Over the summit to historic Big Bend Visitor Center
Big Bend Visitor Center is the site of California state registered historic landmark 799-2 on the California emigrant trail, located 10 miles west of Donner Summit on Interstate 80, 49685 Hampshire Rocks Road. The first group of emigrants to cross the Sierra Nevada with covered wagons wintered here in 1844-45. Find information on recreation activities in the Tahoe National Forest and nearby areas, area maps to help interpret and enlighten your understanding of this area, and interpret the early emigrant and transportation history that helped California develop as a state in the museum.
Take the Rainbow or Big Bend exit and follow the Ranger Station signs along old U.S. 40. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day and#8212; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Call 426-3609 for information.
Down the Rocky Road, Walk the Emigrant Trail at Big Bend
Sundays at 1:30 p.m. Join rangers for a walk along the Emigrant trail to California, as well as the first paved road across the Sierra. This easy one-mile walk takes about 60 minutes as we explore the evidence left by the first emigrants to cross these mountains with covered wagons in the 1840s, and discuss how their pioneering efforts affected the growth and development of the Golden State.
Star Gazing at Big Bend
Featured celestial objects Saturday, Aug. 7, 8:30-10 p.m., Venus, Mars, Saturn, Milky Way. Saturday, Sept. 4, 8-9:30 p.m., Venus, Mars, Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter. Join astronomer Don Machholz for a guided tour of the heavens! Meet at the Loch Leven trailhead, 1/8 mile east of Big Bend Visitor Center. Bring a flashlight with something to mute the light, and warm clothing for the twilight chill. Weand#8217;ll supply telescopes, star charts and expert knowledge to help you discover how vast the universe appears from 5,800 feet.
Discover the Rock Symbols of Donner Pass
Fridays at 7 p.m. Explore evidence of ancient human exploration in the Donner Summit area. Petroglyphs and pictographs, carved and painted symbols on rocks, give clues about the people who created them. Meet at China Wall Parking area on Donner Pass Road, just east of the arched Pioneer Bridge.
Walk among current blooms around the Big Bend area. Please wear comfortable walking shoes. A camera is recommended. Call for more information.
Become a Junior Ranger
Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Join the ranks as a Junior Ranger. Children of all ages are invited to come discover nature. Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult. Activities provide a chance to learn about trees, insects, rivers, safety, maps and protecting the environment.
Movie Time at Big Bend
Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sit back and relax and step back in time during our Forest Service film festival in the Hi-def video theatre. Playing Forest Service related films, some serious, some silly. Presentation lengths vary.
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