Visit Lower Carpenter Valley in Truckee


Just over the ridge from Tahoe Donner’s Crabtree Canyon, but long hidden from public view, the 1,317 acres of Carpenter Valley offers grand scenery, lush meadows carpeted by wildflowers, and the chance to see wildlife (black bears and bald eagles) in their natural environs. Once owned as a fishing retreat by newspaper publisher James McClatchy and two of his friends, the area has recently been preserved from development under a $10 million deal with the Truckee Donner Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy and the Northern Sierra Partnership.

The Land Trust is now planning new trails and readying the property for public access. For now, however, the only way to visit this extraordinary place is through docent led hikes by the Truckee Donner Land Trust . You can find their schedule and register online here.

Parking: 5 Points

1. There is no parking lot, and there is no trailhead. You will need to park wherever you can along the side of the road.

2. You will know it is time to find a parking space when you reach a closed gate. The closed gate is approximately 3/4 of a mile beyond the power lines.

3. Carpenter Valley Road is quite narrow. When parking it is absolutely imperative that you leave room for large emergency vehicles to pass. If you have even the slightest doubt about whether you have left enough room for emergency vehicles, move your car.

4. We are extremely concerned about fire potential. Before leaving your parked car, look carefully around your vehicle to make sure that you are not parking near or upon any dry grasses or any other easily combustible materials. If you are, move your car.

5. Park nose out toward Alder Creek Road. In other words, once you see it is time to park, turn your car around, and then park. Should an emergency arise, this will help us evacuate the area as quickly and efficiently as possible.