Trail from Truckee to Squaw Valley still in the works |

Trail from Truckee to Squaw Valley still in the works

Truckee is still in the planning phase for the next exstension of the Truckee River Trail that will stretch to Highway 89, while Placer County is working on extending the trail from Squaw Valley to Truckee.
Hannah Jones/

Trails have long been a priority of Placer County, which is looking to continue construction on the Truckee River Trail from Truckee to Squaw Valley.

“The trail is paramount in connecting the communities on the shore of North Lake Tahoe with Truckee,” said Kansas McGahan, Placer County senior engineer.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement in May with the town of Truckee to share the cost of the section of trail at the intersection of West River Street and Highway 89, which sits on the border of Nevada and Placer County.

The project will include shared trailhead parking as well as a bridge across the Truckee River.

According to a Placer County staff report, there is an economic benefit and cost savings by coordinating engineering and design efforts of that section of trail.

Currently, Truckee is working on Phase 4 of the Truckee River Legacy Trail which will stretch along West River Street between Brockway Road and Highway 89. However, it will be another two to three years before construction begins, according to Dan Wilkins, Truckee public works director. He said this is due to number of land ownership and environmental issues that must be resolved as a part of the project.

Following the completion of Phase 4 to the west end of Truckee, planning will begin for phase 5 of the trail which will expand it to Donner Lake.

Currently Placer County is looking to stretch the trail from Truckee to Squaw Valley.

“We’re looking at opportunities to increase public access to the Truckee River, connecting public campgrounds and opportunities for day use parking,” said McGahan.


Based on community input from a public workshop held last fall, McGahan said they know they need to respect the privacy of riverfront property while providing an alternate form of transportation.

“Private property and homes are going to be avoided,” said McGahan, adding that the project proposes several new bridges to achieve this, and will use both sides of the river. She said they anticipate another public workshop in September prior to finalizing the plan. After a plan is approved they’ll move forward with environmental documents and design.

“It’s a tremendous asset for our community, not only for recreation but more and more of our employees are using our trails for transportation,” said Supervisor Cindy Gustafson, who represents North Tahoe on the Board of Supervisors. “It really does help people commute and get out of their vehicles.”

In October, an additional 2.2-mile of paved trail opened extending from the existing trail in Tahoe City from Dollar Drive along State Route 28 to Fulton Crescent Drive. The new edition of the 10-foot wide trail expanded the lakeside trail system to connect the neighborhoods of Cedar Flats and Highlands into Tahoe City and Squaw Valley.

This portion of the trail was the first addition the county had made to the trail since 2012. Before the addition a trail existed from Dollar Point through Tahoe City, south 10 miles to Sugar Pine Point State Park and from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley Resort. The trail picks back up in Truckee at the Legacy Bike Trail and stops near the Truckee Airport.

The county plans to eventually complete a trail that loops around the resort triangle, from Tahoe City to Kings Beach to Truckee and back up Highway 89 to Tahoe City.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at or 530-550-2652.

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