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Organization Title

Donner Memorial State Park

Contact Information

(530) 582-7892

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: 24 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: 28 Feet

Park Hours

Call the park

Emigrant Trail Museum Hours
10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Open 7 days a week

Also closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas,
and New Years Day

Driving Directions to Donner Memorial SP

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.

View on Map

Camping and Lodging

Online reservations are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Reservations can be made 7 months in advance on the first day of the month beginning at 8:00 a.m. PST via the website, by mail, or by calling the toll free telephone number at 1-800-444-7275. Due to seasonal volume, access to the ReserveAmerica website and the telephone line may at times be limited.

Online Reservations

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

Welcome to the Sierra

Located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada, Donner Memorial State Park offers the summer vacationer opportunities for camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, water-skiing, and hiking.  In winter, visitors can cross-country ski and snowshoe on trails and enjoy the season's beauty.  Visitors are welcome year-round at the Emigrant Trail Museum and at the Pioneer Monument, built to commemorate those who emigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800's.  Included in the museum are displays and information about one of the earliest pioneer wagon trains, the Donner Party, forced by circumstances to camp at the east end of Donner Lake in the winter of 1846-47, resulting in human suffering and loss of life.

The park encompasses Schallenberger Ridge to the south of Donner Lake. In and around the park you can see some of the Sierra Nevada's geologic history:

  • The granite that rose within the crust of the earth in enormous bubbles, then cooled and hardened, to be exposed by erosion.
  • The older sedimentary rocks, transformed by temperature and pressure.
  • The Sierra's steep eastern face, created when gigantic upheavals tilted a section of the earth's crust.
  • The glaciers that dominated the area a few thousand years ago have left huge boulders and debris that remained when the ice melted.
  • March 4, 2015 - Press Release

     Donner Memorial State Park New Visitor Center to Open in June

    Febuary 23, 2015 Press Release

    Donner Memorial State Park Seeking Interested Volunteers

    Camping Information

    Campsites are $35 per night; a map of the campground is available by clicking the maps/brochures icon at the right of this page

    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.

    Location - Directions

    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.

    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.

    Visitor Attractions

    Public Boat Ramp
    While the park has no boat launching ramp, a public ramp operated by the Truckee Donner Recreation & Parks District is available in the northwest corner of Donner Lake. There is a fee charged for boat launching. For information call (530) 582-7720. The lake is open to both power and sail boats.

    The park has over three miles of frontage on Donner Lake and Donner Creek. Although the fishing is not usually spectacular, the lake has some native kokanee and planted trout. A fishing license is required. (Many fisherment prefer to use the park as a base to visit nearby lakes).

    Hiking Trails

    The park has about 2.5 miles (4 km.) of hiking trails.  Park property in Coldstream Canyon to the south contains the alignment of the primary Emigrant Trail, which leads up to U.S. Forest Service and the Pacific Crest trails beyond the park.  Maps are for sale at the Emigrant Trail Museum.

    Camping and Day Use
    Located at Donner Memorial State Park is a campground of 154 sites and a day-use area along the lake with picnic tables, restrooms, a beach, fishing, and a lakeside interpretive trail that has 18 panels which discuss the natural and cultural resources in the area.

    Emigrant Trail Museum

    The Emigrant Trail Museum, located at Donner Memorial State Park, takes about 1 hour to visit.  It depicts 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.  Postcards, posters, maps, and books about the human and natural history of the area are for sale at the museum.

    Pioneer Monument
    Near the museum is the Pioneer Monument and the Donner Party's Murphy family cabin site. Also starting at the museum is a self-guiding nature trail which is a one half mile loop. Nature trail guides are available at the museum and campground entrance station. Staff-led hikes, special feature shows, and campfires start in late June. Hikes, ranging from 1 - 2 hours, start at the museum at 10:00 a.m.

    Available Activities and Facilities at Donner Memorial State Park

    Boat Rentals
    Family Campsites
    Hike or Bike Campsites
    RV Access
    Hiking Trails
    Historical/Cultural Site
    Picnic Areas
    Env. Learning/Visitor Center
    Exhibits and Programs
    Guided Tours
    Interpretive Exhibits
    Beach Area
    Family Programs
    Restrooms / Showers
    Drinking Water Available
    Wheelchair Accessible