Truckee named No. 1 coolest ski town in North America |

Truckee named No. 1 coolest ski town in North America

Danny Huberman slashes through some fresh powder during a Truckee-Tahoe ski season. Truckee was recently named No. 1 coolest ski town in North America by the Matador Network.
File photo |

There’s no place quite like Truckee when it comes to North America’s ski towns, and Matador Network, a social networking site for travelers, recently ranked Truckee as the No. 1 coolest ski town in North America for 2018.

With numerous mountain resorts only a short drive away, and the town’s place in the history of skiing and snowboarding, Matador Network described Truckee as, “rad because it sits in the middle of more ski areas than anywhere else in the West, and yet has none of the glitz of places like Aspen or Jackson.”

The Tahoe-Truckee area features 14 downhill ski resorts within close proximity, and it’s that abundance of winter playgrounds that Matador Networks cited as a reason for Truckee’s inclusion on the list of the 21 coolest ski towns in North America.

“It’s kind of for everybody,” said Scott Brannon, who is Director of Strategic Relationships for Matador Network. “Whether you’re going on the high luxury end there’s something for you, or if you’re a family or a snowboarder, Truckee’s for everybody … it’s not trying to prove anything.”

One factor in Truckee’s inclusion is its ties to the history of winter sports, and few places exemplify that like Squaw Valley Ski Resort.

“It’s such a unique area with so many resorts in close proximity,” said Sam Kieckhefer Public Relations Coordinator for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “Squaw is especially unique in its history. Hosting the Olympics in 1960 put Squaw, Lake Tahoe and Truckee on the map as a ski destination and it’s supported that reputation ever since.”

Other nearby resorts, such as Northstar California Resort and Boreal Mountain Resort with its partner Woodward Tahoe, have added to the area’s legacy of pushing the possibilities of what can be done on skis or on a snowboard; while local high school and mountain ski teams have continued the tradition of churning out some of the nation’s top skiers and snowboarders.

“The area as a whole is so unique,’ said Kieckhefer, who’s held a season pass at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows for 18 years. “It’s one of the coolest ski towns and one of the coolest adventure towns. The North Tahoe area has such a special history … and I’ve seen it grow, there’s been a revival over the past few years — the future is bright for this area.”

Truckee’s growth over the past few years, with its ski resorts and new downtown businesses, is part of the reason it was chosen, but through all that change, the town’s ability to retain its blue collar image is why Brannon said he called out Truckee when asked about North America’s coolest mountain towns by the staff at Matador Network.

Also making the cut from Matador Network were small ski towns like Valdez, Alaska at No. 3 and Burke, Vt. at No. 11, up to more popular resort destinations like Whistler, British Columbia at No. 16.

Towns from British Columbia and Colorado garnered the most attention with four locations apiece on the list; while resort town’s on the East Coast picked up four nods as well. Truckee and Mammoth Lakes were California’s only two towns chosen.

Matador Network was founded in 2006, according to its website, and is the world’s largest independent travel publisher, with more than 8 million unique monthly visitors. The company specializes in travel media and utilizes a global network of editors, writers, filmmakers, and photographers to produce content.

The company also runs the mobile app travelstoke, which allows travelers to create a profile, and then get advice and offers on places to stay or information on places of interest.

“If you’re looking for a cool hike or a burger, you can ask questions about a place and the question will get routed to a person that’s there,” said Brannon. “We’re trying to build a community of travelers and adventurers.”

Staff writer Justin Scacco can be reached at 530-550-2643 or via email at

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