Donner Summit, California 96161
Donner Summit and the deep emerald lake at its feet both bear the name of the tragic emigrant party crossing Donner Pass, whose story is wonderfully displayed at a visitors center located at the site itself, less than a mile from the lake.
Today, the Donner Summit and the Donner Pass, 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 Lake Tahoe.
Donner Summit Fun Fact
Did you know? Donner Pass was named for the Donner Party, who in November 1846, found the route blocked by snow and was forced to spend the winter on the east side of the mountains. Of the 81 settlers, only 45 lived – some of them resorting to cannibalism to survive.