Travel & Lodging

See area map for location and overview of the station. All Sagehen visitors must submit a reserve use application (unless you are a participant in a group whose organizer has already managed this for you). Be certain to contact your group leader (or the station) before arrival for the current gate lock combination!



Reno, Nevada has a regional airport with regular service from many points. The Reno Airport is a 45-min drive from Sagehen on good highways with delays for weather, only. All the major car rental agencies are available.


The San Francisco-East Bay is roughly a 3-hour drive along I-80 and Hwy-89 if all goes well, but traffic can extend that to shockingly longer. Try to schedule departures (in both directions) to avoid weekend traffic from/to Lake Tahoe and weekday rush hour in the Roseville-Sacramento stretch.


Amtrak serves Truckee via the California Zephyr line, although a bus ride may be involved. There is local bus service for the Truckee-Lake Tahoe area.


Mountain bikes can work well for travel between Sagehen and Truckee, if you are an experienced and fit rider who can deal with the gradient change. The distance is a minimum of 12.5-miles each way, including our unpaved access road. Depending upon your destination(s), your round-trip could easily stretch to 40-miles. See the route here, and other Sagehen-adjacent trails here.

A gravel or cross bike is adequate, if less comfortable, for these dirt roads and trails, too. Road bikes can use the highway to get to town, of course, but you would probably want to shuttle the 1.8-mile Sagehen rough dirt access road.


On site


Lodging is available on-site at Sagehen, including limited ADA-accessible spaces and bathrooms. Except for limited faculty spaces, Sagehen accommodations are bunkhouse-style cabins (generally separate male and female), which are heated from roughly November to May.

Communal bath houses include toilets, sinks and showers. Check out our Facilities page for more information about and photos of Sagehen cabins, classrooms and other structures.


Camping is available in the Sagehen Basin both at Sagehen Creek Field Station and at the Tahoe National Forest Sagehen Campground (1.5 miles west of the station, accessible via a different road). Camping should be thought of as a preference, not a cost-saving measure! The daily rate for Sagehen users camping anywhere within the Sagehen footprint is the same as the cabin daily rate, since campers use all of our other facilities as well: roads, kitchens, bathhouses, internet, propane, electricity, water, telephones, data, collections, mailbox, staff, etc.

Camping is restricted to designated zones in the dry forest, outside of the riparian area. Your tent should be sitting on dirt. There is no camping allowed in meadows near the creek! That means no tents, no hammocks, no sleeping bags: if you are camped atop green, grassy vegetation, you are screwing up and will be asked to move. Don’t test us.

See this page for Sagehen’s current overnight rates.


For those who prefer to stay in a hotel, Truckee starts about 12.5-miles away from Sagehen on a small, two-lane highway. Lodging choices are limited in Truckee, but here are a few:

Most major chains and many casinos can be found in Reno. Reno is roughly a 45 minute drive from the Station on reliable all-weather highways.

The communities on the shore of Lake Tahoe also have many, many private and some chain hotels but travel time will be longer over smaller, often/usually congested roads. The closest lake communities are Tahoe City and King’s Beach.

You should bring…

  • Pack List
  • Food: Sagehen has limited food storage space, so plan on shopping weekly.
    • There are large grocery stores in Truckee, 12.5-miles away.
    • CSA shares can be arranged for Truckee pick-up if you are staying for an entire season.
    • Truckee has a Farmer’s Market on Sunday mornings near Paco’s cycle shop, and a larger one on Tuesdays in the Truckee Regional Park.
    • Reno is a regional shopping destination that includes bulk suppliers like Costco for large groups.
  • Exhaustible supplies:
    • Charcoal, lighter fluid & matches/sparker.
    • Napkins/paper towels.
    • Zippies, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, Tupperware for your leftovers (which you will be taking with you when you leave!).
    • Sack-lunch supplies if necessary for field trips: baggies, plastic forks, food containers, etc.
    • There are invariably leftover spices around (especially salt & pepper), but maybe not exactly what you need.
    • Paper plates, cups: there are often some already here if you prefer them to washable dishes. Please check what’s here before bringing more and leaving the leftovers
  • Whatever equipment you need that isn’t on the Sagehen Kitchen Equipment list
    • Table cloths are nice for the outside tables whose surfaces can be a bit weathered.