Hikers can experience the early emigrants' journey across the Sierra Nevada mountains by participating in the Annual Donner Party Hike. The Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce is hosting this popular event that unites two passions – love for the Sierra Nevada wilderness and fascinating emigrant history.
Participants can choose from seven different hikes on Saturday, and on Sunday a walking tour. All events offer insight into emigrant history from area guides, along with invigorating recreation and beautiful scenery.
Saturday's hikes begin and end at the Mt. Judah Lodge at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort 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.
Hike options include a 3.5 mile trek in Summit Canyon, recently acquired by Truckee Donner Land Trust, previously private property. That hike explores the Dutch Flat Donner Lake Wagon Road that has significant historical value in emigration, the transcontinental railroad, and development of America's highway system. Other hikes include a 4 mile trek with views of petroglyphs, old roadside "billboards" and the China Wall; a 4-5 mile hike heading up Roller Pass; a 6 mile hike past pristine High Sierra Lakes; a strenuous 6 mile hike over Coldstream Pass, one of the most heavily traveled emigrant routes; or a 5 mile hike through old railroad tunnels and snowsheds.
After the hike, participants will enjoy a lunch and a Chautauqua performance. Chautauqua is an art, a performance, where someone portrays a character through the character's own words and brings the character alive, plus adds commentary of today's issues.
Sunday offers a more relaxed walking tour departing from the Donner Camp Picnic Area, located on Highway 89 North. Activities include a walking tour where guides will detail the Donner Party saga and their encampment, a visit to the Murphy's Cabin Site and entrance to the Donner Memorial State Park Museum offering a historical movie about the Donner Party.
Also, There are Saturday hikes that begin and end at Donner Ski Ranch located on Highway 40 on Donner Summit. Choose one of the six hikes listed below. Guides lead groups of approximately 15–20 people to interpretive spots giving detailed historical information focused on emigrant and area history. Visit: www.donnerpartyhike.com/2015-hikes
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