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Donner-Lake is a pristine mountain lake located in the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, approximately 100 miles east of Sacramento via Interstate 80. It is the site where the infamous Donner Party, one of the earliest pioneer wagon trains, was stranded in the winter of 1846-1847. Located at the site today is the Donner Memorial State Park, which offers summer vacation opportunities for boating, fishing, water-skiing, hiking, picnicking and camping. The park encompasses about 1700 acres, and contains the Emigrant Trail Museum and Pioneer Monument, built to commemorate those who immigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800's. Inside the museum are displays and information about the Donner Party. A public boat ramp is available at the northwest corner of the lake and there are over three miles of frontage on the lake and Donner Creek for fishing. Donner Lake has approximately 2.5 miles of hiking trails, and the park property in Coldstream Canyon to the south contains the alignment of the original emigrant trail. There is a state park campground located at the lake, along with day-use areas with picnic tables, a beach, fishing, a hiking trail and restrooms. The town of Truckee is a ten-minute drive away and has shopping, restaurants and other conveniences. Donner Lake is approximately 20 miles to the North Shore of Lake Tahoe and 35 miles to Reno.

Surrounding areas: Tahoe Donner, California (2.1 mi), Truckee, California (4.5 mi), Northstar, California (8.6 mi), Squaw Valley, California (8.6 mi), Olympic Valley, California (10.1 mi), Alpine Meadows, California (10.2 mi), Cedar Flat, California (11.6 mi)

Donner Lake Vacation Rentals

Donner Lake Hotels and Resorts

Hotels & Motels
Loch Leven Lodge13855 Donner Pass RdTruckee, CA (530) 587-3773
Truckee Super 8 Lodge11506 Deerfield DrTruckee, CA2.8 mi.(530) 587-8888
Best Western Trailside Inn343 N MainAlturas, CA4.3 mi.(530) 233-4111
Best Western Truckee Tahoe Inn11331 Hwy 267Truckee, CA4.5 mi.(800) 824-6385
Hampton Inn & Suites Tahoe/Truckee11951 State Hwy #267Truckee, CA4.5 mi.(530) 587-1197
Holiday Inn Express10527 Cold STRM RdTruckee, CA4.5 mi.(530) 582-1073
Resort At Squaw Creek400 Squaw Creek RdOlympic Valley, CA8.6 mi.(530) 583-6300
Plumpjack Squaw Valley Inn1920 Squaw Vly RdOlympic Valley, CA10.1 mi.(530) 583-1576
Zelmar Lakeview LodgeN LK Blvd & Carnelian Bay RdCarnelian Bay, CA11.9 mi.(530) 546-3133
Lake Of The Sky Motor Inn955 N LK BlvdTahoe City, CA12.4 mi.(916) 583-3305
Tahoe City Travelodge455 N LK BlvdTahoe City, CA12.4 mi.(916) 583-3766
Sunnyside Resort1850 W Lake BlvdTahoe City, CA13.7 mi.(530) 583-7200
Cal Neva Lodge Resort Hotel Spa & Casino2 Stateline RdCrystal Bay, NV15.5 mi.(775) 832-4000
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe111 Country ClubIncline Village, NV16.4 mi.(775) 832-1243
Inn At Incline Condominiums1003 LK BlueIncline Village, NV16.4 mi.(775) 831-1052
Tahoe Lake Cottages7030 West LK BlvdTahoma, CA19.1 mi.(916) 525-4411
Boomtown Hotel & Casino2100 I-80 W & Garson ExitVerdi, NV20.1 mi.(775) 345-6000
Motel 6 #1981400 Stardust StReno, NV27.1 mi.(775) 747-7390
Atlantis Casino Resort3800 S Virginia StReno, NV27.6 mi.(800) 723-6500
Courtyard By Marriott Reno6855 South Virginia StReno, NV27.6 mi.(800) 321-2211
Holiday Inn Convention Center5851 S Virginia StReno, NV27.6 mi.(775) 825-2940
Truckee River Lodge501 West First StReno, NV27.6 mi.(800) 635-8950
Holiday Inn Express Carson City4055 N Carson StCarson City, NV27.7 mi.(775) 283-4055
Peppermill Hotel & Casino2707 S VirginiaReno, NV27.7 mi.(775) 826-2121
Quality Inn South1885 S Virginia StReno, NV27.7 mi.(775) 329-1001
Quality Inn1885 S VirginiaReno, NV27.7 mi.(775) 329-1001
Comstock Hotel & Casino2000 W Second StReno, NV27.8 mi.(775) 329-1880
Sands Regency Hotel & Casino345 N Arlington AveReno, NV27.8 mi.(775) 348-2200
Golden Phoenix Hotel Casino255 N Sierra StReno, NV27.9 mi.(775) 785-7100
Virginian Hotel & Casino140 N Virginia StReno, NV27.9 mi.(775) 329-4664
Days Inn3103 N Carson StCarson City, NV28.0 mi.(775) 883-3343
Circus Circus Hotel Casino500 N Sierra StReno, NV28.0 mi.(775) 329-0711
Eldorado Hotel Casino345 N Virginia StReno, NV28.0 mi.(775) 786-5700
Harrah's Reno219 North Center StReno, NV28.0 mi.(775) 788-3230
Silver Legacy Resort Casino407 N Virginia StReno, NV28.0 mi.(775) 329-4777
Hampton Inn And Suites10599 Professional CirReno, NV28.1 mi.(775) 336-2222
Motel 6866 N WLS AveReno, NV28.1 mi.(775) 786-9852
Siena Hotel Spa CasinoOne S Lake StReno, NV28.1 mi.(877) 743-6233
Tanamera900 S MDWS PkwyReno, NV28.1 mi.(800) 251-2334
University Inn1001 N VirginiaReno, NV28.1 mi.(775) 323-0321

