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Donner Lake Vista Point - Truckee Area Viewpoints

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
115 posts
3 reviews
1 helpful vote
Donner Lake Vista Point - Truckee Area Viewpoints

What is the best way to get to the Donner Lake/Pass Vista Point off Highway 80 from Tahoe Donner. Is it accessible off Donner Pass Road or how do I have to go west on Highway 80? If I can only access it off Highway 80, what exit should I take? Any other input on scenic viewpoints in the area would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Norwich, United...
Level Contributor
6,219 posts
1. Re: Donner Lake Vista Point - Truckee Area Viewpoints

I'm not sure exactly where that viewpoint is but according to Google Maps you can get to the road alongside the lake: westbound on I-80 take Exit 184, or eastbound take Exit 180. The whole area has been StreetViewed so you might like have a wander round to make sure http://goo.gl/PZ62vH

Corona del Mar...
Level Contributor
61,812 posts
442 reviews
775 helpful votes
2. Re: Donner Lake Vista Point - Truckee Area Viewpoints

I am not sure which Vista Point you want, there are a few in the area, but a Vista Point is usually on a major highway and it matters if you are going east bound or west bound. You have to be on the highway, Interstate 80 in this case, to access the Vista Point.

If you mean the Emigrant Gap Vista Point, it is off the I-80 westbound and not that easy to get to from Donner Lake Village. You'd need to go to the south end of the lake on Donner Pass Blvd, get on the 80 westbound and then turnout, not named, is about a mile west. Then you can only get back on I-80 west bound so if you were looking to take I-80 east or back to Donner Lake you'd need to find an exit and then get off and get back on the 80 east. If that makes sense.

Vista Points are usually only on one side of the freeway.

Long Barn...
Level Contributor
4,717 posts
10 reviews
14 helpful votes
3. Re: Donner Lake Vista Point - Truckee Area Viewpoints

There are several nice spots to stop along Donner Pass Rd., but the old bridge is where the best views are located. This is the old Hwy 40 and I take that road once in awhile to remember the old times. When I was much younger this was the only route to take from Sacramento to Reno and it was very slow with only one lane each way. You can get on Donner Pass Road without getting on I-80 and it will take you along Donner Lake. Once you get to the bridge you can turn around or continue on past the ski resorts and pick up I-80 (east) back to Truckee. The Donner Lake -Pass road is a popular bike ride, so watch out for them.

Long Barn...
Level Contributor
4,717 posts
10 reviews
14 helpful votes
4. Re: Donner Lake Vista Point - Truckee Area Viewpoints

Sorry, it is too late to edit my post. After reading Scott's post I remembered about the Donner Lake Vista point on I-80. If you follow my directions above and travel west on Donner Pass Road and then pick up I-80 at the Soda Springs on ramp you will travel east back toward Truckee. There is a Donner Lake Vista Point on I-80 and it is well marked. However, the views from the old Bridge on Donner Pass Rd. are much better.

Rocklin, California
Level Contributor
653 posts
37 reviews
10 helpful votes
5. Re: Donner Lake Vista Point - Truckee Area Viewpoints

I'm w/CA Sweded on the one on old Highway 40, especially, but definitely right about both of them. . It overlooks Donner Lake from the west end. It is a nice sized vista point, but can get crowded on the weekend. If you like to do any hiking, I believe you can do some hiking at the Sugar Bowl Lodge area (ski resort in winter) that would also give you great views. It's the first ski lodge on left as you get to top of Highway 40 not too terribly far past the vista point.

6. Re: Donner Lake Vista Point - Truckee Area Viewpoints

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