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Winter Hikes

Staff reports

Dust off those skis and snowshoes and experience winter Sierra-style. California Department of Parks and Recreation Sierra District and the nonprofit Sierra State Parks Foundation are sponsoring several fun and educational winter activities that appeal to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.

All tours go as scheduled, though the goal may be changed in extreme conditions. Be sure to wear adequate clothing for weather conditions. Pets are not allowed on the hikes. The state does not provide transportation. Although the activities are free to the public, in some cases day use parking fees may apply.

Donner Memorial State Park

Full Moon Ski Tour

Saturday, Jan. 6

Ski by the light of the full moon to historic China Cove. Enjoy a warm fire and views of Donner Lake.

Difficulty: Easy 2 miles

Duration: 3 hours

Meet: 7 p.m. Donner Memorial State Park Emigrant Trail Museum parking area, Donner Pass road two miles west of Truckee.

Tips: Cross Country skis only, no snowshoes. Bring snack to eat at China Cove. Call for weather conditions; tour will be cancelled if moon is obscured by clouds.

Info: 582-7892

Introduction to Cross Country Skiing

Saturday, Jan. 13

Basic cross country skiing techniques: gliding, stopping, turning and falling. Basic winter survival and a ski around the state park.

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 2 hours

Meet: 10 a.m. Donner Memorial State Park Emigrant Trail Museum parking area, Donner Pass road 2 miles west of Truckee.

Tips: Wear layers, bring water, snacks and skis.

Info: 582-7892

Beginning Snowshoe Hike

Saturday, Jan. 20

This hike is for the novice. The group is limited to the first 35 people who pre-register by calling Donner Memorial State Park. The hike will start at the Donner Memorial museum. You should be in fairly good condition.

Difficulty: Easy level terrain. One mile out and one mile back.

Duration: 3 hours

Meet: 10 a.m. at Donner Memorial State Park, Emigrant Trail Museum parking lot.

Tips: Bring ski poles to assist with your balance and snow boots. Bring snacks and water.

Info: 582-7892

Peak Hike (snowshoes only)

Sunday, Jan. 21

Viewing the snow covered Sierra and enjoying lunch on the mountaintop are two memorable experiences on this hike. Designed for the intermediate snowshoer, this hike gives you the opportunity to increase your skills while enjoying a backcountry experience. The hike is subject to cancellation due to inadequate or dangerous snow conditions.

Difficulty: Intermediate, 4 miles, elevations from 7,000 – 8,000 feet

Duration: 4-5 hours, previous snowshoeing experience is a must.

Meet: 10 a.m. at Donner Memorial State Park, Emigrant Trail Museum parking lot.

Tips: Bring appropriate clothing (mountain peaks can be extremely windy at times so be prepared to add layers for warmth), water, snacks and lunch, sunscreen, sunglasses/goggles, camera (optional), gloves, hat and your spirit of adventure.

Info: 582-7892.

Donner Park History

Saturday, Jan. 27

Winter is a good time of the year to take a Donner Camp history tour. Find out who was where and what happened while they were there. Walking and snowshoeing to historic sites near the Emigrant Trail Museum and then driving your car to the historic sits at Alder Creek.

Difficulty: Easy no elevation gain at 6,000 feet.

Duration: 2 hours

Meet: 10 a.m. at Donner Memorial State Park, Emigrant Museum, Donner Pass Road, 2 miles west of Truckee.

Tips: Bring snowshoes.

Info: 582-7892.


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