Cottonwood overlooks downtown Truckee from one of the nation’s oldest ski lodges. At the turn of the century, the land which Cottonwood stands
was owned by one of Truckee’s most prominent citizens, Charles F. McGlashan, who purchased it from railroad developer Charles Crocker.
Considered by most to be the main proponent of winter recreation in the region, McGlashan spearheaded the creation of a “Winter Carnival” around the turn of the century.
The event featured ice skating on Donner Lake, sleigh rides to Lake Tahoe, and a huge Ice Palace just below Hilltop. The hill above was the site of skiing, ski jumping, and tobogganing events, served by the nation’s first mechanized lift.
In late 1928, McGlashan built a warming hut from railroad ties salvaged from abandoned Martis Valley logging operations. This “pavilion” served members of the Truckee Ski Club, Truckee Outing Club, and the Sierra Dog Derby Association.
The ski area had several rope tows and a Poma lift rising 700 vertical feet until 1969.The Poma and a rope tow, driven by an old automobile chassis and motor, still remain.
Cottonwood opened on New Year’s Eve, 1988. Many historical artifacts, local photographs and artist’s works are on display. Enjoy fantastic views of downtown Truckee as longboard skiers did over a century ago.