Donner Party Hike Saturday & Sunday Oct. 14-15, 2017

Donner Party Hike

Sunday offers an additional day of history and exploration as part of a two-day Donner Party Hike package

Sunday hikers depart from 8:30–9:00 a.m. at the Donner Camp Picnic Area, located on Highway 89 approximately 8 miles north of Truckee. Walking tours begin promptly at 9:00 a.m.

The day begins with an interpretive walk where you will hear of the grueling travel and mishaps of the Donner Party and the archeological finds at this location. Participants will then drive to Donner Memorial State Park to view the Murphy Cabin Site and Pioneer Monument.

Participants are welcome to view the movie documentary and explore the Emigrant Trail Museum at the State Park, admission to the park is included for the remainder of the afternoon.

Saturdays hikes include:

  • Donner Peak / Coldstream Pass - Moderate, 5.7 miles round trip.  New for 2017, this hike will take guests up to Donner Peak and experience Coldstream Pass.  This hike should not be confused with the old Coldstream hike offered in years prior.  Talks will include Coldstream Pass, Pacific Crest Trail and area history.


  • Railroad Snowsheds - Moderate, 4-6 miles round trip.  Explore the railroad snowsheds.  Find out about tunnel6 and the amazing men that laid the tracks.  Pass by the china wall and learn about the engineering feat.


  • Summit Meadows - Moderate, 4 miles.  Hikers skirt by Lake Norden with stops to see rock with mortars and other remnants of emigrants passing thru. 


  • Summit Canyon / Dutch Flat Wagon Road - Moderate and about 3.5 miles in length.  Explore Dutch Flat Donner Lake Wagon Road and the Lincoln Highway.  Pass petroglyphs, roadside billboards and the China Wall.  Find out where and why these roads were built.  This hike is one way.  Hikers will be bused back to Sugar Bowl Mt. Judah Lodge.


  • High Sierra Lakes - Moderate / Strenuous, 6 miles round trip.  Enjoy incredible vistas seen by emigrants as they passed through the High Sierra years ago.  Discover hidden alpine lakes while exploring Donner Summit.


  • Rollers Pass / Judah Loop - Moderate / Strenuous, 6 miles round trip.  Hike up the Pacific Crest Trail to see views of Donner Pass, Coldstream Pass and Roller Pass where emigrants were forced to winch their wagons up a 35-degree granite slope.  Continue up to the top of Mt. Judah and on to Donner Peak before descending back to Mt. Judah lodge.

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