nature trips






no dogs

wild flowers

mountain biking


trail running



Located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada, Donner Memorial State Park offers the summer vacationer opportunities for camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, water-skiing, and hiking. In winter, visitors can cross-country ski and snowshoe on trails and enjoy the season's beauty. Visitors are welcome year-round at the Emigrant Trail Museum and at the Pioneer Monument, built to commemorate those who emigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800's. Included in the museum are displays and information about one of the earliest pioneer wagon trains, the Donner Party, forced by circumstances to camp at the east end of Donner Lake in the winter of 1846-47, resulting in human suffering and loss of life. The park is 100 miles east of Sacramento via Interstate 80, and is within the town of Truckee, just west of downtown on the south side of the freeway. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park. Summer temperatures range from about 75 degrees during the day to the low 40s at night, and winter temperatures average from a high of 40 to a low of 20 degrees. Dogs are permitted in the campground and picnic area but must be on a leash (six-foot maximum length) at all times and in your tent or motor vehicle at night. They are not permitted on the trails or on the beach.

The trailhead was a little tough to find-it was not the Judah lot (unless I missed it) as noted. We parked in a lot directly across from Donner Ski Ranch. There was a gate and then a tunnel almost immediately. It was pretty icy and flat. Definitely bring a headlamp and dress warmly. There was snow on the ground and the wind made it pretty cold. I would love to come hike this trail in the spring or summer, but I enjoyed going in winter. There are some beautiful views of Donner lake and some pretty incredible graffiti art.

Fun walk with the kids. Great views, we did not do the loop. Walked in and out

Couldn’t find the trailhead and got my car stuck in the snow with chains on

wonderful views

Easy and pleasant walking trail with some beautiful lake and mountain views. There isn’t much change in elevation, but it’s still a good walking/running trail with ample space to explore along the beach.

Description says no dogs but that is not correct. You can do dogs on leash. Northshore side has a lot of vehicle traffic so can loud and dirty.

Great hike, saw lots of families on the trail. Saw even more dogs. Beautiful view from the overlook.

Went in December and this trail was not fun. Almost the entire tunnel portion was iced over and treacherous.

The views were still amazing though and I would love to go back in the summer.

I love this trail! The graffiti art is spectacular, as is the view

Easy trail, good for kids

It puts the pussy on the chainwax!

There’s a paved pullout on the side of the road where the directions lead you can turn on to a dirt road immediately after that and you can park along the dirt road too. The trail IS the dirt road for the first third of the ride...keep going straight until you see a gravel/cement small bridge on your this point you stay to the right (even though it’s more like straight) until you reach a “roundabout” with a tree in the middle. You stay right at the roundabout and this is where the single track begins and takes you all the way back towards where you parked.

I wasn't impressed. Not a nature hike but a stroll around the campground. You start off by the lake on a made trail but only 20min in then you turn in and get lost through the campground taking the road most of the way back cutting through the camp sites . I guess this is good for a tourist walk.

mountain biking
3 months ago

The downloaded route is not valid anymore. Just past mile 8 the trail is now rerouted at Ranger Smiths Cutoff. Fun single track but not moderate. I would rate it difficult. Trail is in great shape.

Pretty valley includes a 4 lane highway and some development, but no negroes.

This is NOT a hiking trail. It is a mountain bike race track with jumps and lots of dust. The hike up is on a dirt road with cars coming in and out —more dust. The hike down is the speedway. Leave this to the mountain bikes.

trail running
4 months ago

Nice morning run around the lake. I hugged the inside track going counterclockwise. It was nice coming off the road into the Donner park but then tricky getting back on the road. I cut through the Donner Beach Club which is private and fenced in. Next time I'll stay wide of that property and add the extra 0.1 miles or so.

4 months ago

Nice day hike today. Wasn't aware that this is a popular area for mountain bikers. Some really nice single path trails, very well engineered. I'd like to go back with a bike. The hike was nice, up a logging road then it was necessary to bushwack up to the top of Jackass Point. You can see it good enough, just need to walk the 0.2 miles or so to get up there. Nice views off the other side, looking north toward Donner Park and Lake.

The actual trail, as opposed to the dirt road, is accessed from the trail head near the sign. The trail is far superior to the dirt road. Very nice views , gives a nice perspective on the local way points of the PCT -- Donner Peak, Anderson Peak, Tinker Knob. Will do this again!

Fun, scenic trail. fun to do!

Load More