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Donner Party Historic Camp Interpretive Trail

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2019 Sept 14 Donner Camp Trail

Jean Ford Wildflower and History Walk at Alder Creek and Donner Lake State Park
Donner Historic Camp Site at Alder Creek invites you to imagine the hardships that the Donner Party experienced.

  • WHEN: Saturday, September 14, 2019
  • WHERE: Donner Camp Trail at Alder Creek
  • Address: 13813 Alder Creek Rd, Truckee, CA 96161
  • TIME: 9:00 a.m. at the Park Entrance to Alder Creek
  • Bring your own bag lunch. Carpooling is available.

Contact Patti Bernard (775) 826-3612 to RSVP and for additional information and carpooling.


Part of the Donner group was trapped here at Alder Creek in the winter of 1846‐47 by an early and severe snowstorm, and their own delay, caused in part by an ill‐conceived “shortcut that proved disastrous to this party of emigrants.” We tend to think of pioneering as “men’s work,” but women played a most crucial role. Come hear a bit of Donner history by ‘Professor’ Patti as we walk in their footsteps, as well as admire and identify some of the wildflowers along the route.

The interpretive materials located along this gentle 1/3‐mile trail pay powerful tribute to the strength of the Donner women, who died here while most of their children survived.

Free parking, restrooms and picnic tables are available at this unstaffed historic site.

The Donner Historic Camp Site at Alder Creek is easy to find on Highway 89 North, about 2 1/2 miles north of I‐80, right before Truckee, Calif. Next we will drive 6.2 miles to Donner Lake State Park. There is a $10 per car admission fee which allows you free admittance to the newly renovated Donner Memorial Museum. We will finish off our Donner Party history with a short walk to the site where most of the emigrants camped.

Following that we will eat our bagged lunches. Those that wish to will visit the Donner Memorial Museum will be free to do so.