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Winter Sightseeing



Cave Rock  |  East Shore

Drive through one of the area’s natural wonders – Cave Rock, the neck of an old volcano. The area is named for the small caves above Highway 50 that were cut by waves when Lake Tahoe was 200 feet higher during the ice ages.



Courtesy Donner Summit Historical Society ·

Donner Summit  |  Truckee

Donner Summit, just west of Truckee, holds the record for the United States’ snowiest April. On April 1, 1880, a storm dumped 4’ of snow on the Sierra Nevada west slope within 24 hours. A massive snow slide near Emigrant Gap buried Central Pacific Railroad’s tracks under 75’ of snow, ice and rock. For the rest of the month, storm cycles continued to flow in, dropping a total of 298”.



Eagle Rock  |  West Shore

Eagle Rock, one of the lake’s famous natural sites, is a volcanic plug beside Highway 89 on the West Shore. Trail to top on south side.



Fannette Island                 

(530) 541-3030 | parks.ca.gov

Lake Tahoe’s only island located in Emerald Bay home to an old tea house. Boat access only. (Closed Feb. 1-June 15 for nesting birds.)



High Camp | Olympic Valley

9 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily
(800) 403-0206 | squaw.com

Aerial tram rides with views of Lake Tahoe, Olympic Heritage Museum, pool & hot tub, ice skating, events and more. Ticket required. TART


North Tahoe Arts Center  | Tahoe City

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Mon. | Free
(530) 581-2787 | northtahoearts.com

Featuring changing exhibits of work by local artists, along with a gift shop featuring items from local artisans. TART



Tahoe City  |  North Shore


Located at the junction of the West and North shores, Tahoe City is a popular area for shopping and dining with a number of historical sites within easy walking distance. At the wye (junction of Highways 89 & 28), visitors can see the Tahoe City Dam, Lake Tahoe’s only outlet, and Fanny Bridge. Peer into Watson Cabin (1909) in the center of town for a glimpse at pioneer life (open for tours in summer). Free parking lots at Commons Beach, Grove Street, Jackpine Street, and the 64 acres at Highways 89 & 28. TART




truckeehistory.org |  truckee.com

The historic town of Truckee was settled in 1863, and the town grew quickly as a stagecoach stop and route for the Central Pacific Railroad. The town became a rowdy, mountain town filled with railroad workers and loggers, gambling houses and saloons. During these early days, many of Truckee’s historical homes and buildings were built including The Truckee Hotel (1868) and the Capitol Building (1868).

The area surrounding the Truckee Depot is a bustling shopping district with Commercial Row and Brickelltown. Stop by the Depot for a walking tour. Paid parking downtown with free lot on Donner Pass Road next to Beacon. TART 




Donner Summit Historical Society  |  Soda Springs


The Historical Society has a museum at the corner of Old Highway 40 and Soda Springs Road. There also is a 20-mile long interpretive driving tour along Old 40. Maps online or at museum. TART



Emigrant Trail Museum  |  Truckee

10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
(530) 582-7892 | parks.ca.gov

The ill-fated Donner Party suffered through the harsh winter of 1846-47 camped around Donner Lake and Truckee. The Donner Memorial State Park features exhibits and artifacts on the Donner Party at the Emigrant Trail Museum, and the towering Pioneer Monument.



Gatekeeper’s Museum   |  Tahoe City

Noon-4 p.m. Wed.-Sun.
(530) 583-1762 | northtahoemuseums.org

Featuring historic photos, the Steinbach Indian Basket Museum and local historical memorabilia. TART



KidZone Children’s Museum   |  Truckee

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Fri. | 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Closed March 6-14
Locals’ first Tues. half price
(530) 587-5437 | kidzonemuseum.org

A great place for kids up to age 7 with interactive exhibits, science and art classes, the BabyZone for newborns to 18 months and the Jungle Gym for toddlers and older. TART



Incline Village & Crystal Bay Historical Society  |  Incline Village

Daily | Free | tahoehistory.org

Features a local history exhibit focusing on 1870 to 1970, along with a “Bonanza” exhibit, in the Starbucks building, corner Tahoe & Village Blvds. TART



Courtesy Bill Briner ·

Museum of Sierra Ski History & the 1960 Olympic Winter Games  | Tahoe City

10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily | Free

Features official 1960 Winter Olympic items such as skis, promotional literature, collection of official Olympic photographer Bill Briner. Learn the history of skiing in the Sierra. Inside the Boatworks Mall. TART



Olympic Museum  |  Olympic Valley

9 a.m. – 4 p.m daily
(800) 403-0206 | squaw.com

Squaw Valley, host of the VIII Winter Olympic Games in 1960, celebrates its Olympic History with the symbolic Tower of Nations and Olympic Flame at the entrance to the valley. The Olympic Museum at High Camp features historic memorabilia and photographs. Tram ticket required. TART



Tahoe Maritime Museum  |  Homewood

10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Fri.-Sun. until March 30
(530) 525-9253 | tahoemaritimemuseum.org  

Featuring guided tours, exhibits and hands-on activities for kids on Tahoe’s Maritime history. TART



Tahoe Science Center  |  Incline Village

1-5 p.m. Tues.-Fri. & by appt. | Free
(775) 881-7566 | tahoesciencecenter.org

University of California, Davis, operates a science education center on the Sierra Nevada campus. Exhibits include a virtual research boat, biology lab, 3-D movies and docent-led tours. Ages 8+. TART



Truckee Railroad Museum  |  Truckee

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. & holidays

Operated by the Truckee Donner Railroad Society, the Truckee Railroad museum is located in a caboose next to the Truckee Depot. Exhibits include the train’s role in logging, fighting snow on the railway, the role of Chinese emigrants and a children’s area. TART



Western SkiSport Museum  |  Donner Summit

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Fri.-Sun. | Free
(530) 426-3313, ext. 113 | auburnskiclub.org

Showcasing the history of skiing, exhibits include snowshoes from the 1850s, ski equipment from the 20th century and a pair of 8-foot-long skis used by John “Snowshoe” Thompson, a legendary mail carrier. Located at Boreal off I-80. TART


Visitors’ Centers

Kings Beach
Kings Beach State Rec. Area, Wed.-Mon. (summer)

Incline Village
969 Tahoe Blvd., (800) 468-2463

Tahoe City
100 North Lake Blvd., (530) 581-6900

10065 Donner Pass Road (Depot), (530) 587-8808

U.S. Forest Service, Incline Village
855 Alder Ave., (775) 831-0914 (Wed.-Fri.)

U.S. Forest Service, Tahoe City
3080 N. Lake Blvd., (530) 583-3593 (Fridays)

U.S. Forest Service, Truckee
10811 Stockrest Springs Road, (530) 587-3558