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Green up Your Tahoe-Reno Trip with A Scenic Train and Some Local Color


Green up Your Tahoe-Reno Trip with A Scenic Train and Some Local Color


COLFAX, California, March 2, 2020—If you are planning a Tahoe-Reno this spring or summer, do yourself a favor and take a bit of stress out of your trip with an added stop en route, or even a chance to get out of the car and see one of America’s most scenic train routes.


Colfax, a historic town along Highway 80, about an hour east of Sacramento, is a great place to get off the highway, board a train or sleep over to enjoy the places in between.


Leave Early and Stay-over En Route

Here’s a tip: consider a Friday departure and layover an hour or so from a favorite destination. Wake up fresh and rested, with daylight to help guide you to your destination safely.


Colfax and Dutch Flat offer some interesting choices for enjoy some Sierra local color and hitting the road well-rested for an early start or even, trying a holiday without the car—board Amtrak mid-day for Reno or Truckee and use ski shuttles or public transportation. The message here is simple: maximize outdoor time, minimize traffic hassle.


Colfax, named for 1800’s politician, Schuyler Colfax, is right next to Highway 80 with a motor lodge, bed and breakfast, Air BNB farmhouse and a Best Western Hotel beginning construction. It’s not hard to envision getting an early start from this quiet foothill town and enjoying a more relaxed pace.


Just a few miles up the Interstate from Colfax, Dutch Flat also offers a historic family/friendly hotel with multiple bed suites and discounts for return visits and groups. From the one-block long Dutch Flat town center, find your way to the Monte Vista Inn, a mile or so up the road...this is where the locals go for homemade food in an authentic log cabin. (Trivia: Governor Newsom’s son Dutch is named for Dutch Flat.)


Dump The Car!

One more suggestion: Take the train from Colfax and dump the car just as traffic congestion starts. Ever notice how wonderful Tahoe is EXCEPT for the traffic?


Take the time to see the Sierra from a totally different vantage point—in the mountains on a train. With daily mid-day departures, this is the slow way to get there, but provides not only a glimpse into spectacular beauty, but history. This was one of the most challenging sections of the Transcontinental Railroad construction and still inspires awe.


With stops in Truckee and Reno, there are plenty of on the ground transportation options. In particular, Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART) in Truckee has frequent buses from Truckee to favored resorts and restaurants, like Northstar, Squaw and Tahoe City. Ride TART for free as part of a two-year trial public transportation program. As bonus, TART even offers night service from Tahoe City to Truckee until 1:30 am.—well after the taverns close down.


While very scenic, train schedules are subject to delays. Plan accordingly. Colfax has free overnight parking and puts a traveler on the train just as the climb through the mountains begins. This trip has a reputation for providing seasonal beauty from snow, to wildflowers to grand summer and fall vistas.


Know and Go:


Amtrak California Zephyr

www.amtrak.com › california-zephyr-trainCalifornia Zephyr Train | Amtrak


Tahoe Area Regional Transit



A Sampler from Colfax Area Lodging Selections

Colfax Motor Lodge



Stone’s Throw Farm



Sierra Sun Cloud Inn



Dutch Flat Hotel



Contact Colfax Area Chamber of Commerce for further details, or drop by the Colfax Visitor Center adjacent to the Colfax Train Station and Colfax Historical Museum at 99 South Railroad Street, Colfax, CA, online at www.colfaxchamber.com, or call 530-346-8888.


Photo captions: The Dutch Flat Hotel is one of many options for extending your trip with a stay-over en route to Tahoe or Reno in the Colfax area. Photo courtesy of Dutch Flat Hotel, Alex Ladner.

The Old Iowa Hill Bridge, just outside of Colfax, California, near hiking trails and campgrounds. Photo: thumbler agency





Colfax Area Chamber


99 South Railroad Street

Phone: 530-346-8888