Sunrise to Sunset - Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas,
and New Years Day
Visitor Center (530) 582-7892
Campground Kiosk (530) 582-7894
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 Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center and at the Pioneer Monument, built to commemorate those who emigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800's. The Visitor Center features compelling new exhibits that tell the stories of the Emigrant Experience, the Donner Party, the Land of the Washoe, Chinese construction of the railroad, and early motoring adventures over Donner Pass.
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.
Please come and enjoy our new Visitor Center!
Open 10:00am - 5:00pm everyday.
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.
Parking - Parking lots are Pay-to-Park. Fees are required to park in the parking lots year-round. Self-registration parking payment envelopes available at kiosk or pay day use parking fee in the Donner Memorial Visitor Center (10:00 am to 5:00 pm). Parking lot is open Sunrise to Sunset, 7 days a week.
Peak-Season rates (May 1 - September 30) - $10 per vehicle for the day . Non-Peak-Season rates (October 1 - April 30) - $5 per vehicle for the day.
Annual passes are available to purchase in Visitor Center.
Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center - Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center, 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 in the Visitor Center.
Pioneer Monument - Near the Visitor Center is the 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.
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.
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 leads up to U.S. Forest Service and the Pacific Crest trails beyond the park. Maps are for sale at the Donner Memorial Visitor Center.
Fishing - 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 kokanee and planted trout. A fishing license is 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 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.
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.
For camping questions, please call the campground kiosk at (530) 582-7894, daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, May thru September.
Campground Update as of September 4, 2018
For the 2019 Camping Season, reservations can be made online six months to the date of your first day of arrival at, www.reservecalifornia.com or by phone, 1(800) 444-7275.
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.