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Home - Hiking - Upper Truckee River

The Upper Truckee River

click for Upper Truckee River photo gallery

As the largest watershed in the Tahoe Basin, the Upper Truckee is a very important waterway. Its headwaters (including tributaries) include the Stevens Peak and Red Lake Peak area near Carson Pass, both sides of Echo Peak, the south and eastern drainages of Ralston Peak, Grass Lake (meadow), and Big Meadow. These area provide hiking, fishing, mountain biking (in some areas), and backcountry skiing opportunities to many in the area. Fishing season for Lake Tahoe tributaries is July 1-September 30.
As the Upper Truckee flows towards Lake Tahoe it becomes more gentle, especially when it reaches its flood plain. The river flows through the Lake Tahoe Golf Course and often you will see family and friends tubing down the river here. Points for entry include the Highway 50 bridge near South Upper Truckee Blvd. and the Hwy 50 bridge at Sawmill Road. When the water is high enough you can float all the way to Lake Tahoe.
The final stretch of the river had been straightened during the 50's and the wetland habitat had been buried by up to six feet of fill during the construction of the Tahoe Keys subdivision. The Upper Truckee River and Meadow restoration project has returned much of this to a more natural condition in efforts to improve Lake Tahoe's declining clarity.

Related links
Physical Description of the Upper Truckee watershed.

A Doubtful River - Takes a hard look at man's practices which have turned the Truckee into what it is today. Focuses mostly on the Truckee, rather than the upper (see insert from

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Last Updated December 2, 2008