Not all roads listed on this tour are paved, and some may be difficult or impassable during bad weather. Use caution. Cell phone coverage is unavailable in much of the area. We suggest taking a print of this tour with you. Gas is available in Truckee, Verdi, and Loyalton.
As you drive through this beautiful country, remember that this area was the traditional homeland of the northern Washoe or Welmelti for countless generations. Small groups traveled through high mountain valleys during mild seasons to collect edible and medicinal roots, seeds, and marsh plants. Men hunted large game for food and hides, and trapped smaller animals. The Truckee and Little Truckee Rivers were important fisheries year-round for the Washoe. Fish were important staples of their diet, especially during annual spawning runs.
With increasing intrusion by Euro-Americans during the 1860s–1870s, traditional Washoe residential and food-gathering areas and a way of life were lost. The Washoe responded with a steady stream of protests and petitions to government officials. Although the Tribe was not federally recognized until 1936, in 1917 the Washoe acquired small tracts of land in Nevada on which to establish residential “colonies” and acquired lands in California for residential use and land preservation– very different from their traditional territory that probably covered more than 10,000 square miles. Today, the Washoe have developed a land use plan that includes goals of reestablishing a presence within the Sierra and re-vitalizing cultural knowledge, including the harvest and care of traditional plant resources and the protection of traditional properties. The Washoe still value their connection to the Boca and Loyalton area.
Preserve What Remains
Please respect this unique cultural and natural landscape. Observe and photograph, but do not disturb or remove the prehistoric and historic-period sites and artifacts that remain. Laws protect heritage resources on federally managed (public) land and penalties for disturbing them can include fines and imprisonment. Some of the laws protecting these resources include:
The National Historic Preservation Act The Antiquities Act The Archaeological Resources Protection Act The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
If you see someone collecting artifacts on public lands, contact local law enforcement right away. Click on this link to go to TNF tour with maps.