Donner Summit

Tucked  into a bold granite spine dividing the Sierra Nevada is a world of amazing  recreation, scenery and history. Donner Summit and the deep emerald lake at its feet both bear the name of the tragic emigrant party whose story is  wonderfully displayed at a visitors center located at the site itself, less  than a mile from the lake.

Today, the Donner area is anything but daunting. Even though it’s just a minute or two from I-80, it somehow feels quaintly removed from all things ultra. There are small general stores, knick-knack and  curio shops, public piers, motels and cabins, pleasant cafes and restaurants, hiking trails, biking trails, endless views, fishing guides, sandy beaches, and an amazing selections of slopes that lure boarders and skiers alike to  Sugar Bowl, Norden, and Donner Ski Ranch. The amphitheater of granite at the west end of the lake is lined with rock climbing routes that are among the world’s most famous.

Donner – the summit as well as the lake -- is merely a  few minutes from downtown Truckee and only another 20 minutes from the shores of Tahoe.