Donner Lake Weather & Climate

The Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, just west of the Nevada state line has an alpine mountain climate. This high mountain region is known as one of the chilliest spots in the country, which comes as a big surprise to many that visit California. Nestled between the Sierra Nevada peaks, the towns of Truckee and Graeagle, and the Donner Lake region, often gets an inversion, whereby cold air is trapped overnight, thus the reason for the extreme cold temperatures in the very early morning hours - even in summertime. As the sun comes up, the temperature begins to rise and daytime highs are usually quite pleasant. Large amounts of snow are received in the higher elevations of the Sierras - up to 40 feet. Rain is possible any month of the year, although most occurs October through April. Mountain weather conditions can change quickly, and rain in the lower elevations can mean snow, sleet or ice in the higher elevations.

     Month       High Temp   Low Temp   Rainfall   Ocean Temp 
January 39°F 14°F 6.89 in. -
February 42°F 16°F 6.72 in. -
March 45°F 21°F 5.83 in. -
April 51°F 25°F 2.50 in. -
May 60°F 31°F 1.55 in. -
June 71°F 36°F 0.76 in. -
July 79°F 41°F 0.47 in. -
August 79°F 40°F 0.59 in. -
September 72°F 35°F 1.11 in. -
October 61°F 28°F 2.18 in. -
November 47°F 21°F 4.92 in. -
December 39°F 15°F 5.48 in. -

Donner Lake Map & Transportation

Main viewing image.
Click each thumbnail image to enlarge.
The closest airports in the area are the Reno Tahoe International airport (RNO) located about 29 miles east of Donner Lake in Reno, Nevada, the Reno Stead airport (4SD) located approximately 31 miles northeast of Donner Lake in Reno, Nevada, the Lake Tahoe airport (TVL) located roughly 32 miles south of Donner Lake in South Lake Tahoe, California, and finally the Mc Clellan Airfield (MCC) located around 75 miles southwest of Donner Lake in Sacramento, California.

