Park Open Sunrise to Sunset
Campground Kiosk (530) 582-7894
Visitor Center Open 10-5 Daily
Closed Thanksgiving, Dec 25, and Jan 1
Donner Memorial State Park
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
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years
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 (summer) or the Automated Pay Machine (summer and winter) outside the Visitors Center. Day Use hours are sunrise-sunset, seven days a week.
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.
Bus Fee: $100/day
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.
Completed in 1918 by the Native Sons of the Golden West, the Pioneer Monument has been on display in this park for 104 years. In order to ensure that the monument is here to greet future generations of visitors, California State Parks is undertaking a comprehensive restoration of the monument. Conservators are cleaning and stabilizing the masonry stones and bronze sculpture. It is anticipated that the restoration of the monument will be complete by the fall of 2022.
For public safety, please maintain distance from construction activities.
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. Charcoal/wood use is prohibited in the day use areas. Propane/gas grill use is allowed.
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 page.
Ridge: Closed for the Season
Splitrock: Closed for the Season
Creek Campground: Closed for the Season
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. No overnight mooring within the park.
Winter Activities: Sustainable Truckee Winter Recreation Map. List of SNO-PARK Permit Vendors (Donner Memorial State Park is not a vendor). Snow Tubing and Sledding locations in the North Lake Tahoe region.
Additional Visitor Services
- Donner Lake Watersports (Water craft and beach rentals) - (530) 582-1999 Summer only. Typical season runs Memorial Day Weekend through September.
Location - Directions
Donner Memorial State 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. The weather forecast is available with NOAA.gov.
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.