One of the things I enjoy doing on the weekends is taking day/road trips to wherever I direct my car! Yesterday I decided to do a road trip through the mountains from La Porte all the way to Truckee. I used to go to La Porte as a kid to go camping with my uncles and cousins. The uncles usually went out deer hunting during the day, while us kids and my mom and aunt stayed around the campsite. La Porte is a very small mountain town in Plumas County, within the Plumas National Forest. In its heyday during the Gold Rush of the 1800s, La Porte had a population of about 10,000. Now there is a general store, the Union Hotel, a museum, a bar and restaurant. A lot of people have vacation homes in La Porte, and nearby Little Grass Valley Reservoir. After I walked around taking a few pictures, I got in the car and made my way to Truckee, which definitely made for a full day!
“Welcome to La Porte” the sign that greets you coming into town via La Porte if you’re coming from Marysville, Challenge, etc.
“La Porte: Population: 26, Elevation: 4995 feet”; but don’t leave your car on the street that will hinder snow removal!!!
A selfie of me outside La Porte!
The Union Hotel in La Porte…..the hotel on the right side of the street as you come into town.
The main drag in La Porte……Main Street!
Outside the Frank C. Reilly Museum…..free admission by the way!
The actual museum….on the right side of the building is an old stamp mill, used during the Gold Rush.
A look inside the museum. Interesting collection of artifacts and items inside the museum. La Porte was also the site of the first downhill ski races….dating back to the 1800s!!
A look inside an old bank safe. Note the really vintage cash register!
An old gold-rush cart on some old track.
remnants of an old 1800s building in La Porte.
The plaque outside the above building remnants…..the first brick building in Sierra County. La Porte, in its early years was in Sierra County. Then it became a part of Plumas County when Plumas County was formed from parts of Yuba County, and boundary lines were re-drawn in the 1850s.
What appears to be a real old safe on the building remnants.
The La Porte General Store
A picture of Reilly’s Bar and Saloon. Whenever we came here to go camping/deer hunting, we always made a stop here where the adults would have a drink or two, and us kids hung out outside. There’s even a restaurant attached to the bar.
Quincy-La Porte Road. The only direct link between La Porte and Quincy. This road is typically closed during the winter due to snowfall. It is scenic drive, but in the middle of the drive, there is steep downhill grade where you have to use low gear in your car for about five miles. I took this road after leaving La Porte and continued on to Truckee.
The end of Quincy-La Porte Road. Left to Quincy. Right to Portola.
A dry, vast field in Plumas County. Even the mountains here weren’t immune to California’s drought.
Making the right turn to Graeagle and Truckee. I didn’t get any pictures of Graeagle on this trip, but I will on a future road trip!
Going from the Plumas National Forest……
……to the Tahoe National Forest!!
And here’s another selfie of me!! This time at the Tahoe/Plumas National Forests border!!
Now coming into Sierraville. State Highway 49 continues on to Loyalton, the only incorporated city in Sierra County. Turn right for State Highway 89 to continue on to Truckee and Lake Tahoe.
A shot of the little hamlet of Sierraville.
Twenty-five miles to Truckee!
An abandoned gas station outside Sierraville. Remember the days when gas was $1.55/gallon?? Those were the days!!
My intended destination was Truckee. Truckee is Nevada County’s largest incorporated town. It is about 50 miles east of Nevada City and Grass Valley. Truckee sits just on the other side of Donner Summit….the highest Sierra pass on Interstate 80. In its early days, Truckee was known as Coburn Station. The town was named after a Paiute Indian chief. “Truckee” is Paiute for “everything is all right”. The Indian chief, Chief Truckee, served as a guide for John C. Fremont. Truckee is also the site of the ill-fated, infamous Donner Party, who tried to cross the Sierras en route to Sacramento, when an early, heavy snowfall in 1846 stopped them from continuing on. The party ran out of food at some point, and had to resort to cannibalism just to survive. There is a memorial park and museum at the east edge of Donner Lake as a tribute to the Donner Party. Today, Truckee attracts outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, winter sports, cycling and water sports. A majority of people have second homes in and around Truckee. It’s a casual, laid-back town with a friendly vibe, which I enjoy. It is by far one of my most favorite towns to visit. If you’re looking for a casual mountain town to check out, I highly recommend Truckee. There are some great shops and restaurants downtown. And if you enjoy outdoor activities, this is the place to be. If you come during the snowy winter, come prepared and carry chains just in case: Truckee receives a lot of snow!!!
“Truckee, Town Limit. Population: 16,019. Elevation: 6050 feet”
A nice flowery welcome to Truckee!
The Truckee Hotel downtown at the corner of Donner Pass Road and Bridge Street.
Moody’s Bistro, Bar & Beats. The restaurant at the Truckee Hotel. Great place to eat, and they have live music there.
The Wagon Train Cafe. Neat cafe with an old-time feel to it. They have license plates from all 50 states and several Canadian provinces adorned on the wall, along with interesting relics and a model train up in the rafters.
A stroll through Downtown Truckee. The main drag through town is Donner Pass Road.
A historic, retro gas station building, now home to Lake Tahoe Brewing Co.
Street scene shot of Downtown Truckee
I hope you all enjoyed this road trip tour of La Porte to Truckee. I have additional pictures of Truckee from a road trip I did a couple summers ago from Quincy to La Porte, which I will gladly share in a future post! Until next time……