7 Things You Can Strike Off Your Bucket List by Visiting Nevada County

Activities in Nevada Country cater to everyone. Ranging from adventurous to more relaxed activities, you are sure to have an exciting time during your stay here. The list below provides activities that can be ticked off your bucket list through your visit to the Nevada County.

  1. Visit the Donner Memorial State Park

Whether you like to visit this park during winter or summer, you are sure to find interesting activities to do at this state park. It exhibits the cultural history of the area including the story of the Donner Party that were trapped in ice during the mid-1890s. Be amazed by the geological history on display here, including the formations bubbles from the earth’s crust. During the summer, it’s a wonderful place for camping, picnicking or fishing while during winter, visitors are able to cross-country ski and snowshoe on trails to truly enjoy the scenic beauty it has to offer.

It makes a perfect one-day getaway to have a picnic with your family amidst the picturesque setting. From history to nature lovers, this park has got it all covered.

  1. Go back in time at the Old Jail Museum

What makes this a notable attraction is that it is one of the very few of its kind that remains up to this date. This 19th century jailhouse was used to hold prisoners around the city for almost 90 years from 1875 to 1964. For those who love to learn history, this place is a great stop as it truly represents Truckee’s historic district. You can also learn about each of the 19 individuals who donated $25 each for the construction of the jail. Explore the various historical artifacts that the museum houses which will make you understand a good bit of history. It’s another attraction that encourages to visit along with your family and a picnic could also be arranged on the recently established garden memorial.

  1. Explore the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum

This museum located in Nevada City is free to visit and exhibits a collection of railroad and aviation artifacts, photographs and documents in relation to Nevada County’s transportation history. The visitors are offered a tour through museum, rail yard and a restoration shop led by a docent. It also features the county’s first steam automobile and displays the local history of aviation in the county. One of the prominent exhibits is the NCNCRR Engine 5 which forms a greater part of Nevada County’s transportation history and has appeared in several movies.


  1. Climb to the Summit and look over the Donner Pass for incredible views of the Donner Lake

Enjoy the beautiful Donner Lake, best viewed from the summit, so do make sure you plan for a trip to the top. On a cloudless day, you will be able to enjoy the blue sky with reflections against the majestic lake. The hike to the summit is about eight miles long, so wear a pair of comfortable hiking shoes for it.

Getting here is very convenient as it has easy public access. You will find numerous people kayaking, boating, sail boating, and some very brave swimmers, too. Many visitors come here just to enjoy the scenery or partake in some leisure activities, so why not you?

  1. Visit the Malakoff Diggins State Park

This park is 26 miles northeast of Nevada City in the picturesque foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Built in 1965, this park has a controversial story of how it was set to preserve the largest hydraulic mining site in California. Learn more about it by visiting this State Park and the gold rush history behind it. You can also experience a way of life led by the gold mining community in the 1880’s as some houses have been left as they were.

It features approximately 20 miles of scenic trails that connect to the South Yuba Trail. The trail itself is about ½ mile to 3 miles one way that includes easy to steep elevation changes. At the 3,200-acre park, some visitors prefer setting up campsites in Chute Hill campground which can accommodate up to 60 people.

  1. Enjoy the scenic views South Yuba River State Park has to offer

Tucked away in a scenic and historic Nevada County, South Yuba River has a little something for everybody. It contains the nation’s only wheelchair-accessible wilderness trail, Independence Trail. From historic bridges to miles of hiking trails, this park has so much to offer in terms of natural landscapes. This park is easily accessible too. The visitors also have the opportunity of experiencing refreshing swimming holes during the summer. Visitors can also involve themselves in bird watching, hiking, swimming and panning for gold. But most of all, it’s the panoramic views that the park offers which makes it ever so popular.

In addition, watch out for the several annual events sponsored by the park including Living History Day and The Ghosts of Bridgeport. During certain times of the year, docents also offer guided wildflower and bird walks which are truly enriching.

7. Let off some steam at the Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort

Photo by Andy Giordano

The Royal Gorge is the largest cross-country ski resort in North America making this a definite spot to visit in your bucket list. It offers sweeping views of the Northern Sierra and provides outdoor recreation for guests of all ages. Visitors get an opportunity to enjoy the scenic winter adventures to go along with it too. There’s nothing to worry even if you are a first-timer given the friendly, experienced instructors will provide the ideal training ground to build and refine your skiing skills.


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