Donner Camp Picnic Site and Interpretive Trail

Area Status: Open

This easy 1/3 mile interpretive trail offers a glimpse of what the Donner Party went through here in the winter of 1846-47. Six trailside signs are personalized with excerpts from Donner Party member’s letters and diaries. What started out as a hopeful journey towards prosperity ended tragically for the 89 member Donner Party. During the winter of 1846-47, snow trapped the George and Jacob Donner families here in Alder Creek Valley. Others were stranded six miles to the southwest at Donner Lake. Nearly half of the Donner Party died in these mountains. The rest survived the ordeal with bitter memories of cold, hunger and death.

Accessible vault toilet and picnic tables.

No trash services. Pack it in, pack it out.

Directions: From Truckee take Highway 89 North approximately three miles north of I-80.  Look for Donner Camp Picnic Site on the right.

At a Glance

Area Amenities: Interpretive Site, Accessible, Picnic tables, Toilets, Drinking water, Parking
Fees: None
Open Season: April/May as snow conditions allow
Usage: Light
Restrictions: No water or trash services provided. Pack it in, pack it out.  No camping or campfires allowed outside of developed campgrounds.
Closest Towns: Truckee, CA
Water: No
Restroom: Vault
Operated By: Forest Service


Interpretive Areas



Interpretive Site:
Picnic tables:
Toilets: Vault
Accessible: Accessible vault toilet and picnic table. Native surface trail with board walks. Assistance may be required along some sections.
Drinking water: NO

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


Featured Events

A boy holding a fish

A Boy Fishing