Start of summer: Visitor responsibility key as season looms

With school out for many, places like Donner Lake will be popular destinations this summer.
Justin Scacco /

The splash just off one of Donner Lake’s public piers created by a leaping pup in pursuit of its toy is one of many scenes marking the unofficial start to summer in the Truckee-Tahoe area.

Visitors are already flocking to the area as schools from other regions end for the year, bringing families and others.

With summer still a couple of weeks away, local agencies are already spreading messaging centered on fire safety, safe boating, and visitor responsibility.

In the coming weeks, Tahoe Donner’s West End Beach will be filled with visitors.
Justin Scacco /


In May, North Tahoe firefighters were dispatched to a water rescue in Tahoma after receiving reports of two people in the water.

A witness stated the victim had a hold of a boat’s ladder, but was unable to climb it. The victim later submerged and never resurfaced.

The U.S. Coast Guard retrieved the victim, who was attended to immediately by paramedics and later determined to be dead by Tahoe Forest Health.

The water temperature that day, according to authorities, was 45.

A cold shock response can occur at water temperatures 50 and below, affecting breathing and constricting movements.

Waters in Lake Tahoe don’t begin to warm until well into July. North Tahoe Fire recommends boaters always wear a life jacket, use an engine cut-off device, keep an eye on the weather, and make a float plan.


Driving around and finding parking in Truckee and North Tahoe during peak times can ruin a day out.

This year, TART Connect is coming to Truckee, connecting the free, on-demand shared shuttle service operation to North Tahoe.

The cost of the pilot project, which will make use of Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transportation Connect branding, is estimated to be $460,977. The contract was awarded by Truckee Town Council to Downtowner, Inc.

Riders will be able to request point-to-point, on-demand rides using the TART Connect mobile app, which provides real time information with estimated pickup times and mapping with the location of the scheduled vehicle. The application will be similar to other ride-sharing apps offered by transportation network companies.

Those who do not have access to a cellular device can book a trip by calling 530-214-5811. In addition, the contractor will provide all drivers and a fleet of seven passenger vans, with one additional backup vehicle. Two of the vehicles will have wheelchair accessibility, and all vehicles will be equipped with bicycle racks.

Passengers can then connect with routes to Northstar, Olympic Valley, and Alpine Meadows. Routes also run to Tahoe City and go as far south as Tahoma on the West Shore and Incline Village on the East Shore.

Last summer, TART Connect programs in Tahoe City saw 14,194 passengers. Kings Beach had 11,040 passengers, and Incline Village had 24,256 passengers.

Truckee Vice Mayor Lindsay Romack has worked with Placer County’s Department of Public Works on North Tahoe’s Connect program.

“I have been able to see how successful it’s been, so I’m very excited for it to come to Truckee,” said Romack. “I’ve also gotten to see a lot of data that comes in and it’s incredible.”

For a full list of hours and stops, visit


The past two summers have brought with them surges in visitation as people looked to escape the restrictions brought on by COVID-19 by recreating outdoors.

After first launching in spring 2021, the Visit Truckee-Tahoe’s travel alert page on its website became its most visited page throughout the following summer.

The page shows breaking information, along with links to resources like weather, traffic, and webcams.

In Truckee, Visit Truckee Tahoe has doubled down on its trail ambassadors following a winter that left a lot of litter along the area’s trails, according to CEO Colleen Dalton.

“Our winter ambassadors were just reporting back images and images of trash everywhere,” said Dalton. “We’ll have double the folks out there (this summer).”

Ambassadors will be stationed and patrolling key Truckee trailheads in order to educate and inform trail users on how to recreate responsibly, while also watching out for illegal campfires.

Visit Truckee-Tahoe has also switched out its 36 informative trail signs with summer messaging, urging visitors to not litter or make fires, and to share the trails.

In North Tahoe, officials are urging visitors to take a pledge to protect and preserve the environment, check weather conditions ahead of a visit, observe wildlife from a respectful distance, and exercise extreme caution during red flag conditions.

For more information, visit

Justin Scacco is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at


The Truckee-Tahoe area boasts numerous summer events, beginning this weekend with the 19th annual Truckee Day street cleanup and barbecue block party.

Saturday: Truckee Day Street Cleanup & Barbecue Block PartyJune 11: Tahoe City Food & Wine Classic June 8 -16: City Solstice FestivalJune 21-23: Broken Arrow Sky RaceJune 24-25: Truckee Reggae FestJuly 2: Truckee Brew FestJuly 6: Beerfest & Bluegrass FestivalJuly 13-14: Art, Wine & Music FestivalJuly 18-21: Wanderlust Yoga FestivalJuly 23-26: Lake Tahoe Dance Festival

For a full list of events, visit or

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