Exploring the Truckee River

posted by Sharon July 29, 2018 37 Comments
Truckee River, Lake Tahoe

Every spring people wait eagerly for the Truckee River to fill with runoff from the snow-covered mountains. Once the river is healthy, it’s rafting season!

Truckee River, Lake TahoeWhy Is the Truckee River Important?

The Truckee River is much more than a place of recreation, though. It is the only outlet from Lake Tahoe. The lake is more than 70 miles around and is about 1,000 feet deep in places, yet there’s only one way any water flows out. Truckee River, Lake Tahoe

This single outflow contrasts with dozens of creeks and waterfalls going into the lake as snow melts. The largest and most picturesque of these is Eagle Falls, above Emerald Bay. Healthy snowfall the last 2 years makes for tumbling, roaring falls. Truckee River, Lake Tahoe

Truckee River, Lake Tahoe

The Lake Tahoe Dam

The Truckee River owes its water to the Lake Tahoe Dam. Opened in 1913, the dam controls the top six feet of water in Lake Tahoe. It’s 17 gates are opened to let water out, and this is what forms the Truckee River. A Gatekeeper lived here for decades, but now the operation is controlled remotely by computer. You will see a differing number of these gates open if you come by on more than one visit. Truckee River, Lake Tahoe

Truckee River, Lake TahoeTruckee River, Lake TahoeIn front of the dam in Tahoe City is a bridge where people often stop and lean over to look at this fascinating river. Picture the people leaning and looking down to water and you’ll see how the name “Fanny Bridge” came about! Truckee River, Lake Tahoe

Truckee River, Lake TahoeIn back of the dam is a forest area where you can picnic or rest after your walk along the trail. We were there on a hot day, so a sit-down in the shade was welcome.  The views from here are so peaceful.Truckee River, Lake Tahoe

Truckee River, Lake TahoeTruckee River, Lake TahoeTruckee River, Lake TahoeYou can also walk along the back of the concrete dam, where the Bureau of Reclamation helpfully provides old photos and a written history of the dam. You can compare water levels year by year. The last two years have boasted a stellar amount of snowfall and water, coming after a year of extreme drought. We were at the Truckee River 3 years ago and walked across a totally dry riverbed. It’s heartwarming to see the river flowing along again. Truckee River, Lake Tahoe

Truckee River, Lake TahoeThe Truckee River Bike Trail

This winding path along the river is paved-over railway tracks on the train route between the town of Truckee and Tahoe City, which is on the northern edge of Lake Tahoe. The path is open to bikers and walkers. You can ride for about 8 miles round trip with no steep mountain hills to battle. You’ll be afforded constant views of the flowing river while riding among the tall pines. We packed a lunch and then enjoyed a picnic sitting on rocks about a foot from the rushing water. Truckee River, Lake Tahoe

Truckee River, Lake TahoeTruckee River, Lake TahoeTruckee River, Lake TahoeTruckee River, Lake TahoeSpending a day at the Truckee River will leave you refreshed, whether you’re rafting in the water or biking and strolling on the banks. Truckee River, Lake Tahoe

If you have time, also plan a visit to the charming old town of Truckee, with its railway depot, bookstores, and cafes.

How about you? What’s your favorite lake or river getaway?

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37 Comments

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Su-sieee! Mac July 29, 2018 at 4:52 pm

I love your photos of splashing water on the rocks. Just looking at them refreshes me. It has been years since I’ve visited the Lake Tahoe area. Once upon a time backpacking in the Desolation Wilderness was an annual thing for me. I’m sure glad I have those memories, some of which you’ve brought to mind. Thanks, Sharon.

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Jesh StG July 29, 2018 at 9:42 pm

This looks like a great river to follow and see the dam, as well as to do river rafting! Love especially your capture of several of the gates, and not to forget your doggie:) The cutest thing! Didn’t know a train was running there! Thank you Sharon for sharing the water fun around Tahoe-Truckee with All Seasons! Enjoy your week -hope Southern Call is not as hot as it is here!

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Teresa July 30, 2018 at 6:17 am

Those are some of the most beautiful photographs! Please link up with me at http://nanahood.com/beautiful-hands I would love for my readers to see your photos. They are just stunning. I would love to see that in person!

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Carol July 30, 2018 at 6:52 am

A gorgeous area I’d love to explore!

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Tamar Strauss-Benjamin July 30, 2018 at 7:58 am

The water is so blue!!

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Pat July 30, 2018 at 10:44 am

The Truckee River area looks so pretty and with so much to see and do!
Colorado has many mountain lakes and many creeks and rivers that I love. People here also like to kayak, raft and float on tubes down the creeks,

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Photo Cache July 30, 2018 at 10:44 am

I am giddy seeing your photos; places I’ve seen and captured with my own camera as well, but I’m really excited to see the beauty you captured.

http://calrat.blogspot.com/2018/07/ireland-day-3-limerick.html

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Eileen Wise July 30, 2018 at 10:52 am

Hello, pretty view of the Eagle Falls and Lake Tahoe. The dam is interesting. Great post, Enjoy your day and new week ahead!

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Fun60 July 30, 2018 at 11:24 am

You captured the area beautifully for us to share.

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Laurie July 30, 2018 at 11:25 am

Wow! Beautiful pictures! This looks like an awesome place to visit. Thanks for the information. I love the Lake Tahoe area, but have never explored the river this thoroughly.

