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 alongMake Donner Lake part of your personalized Patterson itinerary using our Patterson online travel route planner.
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.
Donner Lake 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.
Plan your trip to Patterson
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Patterson
Plans to Donner Lake by other users
60 days in Reno BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, popular sights Preferences: June, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 39 days in Tahoe City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, teens, kids, popular sights Preferences: April, teens, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 35 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 12 days in Truckee & Yosemite National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 7 days in Virginia City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 5 days in Virginia City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium