National Geographic hails Truckee as one of world’s best ski towns
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Truckee has found itself in good company sitting among the world’s best ski destinations, earning a distinguished accolade from the editors of National Geographic Adventure as one of the world’s top 25 ski towns.
The article, which was published this month, breaks down what constitutes a classic ski town. Truckee is celebrated as “an inviting mountain burg steeped in ski heritage, amenities, and culture.”
Truckee is heralded as being a relaxed town where locals live. Squaw Valley, famed for its extreme terrain, is referred to as Truckee’s “alpha mountain,” and calls out Northstar, Sugar Bowl, Tahoe Donner and Soda Springs reflecting the variety of terrain and opportunities nearby.
The article has some fun exploring what makes a place really tick by asking local luminaries for insider tips. Truckee’s own Daron Rahlves, four-time Olympian, 15-year member of the U.S. Ski Team stepped up to answer the journalist’s questions, recommending his picks of where to stay, play, and party.
Visit http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/trips/best-ski-towns-photos/ and scroll along for Truckee.
“This article provides the reader with a sense of Truckee’s colorful history and authentic charm, and also makes it clear that we sit right in the midst of many world-class ski resorts,” said Lynn Saunders, president and CEO of the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce. “Truckee’s mountain culture and fun-loving lifestyle are a draw for people who live here, visit here, and for those who decide that they want to be part of our remarkable community, by moving here.”
Other ski towns making the elite list include Telluride, Colo.; Stowe, Vt.; Park City, Utah; Jackson, Wyo.; Ketchum, Idaho; Girdwood, Alaska; Chamonix, France; Zermatt, Switzerland; Niseko, Japan and Wanaka, New Zealand, among others. *******************************************************************************
Truckee is 40 miles from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento and three hours from San Francisco directly off Interstate 80. Contact the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce at 530-587-2757 or visit www.truckee.com for more information.
Photograph by Hank deVre, Squaw Valley
Best For: Families with aspiring ski or rider rock star kids; also, ski and rider rock stars
In the Sierra Nevada north of Lake Tahoe, between Reno and South Lake Tahoe, the old logging and railway town of Truckee has bloomed into a ski mecca, with no less than eight different ski areas within 15 miles. The first recorded ski lift in the U.S. was a Truckee steam-powered tobaggan lift in 1910, and the burg still maintains much of its Old West character, with wooden walkways in its historic downtown and a still active, clapboard train station (Amtrak service twice daily). Its population of 16,180 is growing fast, but the relaxed town has managed to eschew the glitz of the larger Tahoe resort scene. This is where the locals live.
With many of its ski areas receiving some of the highest average snowfall totals in the country—more than one ski area ran lifts on the Fourth of July this past year—it’s easy to understand why the locals choose to live here. Famed for its extreme terrain and appearances in countless ski movies, Squaw Valley is Truckee’s alpha mountain, with six distinct peaks, a superpipe, and plenty of bleached hair and mirrored goggles. It’s called “Squallywood” for a reason. A recent merger with neighboring Alpine Meadows, a family favorite, will, when connected, create the one of the country’s largest ski areas. Northstar, six miles southeast of town, is an intermediate’s paradise; Sugar Bowl has steeps that rival Squaw but with fewer crowds; Tahoe Donner, right in town, and nearby Soda Springs are perfect for beginners.
Ask a Local
Daron Rahlves—four-time Olympian, 15-year member of the U.S. Ski Team, and current Sugar Bowl ski ambassador—moved to Truckee with his family when he was 19 and is now raising his own children there. Here are his recommendations.
Budget: The historic Truckee Hotel
Swank: Resort at Squaw Creek is ski-in, ski-out at Squaw
Cheap: Tacos Jalisco, a classic taqueria
Gourmet: Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar, in a former ski lodge overlooking downtown
Best After-Ski Party Spot
Pastime Club is a happening dive bar.
Best Rest-Day Activity
Take a dogsled ride at Sugar Bowl or jump in Lake Tahoe.
Truckee’s Classic Ski Run
Rahlves’ Run at Sugar Bowl
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