Donner Tunnels

MODERATE 27 reviews
#62 of 172 trails in

Donner Tunnels is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Donner, California and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
692 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

skiing

snowshoeing

walking

rails trails

8 days ago

Started our hike at the west end of tunnel #6, just west of the ski area. Can’t imagine hand drilling and blasting with black powder and nitroglycerin. This tunnel system was in use until 1993 until the tracks were moved south. Great, historic hike. The graffiti varies from totally amateur to absolutely beautiful professional. Sad that it’s there at all, but a fact of life. Well worth the time. Take a flashlight-it’s very dark is some areas.

8 days ago

I try to take anyone who visits and wants a great hike with lots to see. History and great views everywhere. Fall is the best time with the views of the trees changing.

walking
2 months ago

Very different hike with natural and urban elements. There was a lot more tunnel than we expected, with some breaks for beautiful views of Donner Lake. The tunnels were chilly even though it was 80 degrees out. Mostly gravel ground with some puddles. You’ll want a flashlight (phone flashlight is fine) for some sections. Each tunnel had a different style and there was some cool street art.

2 months ago

Love it. It was so interesting. Next time I am taking my flashlight with me.

walking
2 months ago

This trail is very different and interesting! Not difficult at all, with the most challenging part being a small climb up from the parking spot I chose, which was ~ 100 yards before the Donner Summit bridge on the way up Donner Pass Road. Don't miss the Petroglyphs on the way up! The path through the tunnels was a perfect way to take a break from the sun, and also the wildfire smoke that has been settling in the area every few days. The footing is mostly gravel, so even though dogs are allowed, it may be a bit tough on their paws. There are points in the tunnels where you will be in pitch blackness, so a flashlight is a big recommendation... especially to help avoid the puddles in some areas! Also, there are bats flying above, and the occasional mouse/squirrel/rat. I am a fan of street art, so I enjoy the graffiti... 80% of it is junk, but the other 20% is really great art!

hiking
2 months ago

Super fun hike. Cool to see all the artwork and graffiti. The tunnels are nice and cool on these hot summer days. Hike is not strenuous, I suggest going early because it gets pretty busy. A lot of bats on the trail today, but they kept to themselves! Great views of Donner Lake despite the smoke!

2 months ago

Fun hike, tunnels are nice and cool, and if you’re paying attention you can spot some interesting features regarding their.construction. My wife is a 4th grade teacher and the China Wall is a fascinating piece of early state history. Views of Donner Lake are outstanding. A great family outing!

hiking
2 months ago

Great views of Donner Lake with interesting graffiti in the tunnels. Feels air conditioned on a hot day!

hiking
2 months ago

A very cool trail! Bring a headlamp or flashlight. The views are gorgeous and there is some interesting artwork along the way.

hiking
3 months ago

What an awesome place! Easy 5 mile walk through thrilling dark tunnels with great artwork! I wish I brought a flashlight but my iPhone flashlight did the job by keeping us out of the few shallow puddle, but some parts got really dark and would have been nice to have a brighter light. I will definitely be returning!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful!

4 months ago

Awesome.

walking
4 months ago

Nice walk. Make sure to bring a flashlight. Some nice artwork.

hiking
24 days ago

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Sunday, June 26, 2016

hiking
Thursday, September 10, 2015

recorded M

hiking
Friday, July 03, 2015

hiking
Saturday, June 27, 2015