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image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup July 30, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Very nice photos – so pretty!
Thanks for joining this week’s linkup at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/07/how-to-make-peanut-disappear.html

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Marie-OR July 30, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Hello Sharon! Gorgeous photos as always. I’ve never been to that area, and would love to go some time.

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rupam { xhobdo } July 30, 2018 at 7:41 pm

Amazing place. Beautiful pics.

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Lady Fi July 30, 2018 at 9:21 pm

How very gorgeous!

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// Heidrun July 31, 2018 at 5:42 am

Fantastic captures for Image-In-Ing!

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dee Nambiar July 31, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Last year we followed the river all the way to Pyramid Lake. 🙂

I’d love to see Eagle Falls the next I go up to Tahoe. And will add the dam to the list. Thank you for the ideas Sharon.
Lovely pictures. 🙂

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Judee@gluten Free A-Z blog August 1, 2018 at 1:49 am

Thank you for this beautiful display of exquisite photos! the river, the colors, the foliage are just breathtaking.

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California Globetrotter August 1, 2018 at 5:37 am

I grew up spending summers in Truckee as a kid bc my family has a cabin up there. I miss it as it’s been quite a while since I’ve been, but I’ve actually never seen the dam! I also didn’t know that it was the only outlet for Lake Tahoe! Just showed my husband your post to show him a bit of my childhood! #WanderfulWednesday

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Emese August 1, 2018 at 7:10 am

Wow! Such a gorgeous place to spend a summer day! Love your photos. Thanks for the tour. #WanderfulWednesday

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Sarah August 2, 2018 at 6:04 am

Never heard of Truckee River before. But those blues are stunning! Looks like a fabulous visit…and the pup enjoyed it too!

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Bridget (Nutty Hiker) August 2, 2018 at 6:16 am

Definitely adding this to my bucket list when we visit the Lake Tahoe area! What a beautiful place!

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Rhonda Albom August 3, 2018 at 2:22 am

I have been in Tahoe City several times but I never stopped to look at the dam. All of Lake Tahoe is gorgeous. Hiking above Emerald Bay is a favourite of mine.

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Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid August 3, 2018 at 11:36 am

What a beautiful spot! It’s hard to believe the river was dry just a few years ago. Mother Nature is so clever! Side note: Your dog is so cute!

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Angie (FeetDoTravel) August 3, 2018 at 9:56 pm

I’ve only done white water rafting once, admittedly it was on Grade 5 rapids down the Zambezi River, but that was enough for me haha. But I do love looking at Rivera and lakes, and it’s good to hear the waters here are deep again. #feetdotravel

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Paul and Carole August 4, 2018 at 1:48 am

Looks a great place to have some fun, such stunning scenery too. P.S your dog is so cute! #feetdotravel

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Jenn | By Land and Sea August 4, 2018 at 5:02 am

Your pup is so cute! And, I feel like I’ve seen this place in a movie?! Either way, it looks beautiful – what a great experience.

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Jill August 4, 2018 at 9:03 am

I fell hard for the town of Truckee on my first visit a few years ago – though it was too chilly for enjoying the river – and I’d love a return trip. Maybe the next time I can enjoy the river!

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Paul August 4, 2018 at 10:13 pm

This looks really beautiful, Lake Tahoe is definitely on the list and hopefully soon. There’s so much of the states I still need to viist. Have pinned for later!

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Shona August 5, 2018 at 12:31 am

A day at Truckee River looks like it would do wonders for the soul. Some interesting facts and stunning photos. I’ve pinned for later. 🙂

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Agness of eTramping August 5, 2018 at 3:58 am

I love rafting and the Truckee River seems like the perfect place for it, Sharon! Those landscapes are causing the travel bug to itch me and I really hope to explore this place. Is it possible to go hiking there?

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Anna August 5, 2018 at 12:32 pm

I haven´t been to Tahoe City yet and of course, would love to explore the Truckee River one day! I live by the sea, so for some reason don´t do lake or river getaways as often as I wish to!!! Thanks for the inspiration! #feetdotravel

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Skyler (Learningbrave) August 5, 2018 at 8:31 pm

Oh wow this post made me want to jump right in now!! What a gorgeous part of the world! I hope to make it there with my family, thank you for the inspiration #FarawayFiles

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Erin Gustafson August 6, 2018 at 2:58 am

Lake Tahoe is so beautiful isn’t it?! We only toodled through Truckee on our road trip from Denver back to Oregon several years ago. But that clear blue water and those green trees were seriously stunning. Love the idea of a float on the river or a bike ride along the path. Any idea how cold the river is? I’m assuming pretty darn cold. When we visited the lake late June it was still frigid – can only imagine how chilly the river is! Great photos – thanks for sharing. #FarawayFiles

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Anda August 6, 2018 at 1:29 pm

I’ve been in Truckee many times, but always in winter. It looks so beautiful in summer though! #TheWeeklyPostcard

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Travel Lexx August 7, 2018 at 9:02 am

Great photos and looks like a great place to explore after checking out Lake Tahoe! I haven’t even heard of the Truckee River until now and it’s somewhere I’d definitely check out if I had a little more time in the area on my last visit!

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Stephanie (1AdventureTraveler) August 8, 2018 at 4:39 am

Great photos and facts about the Truckee River. I would love to bike the walkway along the river. How fun with those views! Tahoe is lots of fun but didn’t know the lake flowed into the river. Thanks for sharing! #feetdotravel

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Kreete August 9, 2018 at 2:18 am

Stunning place! I can’t believe how clear the water is! It must be all the snow that has melted. I must say I love the cycling track! I’d probably go walking there and be on the way haha!

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