Donner Lake Attractions

Amusement and Theme Parks
Playland ParkRenoNV28.1 mi.
Tahoe Amusement ParkSouth Lake TahoeCA30.9 mi.
Wild IslandSparksNV31.1 mi.
FunderlandSacramentoCA83.5 mi.
Water Parks
Wild Island Family Adventure ParkSparksNV31.1 mi.
Waterworld USASacramentoCA83.5 mi.
Big Bear ParkWaterfordCA119.2 mi.
Golf Courses
Coyote Moon Golf ClubTruckeeCA4.5 mi.
Tahoe Donner Golf ClubTruckeeCA4.5 mi.
Ponderosa Golf CourseTruckeeCA5.5 mi.
Tahoe City Golf CourseTahoe CityCA12.3 mi.
Old Brockway Golf CourseKings BeachCA14.1 mi.
Lake Ridge Golf CourseRenoNV27.9 mi.
Northgate Golf ClubRenoNV27.9 mi.
Rosewood Lakes Golf CourseRenoNV27.9 mi.
Washoe Golf CourseRenoNV27.9 mi.
Wolf Run Golf Club at Fieldcreek RanchRenoNV27.9 mi.
Sierra Sage Golf CourseRenoNV29.2 mi.
Eagle Valley Golf CourseCarson CityNV29.3 mi.
Empire Ranch Golf CourseCarson CityNV29.3 mi.
Silver Oak Golf CourseCarson CityNV29.3 mi.
Brookside Municipal Golf CourseRenoNV29.6 mi.
Ski Areas
Northstar-at-TahoeTruckeeCA4.5 mi.
Tahoe DonnerTruckeeCA4.5 mi.
Donner Ski RanchNordenCA4.8 mi.
Sugar Bowl TahoeNordenCA4.8 mi.
Squaw ValleyOlympic ValleyCA10.8 mi.
Alpine MeadowsTahoe CityCA12.4 mi.
Diamond PeakIncline VillageNV16.4 mi.
Ski HomewoodHomewoodCA17.2 mi.
Mount Rose Ski AreaRenoNV28.1 mi.
Heavenly Ski ResortSouth Lake TahoeCA31.1 mi.
Sierra-at-TahoeTwin BridgesCA36.1 mi.
Kirkwood Ski ResortKirkwoodCA44.1 mi.
Bear ValleyBear ValleyCA60.5 mi.
Dodge RidgePinecrestCA73.3 mi.
State Parks
Donner Memorial State ParkCA1.4 mi. 
Burton Creek State ParkCA11.4 mi. 
Tahoe State ParkCA12.8 mi. 
Kings Beach State ParkCA14.6 mi. 
Sugar Pine Point State ParkCA20.4 mi. 
Lake Tahoe State ParkNV22.7 mi. 
D L Bliss State ParkCA25.5 mi. 
Washoe Lake State ParkNV26.6 mi. 
Snyder Meadows State ParkNV27.1 mi. 
Emerald Bay State ParkCA27.4 mi. 
Dayton State ParkNV37.1 mi. 
Plumas Eureka State ParkCA38.1 mi. 
Emigrant Trail MuseumTruckeeCA4.5 mi.(History)
W.M. Keck MuseumRenoNV28.1 mi.(History)
Nevada Historical SocietyRenoNV28.1 mi.(Miscellaneous)
Fleischmann PlanetariumRenoNV28.1 mi.(Science)
National Automobile MuseumRenoNV28.1 mi.(Technology)
Nevada Museum of ArtRenoNV28.1 mi.(Art)
Stewart Indian MuseumCarson CityNV28.9 mi.(History)
Nevada State Railroad MuseumCarson CityNV28.9 mi.(Technology)
Genoa Courthouse MuseumGenoaNV31.4 mi.(History)
Portola Railroad MuseumPortolaCA35.4 mi.(Technology)
Vernon Wood Museum of ArtDaytonNV36.5 mi.(Art)
Carson Valley Museum and Cultural CenterGardnervilleNV38.2 mi.(History)
Zoos and Aquariums
Sacramento ZooSacramentoCA83.5 mi.
Micke Grove ZooLodiCA98.6 mi.

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