Protecting an Iconic River and Meadow System
Perazzo Meadows is one of the finest examples of montane riparian and wet meadow habitat in the Sierra Nevada. Surrounded by upland forests and snow-capped mountains, the meadows sustain a number of rare species and play a vital role in the Little Truckee River watershed. This pristine landscape is also a beautiful destination for hiking, bird watching, and cross-country skiing.
Conservation of Perazzo Meadows
At Perazzo Meadows, the Little Truckee River meanders through a mosaic of wet meadows and wetlands that, every summer, host nesting populations of the elusive willow flycatcher, a neotropical migrant bird species listed as endangered by the State of California. The waterways are rich in fish species native to the Lahontan Basin and upland forests of lodgepole pine, white fir, Jeffrey pine, and Aspen support an abundance of wildlife, including pine marten, mule deer, mountain lion, and possibly the elusive wolverine.
The acquisition of this 982-acre property by the Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land in 2009 completed the protection of Perazzo Meadows. The rest of the meadow complex occurs entirely within public lands and is managed for wildlife habitat, watershed restoration, and recreational enjoyment by the Tahoe National Forest.
Stewardship and Recreation
The Truckee Donner Land Trust is working with the U.S. Forest Service and the Truckee River Watershed Council on a restoration project to return the Little Truckee River to its remnant channel and improve habitat for native fish, such as the rare Lahontan cutthroat trout. The Land Trust recently built a new parking area, interpretative trail, and picnic area, creating a lovely destination for visitors wanting to explore Perazzo Meadows and the Little Truckee River. More serious hikers may also want to combine a visit to Perazzo Meadows with a hike up the Mt. Lola Trail, which can be reached by continuing east for another mile on Henness Pass Road. The Mt. Lola Trailhead is on your left and easy to miss so keep your eyes pealed.
Directions from Truckee
- Follow Highway 89 north to the Jackson Meadows Road.
- Turn left onto Jackson Meadows Road. Follow about a mile and take the first left onto the Independence Lake Road (which is dirt).
- After you cross the Little Truckee River, turn right at the first intersection onto Henness Pass Road. It is not signed.
- Proceed past a couple of driveways and down the hill into Perazzo Meadows. Follow the road up the hill and soon you will come to a gate, parking area, and sign on your right.
- Please park and walk in, packing in and packing out anything you bring. No open flames please, including camp stoves.