Active + Adventure

Great Summer Mountain Towns

by Sarah Tuff

Truckee, California

The hills are alive with: The Wild West

Elevate yourself: One-armed bandits—as in slot machines—may rule other parts of Lake Tahoe. But Truckee, which sits in the Sierra Nevada at an elevation of 6,000 feet, has a more authentic Wild West vibe—think gunslingers, gold, and mountain men. Settled in 1863, the town hasn't changed much since: False-front shops still flank a historic railroad depot, while an old-fashioned soda fountain operates at Bud's Sporting Goods. In fact, rather than constructing elaborate western sets, many Hollywood filmmakers lug cameras to Commercial Row and just set up. In the summer, Truckee's a base camp for wakeboarding the town's own Donner Lake and tackling the nearby Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165-mile ring around Lake Tahoe built for hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers. But early August is when the town really wakes up with Western Week, a jackpot of barrel racing, cowboy poetry, and the PRCA Truckee Championship Rodeo. Slip off the cowboy boots at the Cedar House Sport Hotel, a new 42-room lodge that's (happily) more influenced by hip European architecture and green design than kitschy western Americana.

Peak time: August, for Western Week and the Truckee Rodeo

Truckee Championship Rodeo
Tel: 530 587 5555

Cedar House Sport Hotel
Tel: 530 582 5655
Doubles from $180

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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