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Donner Lake, California

#282 of 610 in Nature in California
Donner Lake is a freshwater lake in Northeast California on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada and about 20 miles (32 km) northwest of the much larger Lake Tahoe. A moraine serves as a natural dam for the lake. The lake is located in the town of Truckee, between Interstate 80 to the north and Schallenberger Ridge to the south. The tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad run along

Schallenberger Ridge and closely follow the route of the original transcontinental railroad. The historic route of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road across America and US 40 follows the northern shoreline, then climbs to Donner Pass from where the entire lake may be viewed.

Both the lake and the pass were named after the ill-fated Donner Party, which wintered involuntarily near the lake in 1846. Donner Memorial State Park is on the east end of the lake and provides campsites with access to several different beaches. There are also various hiking trails in the park.
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Donner Lake Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
50 reviews
  • We passed by here on our way to the east side of Yosemite National Park. We had to stop so I could show my girl were I used to go fishing when I was a kid. It brought up nice memories of back...  more »
  • Nice place. Clean and quiet. We drove around for a little bit just enjoying the scenery. Then we parked and walked around a little bit. it was very quiet, and very little people around on a Tuesday....  more »
  • Amazing lake! Dog friendly and a great place to swim. They have public docs for everyone to use!
  • Great time we went as a huge group, very nice place.

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