26th annual Donner Party Hike: Spectacular Sierra Nevada scenery combined with fascinating history
TRUCKEE — Hikers can explore the most historically significant square mile in California Sept. 15-16 by participating in the 26th annual Donner Party Hike. There will be stories, historic photographs, exercise, scenery, and fun, according to a release.
Participants can choose from seven different hikes on Saturday, and a walking tour or a bus tour on Sunday. All hikes offer interesting insight into Donner Summit history from local area guides, along with invigorating recreation and beautiful scenery.
Saturday’s hikes begin and end at Sugar Bowl located on Highway 40 on Donner Summit. Guides will lead groups of approximately 15-20 people to interpretive spots giving detailed historical information focused on the most historically significant area in California.
In the afternoon, hikers will enjoy a hamburger lunch and music by Richard Blair, and a presentation by Jim Bonar an expert on the first transcontinental highway, the Lincoln Highway.
There are seven hike options of varying length offered on Saturday. Explore the Dutch Flat Donner Lake Wagon Road and 1913 Corridor Lincoln Highway with views of petroglyphs, old roadside billboards and the China Wall.
Hike up Roller Pass and Mt. Judah to see where wagon trains were winched up over the granite. Discover pristine High Sierra Lakes, explore Summit Valley and Native American grinding rocks, or check out the Railroad Snowsheds.
Finally, the new hike is Historic Donner Pass.
Sunday starts with a more relaxed walking tour departing from the Donner Camp Picnic Area, located on 2.5 miles north of Truckee on Highway 89.
Following the walking tour where guides will detail the Donner Party’s encampment, participants will drive to Donner Memorial State Park to hear more about the Donner Party, the Pioneer Monument, visit the Murphy’s Cabin Site, and enjoy entrance to the visitor center offering a historical movie about the Donner Party. An alternative is a bus tour of Donner Summit historic sites: petroglyphs, grinding rocks, emigrant wagon wheel rust marks, the Lincoln Highway, and a lot more.
Space is limited for all events and reservations are required. Early registration for the Saturday hikes is $50 ($60 after Aug. 27 per hiker) and includes a guided hike, commemorative t-shirt, hamburger lunch and afternoon presentation.
Sunday’s walking tour is part of a two day package and includes the guided walk and entrance to the visitor center. The two-day hike package is $75 ($85 after Aug. 27). The bus tour of historic Donner Summit is $35.
Complete hike descriptions and registration forms can be found at http://www.donnerpartyhike.com.
Saturday evening, Sept. 15, will also feature Barbara Czerwinski and Heidi Sproat of the of the Truckee Donner Historical Society presenting a talk on Charles McGlashan and the coming of winter sports to Truckee. This speaker series presentation will be at the Donner State Park starting at 5 p.m. Admission is free.
The event is produced by the Donner Summit Historical Society. Sponsors of this event include: Donner Memo- rial State Park,Truckee Chamber of Commerce, and the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation.
Source: Donner Summit Historical Society
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