Day Hiker

Truckee River Legacy Trail

By: Mary West
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I was just going to go for a drive. I headed east up Interstate 80. I kept driving. Before I knew it, I saw signs for Truckee. I figured that was far enough and planned to turn around. I took the 188A exit to Truckee then took a right onto Donner Pass Road. Taking the freeway back seemed like a waste of a great day for a drive, so I took a left on Glenshire Drive for a mile and a little bit. This is where I saw the sign for the Truckee River Legacy Trail. I pulled into a nice gravel parking lot and Googled the trail. The history is long. One can only wonder as to what all of California looked like a few hundred years ago. The Truckee River Legacy Trail is a chance to imagine.

From the town of Truckee website: “The native Washoe name for this stretch of the Truckee river is Wáta ’íyel or “big river.” Before non-natives arrived, the Washoe had villages and fish camps all along the river.”
My drive turned into a leisurely walk with my dog Stella. The view from ground level was a big departure from most of my hikes. Little to no elevation change here. Yet the view of surrounding peaks was impressive. Familiar friends — Anderson Peak, Tinker Knob and Mount Judah are all in view.

Some paved and some decomposed stone paths, sturdy bridges and good signage are all nice additions to this walk. It truly is more of a walk than a hike. Flat meadow with a river running through it. The trail was great in summer, I can only imagine it in spring. I may have to return in spring, so I don’t have to imagine. 

Glenshire Drive is just one of the trail heads. Six entry points are found along the five-mile trail. I found this trail relaxing, clean and easy. I find most of Nevada’s trails to be clear of trash. The signage is usually above average.

If you are looking for different scenery and don’t mind the drive, consider the Truckee River Legacy Trail.

Mary West is the author of Day Hiker a collection of columns from the Auburn Journal newspaper where she shares her longtime love of the outdoors, and favorite day hikes in Placer, Nevada, El Dorado and Yuba counties. Mary was among three recipients of the Outdoor Writers of California Craft Award in 2017 for Best Outdoor Newspaper Column. Learn more about local trails by following Mary on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.