Hosted by the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce, the Donner Party Hike returns for its 19th year on October 8th for a two day event – sure to be just as successful as the last. The goal is to highlight the area's beauty, recreational sights and emigrant history.
If you are unfamiliar with the history of the Donner Party, here is a quick historic recap to bring you up to speed. On April 16, 1846 several families, in nine covered wagons, left Springfield, Illinois heading west to California. After a tragic, twisting series of events the Donner Party made their way to California and split into two camps for the winter of 1846-47. One group made it to the eastern end of Donner Lake, and another was unable to proceed beyond camp at Alder Creek. Unfortunately, they were one day shy of crossing Donner Summit to due to snow, and resorted to waiting the winter out at Donner; where grisly cannibalism occurred for survival. Although 46 members of the Donner Party survived, two-thirds were women, and the majority of men in the original group of families had perished.
Following are the hikes available for the choosing of event goers on Saturday:
• Dutch Flat Donner Lake Wagon Road 1913 Corridor Lincoln Highway: Pass petroglyphs, roadside billboards and the China Wall. Find out where and why these roads were built.
• Roller Pass: Hike up the Pacific Crest Trail and back to see views of Donner Pass, Coldstream Pass and Roller Pass where emigrants were forced to winch their wagons up a 35-degree granite slope.
• Roller Pass / Judah Loop: Enjoy the Roller Pass hike with an additional mile at the top to go around the Judah Loop and on to Donner Peak.
• Coldstream Pass: Hike over one of the most heavily traveled emigrant routes. The hike is strenuous, rising and descending over a minimum of 1800 vertical feet.
• High Sierra Lakes: Incredible vistas seen by emigrants as they passed through the High Sierra years ago. Discover hidden alpine lakes while exploring Donner Summit.
• Railroad Snowsheds: View the China Wall and go through several railroad tunnels with views of Donner Lake.
For further information and admission fees, contact Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce.