Truckee tradition: 24th annual Donner Party Hike set for this weekend |

Truckee tradition: 24th annual Donner Party Hike set for this weekend

Special to the Sun
The 24th annual Donner Party Hike is conducted in collaboration with the Donner Summit Historical Society.
Courtesy Erskine Photography |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Hikers can travel the footsteps of early emigrants’ journey across the Sierra Nevada Friday Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8-9, by participating in the 24th annual Donner Party Hike.

Participants can choose from six different hikes on Saturday, and a walking tour on Sunday. All hikes offer interesting insight into emigrant history from local area guides, along with invigorating recreation and beautiful scenery.

Aaturday’s hikes begin and end at Donner Ski Ranch 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 emigrant and area history. In the afternoon, hikers will enjoy a hamburger lunch, and a presentation by Frank Mullen an expert on the Donner Party.

There are six 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 or explore Coldstream Canyon. Back this year is the return of the Railroad Snowsheds hike. Each hike offers a unique and memorable experience.

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 all new visitor center offering a historical movie about the Donner Party.

Space is limited for all events and reservations are required. Registration for the Saturday hikes is $65 per hiker and includes a guided hike, 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 $90.

This year’s event is produced by Just Imagine Marketing and Design, in collaboration with Donner Summit Historical Society. Sponsors of this event include: Best Western Truckee Tahoe, Donner Lake Village Resort, Donner Memorial State Park, Hampton Inn and Suites Tahoe-Truckee, Inn at Truckee, Tahoe Donner, Truckee Chamber of Commerce, Truckee Donner Lodge, Tahoe Trail Bar and Wild Cherries Coffeehouse.

This article was provided by the Donner Party Hike. Visit for complete hike descriptions and registration forms.