Donner Memorial State Park

Phone Number

(530) 582-7894

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: Up to 24 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: Up to 28 Feet

Park Hours

Sunrise to Sunset - Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas,
and New Years Day

Visitor Center (530) 582-7892
Campground Kiosk (530) 582-7894

 

Dogs Allowed?

Yes
Dogs are allowed on the Lakeside Interpretive Trail, Zig Zag Trail, fire roads, and along the shore of Donner Lake except for China Cove Beach. Dogs must always remain on a six-foot (maximum) leash. Dogs are not allowed in the visitor center, on the half-mile Nature Trail, or China Cove Beach. Dogs are not allowed on designated ski trails when snow is present.

Driving Directions to Donner Memorial State Park

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.

Camping and Lodging

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

BOATING
Boating
Boat Rentals
OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Family Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
RV Access
TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Fishing
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Beach Area
Swimming
Windsurfing/Surfing
Museums
Family Programs
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms / Showers
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available
Wheelchair Accessible

Welcome to the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Donner Memorial State Park is located in the scenic the Sierra Nevada mountain range at an elevation of about 6,000 feet.

This legendary alpine park offers summer camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, water-skiing, and hiking. During winter, visitors can cross-country ski, snowshoe on trails, and play in the snow. Visitors are welcome year-round to visit the famous Pioneer Monument, built to commemorate the California emigrants traveling west during the mid-1800's.

The Visitor Center features compelling exhibits that illuminate the Emigrant Experience, the Donner Party, the Land of the Washoe, Chinese construction of the railroad, and early motoring adventures over Donner Pass.

Welcome to the Visitor Center

Open 10:00am - 5:00pm everyday.

To inquire about school programs including Wagons Ho or to make reservations for both guided and self-guided school group tours, please call (530) 582-7892 or send an email to donnermuseum@parks.ca.gov

Visitor Attractions

Parking: Fees are required to park in the parking lots year-round. You may pay for parking in the Donner Memorial Visitor Center (10am-5pm) or self-register your parking payment using envelopes at the entrance kiosk. Day Use hours are 7am to 8pm, seven days a week.

Rates: 

May 1 - September 30: $10 per vehicle for the day.

October 1 - April 30: $5 per vehicle.

Annual passes are available to purchase in Visitor Center.

Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center: Explore the history of the area and the people who came into this part of the Sierra, including local Native Americans, the Donner Party, and builders of the transcontinental railroad. Visitors can expect to spend about one hour exploring exhibits. Postcards, posters, maps, and books about the human and natural history of the area are for sale in the Visitor Center.

Pioneer Monument: Dedicated to the pioneers who crossed the Sierra on their way to the west, it stands on the spot where the Schallenberger, and later the Breen, cabin once stood. California Historical Landmark #134 it was completed on June 6th 1918, and sits atop a 22 foot pedestal and faces westward toward Donner Pass. 

Day Use: Day Use hours are sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. Day use area along the lake with picnic tables, restrooms (open from Memorial Day to Labor Day), a beach, fishing, and a lakeside interpretive trail featuring panels focusing on the natural and cultural resources in the area. Due to dry conditions, increased day use visitation levels and increasing fire danger, wood or charcaol fires are prohibited in day use areas.

Camping: The Donner Memorial State Park campground offers 154 sites with picnic tables, restrooms (open from Memorial Day to Labor Day), beach, fishing, and lakeside interpretive trail. More information: Camping Information pageDONNER CAMPRGOUNDS ARE CLOSED FOR THE 2021 SEASON AND WILL REOPEN MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND 2022.

Hiking Trails: The park has over 8 miles (12.9 km) of hiking and over-the-snow trails. Park property in Coldstream Canyon to the south contains the alignment of the primary Emigrant Trail, which connects to U.S. Forest Service trails and the Pacific Crest Trail. Brochure maps are available online and at the Donner Memorial Visitor Center.

Fishing: The park has over two miles of frontage on Donner Lake and Donner Creek. Although the fishing is not usually spectacular, the lake has kokanee and planted trout. Fishing licenses are required. (Many fishermen prefer to use the park as a base to visit nearby lakes).

Public Boat Ramp: The park does not have a boat launching ramp. A public boat launch ramp, operated by the Truckee Donner Recreation & Parks District is available for a fee, in the northwest corner of Donner Lake. For information call (530) 582-7720. The lake is open to both power and sail boats. 

Additional Visitor Services
  • Donner Lake Watersports (Water craft and beach rentals)- Currently OPEN for the season, (530) 582-1999

Location - Directions

The park is located 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.

Seasons/Climate Recommended Clothing

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.

Food Storage Locker Information

Metal bear-resistant food lockers are provided in each campsite. All food, beverages, and toiletries are required by law to be stored in provided food lockers. The inside dimensions of the food lockers are 36" deep, 43" wide, and 28" high. Violators will be cited.