New to life in Truckee-Tahoe? You need to know these few things.
Welcome to Truckee and North Tahoe
First, let's get some housekeeping items out of the way: there is no city called "North Lake Tahoe," or "North Lake," unlike our friends at the south end, who actually have an official directional city name to refer to.
Similar to the euphemism "Truckee-Tahoe," "North Lake," refers to the general area along the north shore of the lake. It's mainly used by businesses to help folks not familiar with the area understand the geographic range in which they do business, spanning from Kings Beach to Tahoe City to Soda Springs, and every little quasi-community that rests between the official municipalities.
However, once settled in, know that you can freely discuss specifically where it is you live, such as Olympic Valley, Armstrong, Tahoe Vista, West Shore, or Old Town.
It Always Snows In May
Next, you should know that it will snow in May and likely in June. It's almost a certainty. You don't have to like it, but you do have to be ready for a day or two of cold, sloppy wet snow. Good news? It's gone as fast as it moves in.
Come summer, brace for the tourists. For the most part, it's very fun to live in a place so loved by others.
We need to keep in mind their contribution to our economy, as the region doesn't have many large employers. The efforts of our small business owners and service providers to cater to tourism is what keeps much of our area and people thriving.
(Still ... if they could only learn to better manage a round-a-bout.)
Primarily, the holidays are when things get really busy. The week of July Fourth can get a little out of hand at times. Pack your patience. There's a lot to do here in the summer and our guests want to be everywhere and do everything. You can't blame them.
The best thing we can do as locals in a tourist town is be friendly and welcoming. Give directions, give a wave, and remember that they're here for the same reasons we are.
Hiking, Biking, and Paddling in Truckee & North Tahoe
And speaking of traffic, know that summer is when a lot of work gets done around the lake. The window of time for construction to get done isn't very long, so expect projects to pop-up quickly to re-stripe roads, fix potholes, build sidewalks, and in general, improve our area.
When it comes to both summer and winter activities in Truckee-Tahoe, getting the goods, such as first chair, glassy lake surfaces, and empty mountain bike trailheads, comes down to getting there early.
Again, we're all here to live that High Mountain Lifestyle, but those who live it best are the ones who put in the effort to make it happen.
Most summer days in and around North Lake Tahoe experience windy afternoons, making paddleboarding and kayaking most enjoyable as a morning routine.
Popular mountain biking trails, such as Sawtooth, Hole in the Ground, or the east shore's Flume, can fill up quickly. And, we shouldn't have to explain the risks of trying to make it to Squaw after 9:00 a.m. on a weekend.
In summary, here's what to know after becoming a resident of Truckee and North Lake Tahoe:
- Locals know where you live, to others, just generalize
- Never put your snow shovel in a hard-to-reach place
- Tourists come with the zip codes
- Traffic in summer will make you look for a commuter bike
- Construction season is May to October
- Go early, or refer to #3.
See you out there!