nice to have an empty Donner Summit Bridge for a family photo or a sunrise paddle off Chimney Beach to yourself? This time of year, there is a decent chance you will, and yes, it’s as magical as it sounds. Don’t get too cocky, the Emerald Bay lookout will most likely have a few cars in the lot, but it will be better than not finding a place to park!

Epically Empty Trails

Whether you’re a mountain biker, trail runner, or hiker there might not be a better time to take advantage of empty trails around the lake. We love that people come from around the world to visit specifically to enjoy our trail systems, they are worth the travel. But when the kids go back to school and the traffic slows down on I-80, its a good sign that frequently used areas such as the Rubicon hiking trail or the Flume Trail for mountain bikers will be a safe bet for putting the “wild” back in wilderness. With less traffic on the trail we encourage you to stop along the way and truly enjoy the sounds of the Sierra and the beauty that engulfs your view in every direction.

The reasons are endless to visit the Truckee/Tahoe area during “Locals Summer.” It is not a time when people from the area feel entitled to their town, but rather a time where community comes together to enjoy the mountains and embrace any visitors who come for a special look at the place they call home.

Truckee LifeMichael Arriola