Donner Memorial State Park

UPDATE (March 31, 2020): This park is temporarily closed to vehicular access. The park remains open for locals who wish to walk, hike and bike (in parks with bike trails) in the park, provided they practice social/physical distancing of 6 feet or more. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.

In an effort to prevent visitation surges and help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), State Parks has implemented the following safety measures to date:
  • Closed some parks, meaning all trails and restrooms within these parks are closed.
  • Closed vehicular access at remaining parks, including for off-highway vehicle riding.
  • Closed all campgrounds, museums and visitor centers.
  • Cancelled all events.

A list of closures is available online at The list is dynamic and updated on a regular basis.
February 11, 2019: Day-use facilities at Donner Memorial State Park are subject to periodic closures due to snow and road conditions. Updates will be posted here. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

Phone Number

(530) 582-7894

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: 24 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: 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


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.

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.

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

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 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.

    Now accepting school group reservations.

    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

    Visitor Attractions

    ParkingParking 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 (closed for the winter), 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. 

    Additional Visitor Services
    • Donner Lake Watersports (Water craft and beach rentals)- CLOSED FOR THE 2019 SUMMER SEASON

    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.

    Camping Information

    Campground Update as of October 2, 2019

    • Ridge Campground -Campground closes on Sunday, October 6, 2019. 
    • Splitrock Campground Closed
    • Creek Campground Closed

    For camping questions, please call the campground kiosk at (530) 582-7894, daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, May thru September.

    For the 2020 Camping Season, reservations can be made online six months to the date of your first day of arrival at, or by phone, 1(800) 444-7275.


    There may be snow or wet ground in many of the campsites. Hiking trails may be covered in snow, especially in shaded, north-facing areas.
    Please come prepared with camping items to help your camping experience - tarps, winter footwear, insulated sleeping pads... Fall season camping in the Sierras is an adventure.

    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.

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