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“History worth a stop on hwy 80”

Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum
Ranked #1 of 48 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.
Sunnyvale, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“History worth a stop on hwy 80”
Reviewed November 10, 2012

Make the stop for the Donner Memorial the next time you are driving I80 between Sacramento and Reno. It is just off the highway at the Donner Pass Road exit. The interpretive materials help to understand how the Donner party ended up in such tragic circumstances.

Visited June 2012
Thank Lksegal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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364 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
68 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“BIG disappointment”
Reviewed October 19, 2012

This was supposed to be the highlight of my 30 day trip as I have read extensively about immigration westward. What a huge let-down! First, it took us 30 minutes to find the place. The sign was there, the huge statue was there, but where was the #@^!* museum? We finally found it tucked back in the woods, behind construction which is supposed to be the NEW immigrant museum. There were quite a few "displays" inside, in no particular order. If you were not well-versed on westward immigration, most of them would have made little sense. We waited around for the film which is shown every hour. UNBELIEVABLE!! IT was grainy, terribly out of focus, and although the information was interesting, it was surely narrated by a park service employee. How much would it have cost to hire a person who could read with expression?? As we left, it was all I could do to keep from telling the park service employee that they should be ashamed of themselves.

When we got outside, we thought that we could at least go look at the magnificent memorial statue. No such luck. Due to the construction, I guess, they have it fenced off so that you have to view it from a distance.

All in all, the worst experience of our 30 day vacation. Actually, the ONLY bed experience!

Visited September 2012
2 Thank VirginiaAntiquer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wausau, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2012 via mobile

We drove from south lake Tahoe to see this and when we arrived there was construction, we paid for parking for what we still didn't know...once inside the place was small and appeared that the only thing that contained any information were the books in the gift shop. The staff was not friendly. In fact she told me she didn't care who was inside the museum as long as we paid for parking or our car would get a ticket....the exhibit seemed old and you couldn't really distinguish what was donner & what was the emigrant. I was highly disappointed. There was a trail that was beautiful, and we did over hear some people reading a guide to follow markers....did the friendly staff person give that to them or did they find that on their own? Apparently, it was by the door when you walk out but must be returned. It would have been nice to have been directed to or had that clearly marked, would have made our trip more worthwhile. I hope to return in the future to see a worthy exhibition, a helpful staff, and have a wonderful learning experience that I may encourage others to enjoy as well.

3 Thank Jjsgirl3212012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, Mississippi
Level Contributor
55 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Construction is an issue”
Reviewed September 29, 2012

You can't get to the main monument of the park. The museum is interesting but very, very dated. In truth, it doesn't really share anything different then the other park museums around Tahoe. Overall, disappointing.

2 Thank Megan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Donner Museum under construction”
Reviewed September 25, 2012

We visited Donner Museum near Truckee, CA and while the exhibit is well worth seeing and reading, a new facility is under construction and no visitors can get near the statue in honor of the Donner Party and its tragic history. Nice level walk along Donner Lake has plaques with history and pictures that we enjoyed. Great view!

Visited September 2012
1 Thank RAMMars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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