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Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum
12593 Donner Pass Road at Highway 80, Truckee, CA
+1 530 582 7892
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Ranked #2 of 40 things to do in Truckee
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This museum documents the fascinating and tragic history of the Donner Party's journey to the west coast.
Truckee, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Donner Lake”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

Great spot for hanging out at the beach. Beautiful mountain lake. They are building a new museum to honor the emigrants of the 1840's including the infamous Donner Party.
A must when in Truckee in the summer.

Visited June 2013
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127 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Interesting History of the Donner Party”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

This is a beautiful state park and museum. Visit the monument which details how high the snow was when the Donner party was trapped in this area long ago. Visit the museum and see the story of the Donner party. There is a small fee but well worth it.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
46 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Enjoyed ourselves more that we anticipated”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

I have an interest in the Donner Party tragedy, and wanted to check this out while we were driving around Lake Tahoe. The hubby had little or no interest, but agreed to make the stop. First of all, the information and sights regarding the Donner Party was great. Yes, the film was old, but really interesting and we both enjoyed it. The museum was pretty uninspiring though, but hopefully this will be improved when the new center opens soon. But then we walked the Nature Trail, and that was lovely. Very pretty and interesting, even though we were there before all the wildflowers.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“In transition”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

What some of the really low marks have said is true. The film they show in the museum is really really old so the production value is really outdated. Some thing goes for the display(s) of the story and artifacts from the time period. And if you haven't been here before it can be a little hard to figure out where things are, what is available to do and all the possible things to see are.

That being said... They are in process of building a completely new museum that I think will be open in three months with what I am assuming will be brand new displays and movie among other things. So in a short time all those negative reviews will have to be reevaluted.

Meanwhile, it is a really interesting and compelling piece of history. Once you get past the laughable "movie" quality the story itself is fascinating. Same with the displays.

And half of the visit is walking the trail right outside the museum but ALSO the paths around Donner Lake itself. That part is beautiful and a lot a amenities that would be awesome in warmer weather (like picnic benches, BBQs and other things.)

Enjoyable visit that will be even better a few months from now.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Great memorial park”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

We have visited Donner Memorial State Park several times and always enjoy the visit. Be sure to take the time to watch the video presentation. We highly recommend a visit to this park.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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