High Mountain Living's 5-Point Guide to Surviving July 4 Week in Truckee & North Tahoe

And just like that, it’s the holidays.

Well, the summer holidays, that is. And by that we mean, Fourth of July week in Truckee and North Tahoe.

Whether you’re visiting or already living here, the traffic, tourists, and time it takes to get places sure can be frustrating.

However, it’s important to remember why our visitors are here, because it’s the same reason why you’re here: to have fun in the mountains.

So, for visitors and locals alike, here’s your 5-Point Plan for Surviving July 4 in Truckee-Tahoe:

1. Do Everything Early

Have a special trail in mind? Want to paddleboard without the wake and thump of ski-boat subwoofers? Then go early.

By getting up and out before the masses, you can enjoy all the wonderful solitude and wonder of the northern Sierras the way they were meant to be. Set an alarm, sell your paddle buddy or running partner on a dawn patrol start time, and stick to it. When you’re kicking back with coffee and scones at Wild Cherries by 10:00, you’ll be watching everyone else backed up by construction and looking for places to park. Don’t be them.

2. Go Other Places

Everyone will want to have a cocktail on the Sunnyside deck, kayak at Sand Harbor, take selfies at Emerald Bay, or bike the super-coveted Flume Trail. Convince your visitors or travel buddies to explore new places.

Take this time to go to the lesser-known locales, the up and coming hot spots that don’t yet have the Yelp! ratings or Instagram cred. Take the time to research by looking at maps and local publications. If you’re renting an Airbnb, ask your host where they go. In summary, if you don’t like crowds, go where there aren’t any.

Hint? Look for the smallest print ad for a restaurant or business, and go there.

3. Leave the Car

Okay, we know this is a tough one.

First: take a minute to think about how much time is wasted and aggravation surfaced when behind the wheel. Next: consider for a second the pain of driving endless loops to find a spot … the construction delays … and the agony of having to coach round-a-bout rookies. If your blood isn’t already boiling, you’re better than we are.

Truckee-Tahoe Transit is making it easier than ever this year with new regular routes between major recreational areas and extended operating hours. Or better yet, ride a bike, especially if cruising around town for a few days. Bike Truckee has a huge fleet of slick mountain bike rentals, e-bikes, and cruisers for getting where you need to be by pedal. Seriously, try leaving the car at home. Remember that we aren’t in a big area, and if you make a mistake on a wrong bus route, you’ll end up somewhere else that’s probably as beautiful as where you were headed.

4. Obey The Rules

Rules? On vacation?

Hear us out:

With so many people packed into the relatively small area that is Truckee and North Tahoe, it’s critical that we all focus on community-wide cooperation. The more people who park illegally, light an outdoor fire, leave behind trash, or bring their own fireworks, the better chance of some form of conflict arising as a result. It’s hectic enough out there. Short-term renters may get the brunt of this, but there are plenty of locals who like to skirt the rules, too. That said, if we can all make a concerted effort to do what’s right and have fun within the already very limited amount of collective regulation our mountain towns and neighborhoods afford us, the more fun this week can be for everyone here to enjoy it. Can’t we all get along?

5. Breathe

That’s right, breathe.

We at High Mountain Living want to remind you to look around, take in your surroundings, and take a deep breath. Consider smiling when you’re done, too.

There’s no place quite like where we live; and even when so many people from other places populate it, it’s still no less beautiful. With a little effort and understanding, you can enjoy it with others as if you had it all to yourself. In fact, you may even make some new friends while you’re at it, and discover all over again why it’s so important to share special places with other special people.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone. Have fun out there.

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