Truckee is an incorporated town in Nevada County, California, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 16,180, reflecting an increase of 2,316 from the 13,864 counted in the 2000 Census. The Truckee River flows from Lake Tahoe for approximately 100 miles northeast to the border of the arid Great Basin of Nevada and Utah and into Pyramid Lake. This water source formed a natural, seasonal route for Native Americans. Although no particular tribe is considered to have inhabited Truckee year-round, the Washoe people occupied a large territory roughly centered in the modern day Carson City area, but Shoshone and Paiute Tribes were also present (the Paiute Tribe Reservation now encompasses Pyramid Lake).
These peoples are considered to be the primary source of Native American travelers in the area. Hobart Mills, just north of Truckee on Highway 89, has a large, horizontal, circular petroglyph of the type common to travel routes in Nevada. The date of that petroglyph, as well as several etched into granite slabs on the summit west of Truckee, are not agreed upon. But those artifacts, as well as the abundance of arrowheads throughout the Truckee region, attest to a minimum of hundreds of years of Native American presence. It is possible that, like the Shoshone, Ute people and earlier Fremont tribes of Utah and Eastern Nevada, the nearby Native American populations fluctuated over the course of millennia as a result of weather cycles, food source, and possibly disease or war.
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