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“Great place to hike, bike and swim” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum

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, United States
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
12 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great place to hike, bike and swim”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

We walk through the park frequently and take our dogs swimming on the shore of Donner Lake. The museum is being rebuilt and due to open Fall 2013, we have also camped there. Very nice, roomy and shady campsites. Only complaint was the all night highway 80 traffic noise.

Visited June 2013
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144 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    57
    54
    26
    6
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Disappointing museum”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

This state park is over-rated for visitors. While it may be an excellent place to camp and hike (Donner Lake is near the visitor center and is beautiful), the visitor experience is very weak.

Let me say I don't mind spending $8 to park. The CA state park system is short of funds, so I'm willing to pay my part. What I do mind is a poorly organized museum that relies mainly on long written plaques. Very non-interactive. Also, there's a shortage of information about the Donner Party - which was our main reason for visiting.

A very pleasant nature walk outside, but again, there's very little information. Surely, the CA state park team can do a better job for a site of such historical importance.

Visited July 2013
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Donner Memorial State Park Camping”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

We stayed at this campground for 3 nights. It is a beautiful state park , it's just to bad the staff wasn't as nice. They are very rude and treated our family with disrespect. The restrooms were disgusting, with feces and urine all over. Granted, this is 95 percent people but, there is no hand soap, no towels or hand dryers and at times no toilet paper. My husband and I had to take our own cleaning products to clean in order for our granddaughters to be able to use it. I will think twice before I go back to this campground.

Visited July 2013
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Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

We frequent Truckee/Donner a few times a year. This time we decided to camp instead of rent a cabin. The info on the Donner party is interesting and you can find several info boards on the Lakeshore Interpretive Trail which is about 2.5 miles round trip. The campsites were clean, hosts friendly and hot showers which was not bad at a price of 0.50 for 5 mins but at the calm of night you can hear the highway. We rented some paddle boats and paddle boards which was a great deal at $20.00 an hr.

Visited July 2013
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Sacramento, California
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
14 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Truly heavenly!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Family and I visit this park often and enjoy it each time. While it may seem crowded in the mid-summer when driving in to find parking, there is always parking available. There is always a spot to set-up for day use under the trees and right next to the water. The water seems much warmer than Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River, or the ocean. The people encountered are always polite and pleasant. There is a watercraft rental area close by. Hiking/walking under the very tall trees, beautiful blue sky, near the emerald green lake with a balmy breeze blowing - who could ask for more. Plus, there are flush toilets not outhouses. The whole area is lovely.

Visited July 2013
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