Trip Ideas

Donner Lake sunset

7 Jaw Dropping Sunset Spots In Nevada County

Carpe Diem! Nothing showcases this Latin adage more than enjoying the moment the sun sets. Here's 7 of the best spots to take in one in the county that will create a lasting impression.

Tips & Resources

Donner Lake is home to 37 Public Piers that are perfect to catch a sunset from

Saddle up at the National Bar and order yourself up a Hamlin’s Wizard Oil as you take in a sunset from the veranda

Truckee summer evenings are an invitation for a perfect romantic dinner outside go for a picnic on one of the many Donner Lake public docks

By Alex Silgalis

No matter how many times you’ve seen one, no two are alike. A sunset is your chance to savor the moment. To breathe in the fresh mountain air and just enjoy the scenery. There really is no better way to embrace the season. Here’s 6 sunset spots to capture the golden hour in Nevada County that will leave a lasting impression.

Boca Hill

If you ask a hundred people in Truckee where’s the best sunset spots, you’ll probably get a hundred different answers, each right in their own way. For beach-lovers that want a bit of solitude, head to Boca Reservoir for an afternoon swim. Afterwards, head to the southwest corner and climb up to the top of Boca Hill. From here, you get 360-degree views of both the Boca Reservoir to the west and the Prosser Creek Reservoir to the east, setting you up for a spectacular showcase of the sunset glinting off both reservoir waters.

Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain overlook near Nevada City California
Image appears courtesy: Bear Yuba Land Trust

After you’ve taken in all the one-of-a kind stores and enjoyed some delicious food, walk off your meal or dessert with a quick hike and a big reward. Starting only a few hundred yards from downtown Nevada City, the Sugarloaf Mountain trail gently and quickly winds its way up 220’ to the summit. You’re then given 360-degree views of the area which includes the town as well as the valleys and peaks surrounding the region.

The Veranda At The National Hotel

National Hotel Veranda at sunset
Image appears courtesy: National Hotel

Not up for a hike? No problem. Stroll over to the National on Broad Street in the heart of historic downtown Nevada City. The hotel features 40 rooms all decorated in the Victorian style. Saddle up at the National Bar and order yourself up a Hamlin’s Wizard Oil. Then mosey on upstairs to the veranda to take in the view of the historic corridor as the sun sets.

Coyote Overlook On Round Mountain

For those wanting a bit more adventure, you’ll love the hike to the Coyote Overlook via the Moonlight Trail. This two-mile out-and-back is long enough to keep people away but provides a big reward if you do it. Yet another prominent location that provides great views of the foothills of the Sierra. Due to its length, it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp if you do take in the sunset.

Omega Diggins Overlook Platform

Omega Diggins Overlook on a sunny winter's day
Photo by: Gold Country Photos

As you head eastward from the towns of Grass Valley and Nevada City towards Truckee, ascending deeper into the foothills as it plateaus, there’s a hidden gem that most zip by. A secretive gem on State Highway 20 – the Omega Diggings Overlook. The short ½ mile interpretive trail culminates with the overlook. From the platform that juts from the ridge, you’re given a view of the South Yuba River valley and a birds-eye view of the old Alpha and Omega Diggins hydraulic mines. The Omega Diggins Overlook is approximately 17 miles east of Nevada City.

The Old Highway 49 Bridge Across Yuba River

Highway 49 Yuba River crossing at sunset with orginal bridge in the foreground.
Image taken by: Kial James

Although not a vista, we must mention the old Highway 49 Bridge across the Yuba River. The old bridge, which was replaced by a new one slightly downstream, continues to provide a pedestrian walkway and bicycle path across the river. It offers a unique vantage point of the scenic South Yuba River. The luscious green vegetation along the hillsides contrast to the polished, house-sized granite boulders and enticing emerald pools along the river. As the sun sets over this landscape, everything becomes even sharper, providing you a sense of awe for what Mother Nature created.

Docks On Donner Lake

Donner Lake sunset
Photo by: Visit Truckee-Tahoe – Image appears courtesy: Nicole Dreon

Truckee summer evenings are an invitation for a perfect romantic dinner outside. Minimal bugs, ideal temps and plenty of sunshine. And nearing the top of the list for a sunset picnic is a dockside retreat on Donner Lake. The lake itself has 37 public piers n its east and west end that you can access for free. Waters lapping agains the piers. Cool breeze against your skin. Best views of the sunset are from the docks closest to the west end of the lake.

If you’ve visited one of these spots for an iconic sunset in Nevada County or have another one that you love, be sure to tag us on social media.


Alex Silgalis

Alex founded Local Freshies® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.

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