I stumbled on Sawtooth Trail looking for some exercise during the lunch break of a day-long conference in Truckee. It’s hard to sit in a meeting anywhere in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and not look out any window at the uplifted granite glacier sculpted terrain and want to be outside. I went to the internet to find a near-by trail. Sawtooth Trail was close and promised great views.
Plenty of parking welcomed me to the trailhead. No toilets here but plenty of room to wander. This is a popular mountain bike trail so be prepared to step aside and let them pass by.
I ventured out the dusty trail and enjoyed the tent caterpillars dancing on their tents, the Paintbrush was blooming and butterflies accompanied me along the path. I only had an hour, so at 30 minutes I stopped at a rock outcropping overlooking the river and range around me. I wish I had more time to explore but I had more to learn back inside.
According to the Truckee Trails Foundation website “This trail is a winding single-track loop through a mix of high desert and Jeffrey Pine Forest. It gains and loses the same 200 feet numerous times throughout its course. Some of the standout features of this trail are the two overlooks into the Truckee River Canyon, and the available connectivity to other routes on the Mt. Watson trail network. Popular as a day hike, trail run, or mountain bike ride. The total loop is 9 miles.”
To get to Sawtooth Trail on the Tahoe National Forest in Placer County, take Interstate 80 east. Take exit 186 toward Central Truckee. Turn right on Donner Pass Road. After the traffic circle, take the first exit and stay on Donner Pass Road. Turn left onto W River Street. Turn right onto Bridge Street. Turn right onto Palisades Drive. Turn Left onto Ponderosa drive. Turn right onto Silver Fir Drive. Turn left onto Thelin Drive. Stay right onto 06 Fire Road to the trailhead at 11632 06 Fire Road.
At the trailhead I found a simple sentiment that seemed to resonate with my social media friends.
Mary West is author of the book series Day Hiker – Gold Country Trail Guide I, II and III (2nd edition Available on Amazon). The books are a collection of the Day Hiker columns where West shares her longtime love of the outdoors, favorite hikes in Northern California’s Gold Country and beyond. West was the recipient of the 2017 and 2019 CRAFT Award for Best Outdoor Column and the 2020 Craft Award for her second book in the series-Day Hiker Gold Country Trail Guide by the Outdoor Writers of California. You can follow West on Facebook and Instagram.