Fall Colors Hike: Cedar House in Truckee is Your Base Camp

FALL IS WHEN TRUCKEE gears up for winter activities, and for good reason. National Geographic named it one of best ski towns, thanks to its easy access to world-class ski resorts, cross-country terrain, snow shoeing, sledding—and sleigh rides.

But hold on a minute: People who stop to savor fall colors in Truckee (which peak in October) are in for a memorable experience. The area around Truckee is ablaze in red, yellow, orange and bronze leaves. The Aspen trees are stunning.

The weather is still pleasant for hiking and biking. Sites around Truckee include Donner Memorial State Park, Martis Creek Lake and the Truckee River corridor.

The best organized nature hikes are out of the Cedar House Sport Hotel and Tahoe Trips & Trails. Truckee is fast becoming a mecca for wellness, and Cedar House epitomizes the trend— from hikes and yoga to sustainably sourced food events and cooking classes.

The hotel’s in-house touring company offers a wide range of innovative outdoor adventure programs. Some of the classes are free, and hotel guests typically receive a discount.

On October 19, for example, Cedar House features an Autumn Endurance Hike. It includes a power peak climb “to get the heart pumping.” The hike begins with an orientation breakfast at the hotel’s Stella Restaurant.

Other adventure programs include a Sunrise and Stretch, Nature Hike, mountain biking and more.
With its in-house touring company, marvelous restaurant and 42 rooms, the Cedar House is a perfect home base for a fall getaway to Truckee-Tahoe. It is redolent of a European lodging experience.

In the lobby, guests are welcomed by a fireplace and small bar area akin to hotels we’ve visited in Switzerland and Austria.

The guest rooms have an open, modern feel with designer furniture. All rooms feature a European bedding system with down comforters imported from Germany, robes and towels and spa bath amenities.

Room features include Keurig coffeemakers, fresh ground coffee, radio with iPod dock and flat-screen LCD televisions. Guests also benefit from a complimentary breakfast buffet, free Wi-Fi and an outdoor hot tub.

The hotel’s Stella restaurant has helped anchor Truckee as a “foodie” destination. Chef Jacob Burton’s menu is imaginative and he uses fresh, local ingredients whenever possible. Burton was a finalist in this year’s up- and-coming chefs awards at Food & Wine magazine.

A quintessential dish at Stella would be curry-crusted rack of lamb, favas and salsify with spiced cashews, cilantro-lime yogurt and habanero honey.

Stella also features an online cooking school. “I’ve always been fascinated with the pleasure you can give with a well- prepared meal,” Jacob says.

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