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Donner Lake, Truckee

4.9
#4 of 14 in Parks in Truckee
Water Body · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Donner Lake is a freshwater lake in Northeast California on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada and about 20 miles (32 km) northwest of the much larger Lake Tahoe. A moraine serves as a natural dam for the lake. The lake is located in the town of Truckee, between Interstate 80 to the north and Schallenberger Ridge to the south. The tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad run along

Schallenberger Ridge and closely follow the route of the original transcontinental railroad. The historic route of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road across America and US 40 follows the northern shoreline, then climbs to Donner Pass from where the entire lake may be viewed.

Both the lake and the pass were named after the ill-fated Donner Party, which wintered involuntarily near the lake in 1846. Donner Memorial State Park is on the east end of the lake and provides campsites with access to several different beaches. There are also various hiking trails in the park.
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Donner Lake reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
24 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • in the small town of Truckee. very scenic. It’s a freshwater lake on the eastern slope of Sierra Nevada 20 miles northwest of Lake Tahoe. We stopped here before going to Lake Tahoe. 
    in the small town of Truckee. very scenic. It’s a freshwater lake on the eastern slope of Sierra Nevada 20 miles northwest of Lake Tahoe. We stopped here before going to Lake Tahoe.  more »
  • Donor Lake is situated near Donner Pass road and nearer to Truckee town. The lake is a fresh water lake and it is west of famous lake Tahoe. 
    Donor Lake is situated near Donner Pass road and nearer to Truckee town. The lake is a fresh water lake and it is west of famous lake Tahoe.  more »
Google
  • We took a drive up to Truckee and decided to visit donner lake. Best decision we made. Such a beautiful lake with vistas of the train tracks. We went to the beach and of course $8 a person. So we decide to hurry on back and found one of the many many mini docks. We chilled and sat all by ourselves for a while. So lovely.
  • A beautiful lake with amazing surrounding scenery that is popular for kayaking and paddle boarding.

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