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Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 12593 Donner Pass Rd, Truckee, CA 96161-3858
Phone Number:
+1 530-582-7892
Website
Description:

This museum documents the fascinating and tragic history of the Donner...

This museum documents the fascinating and tragic history of the Donner Party's journey to the west coast.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 352 reviews
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  • 174
    Excellent
  • 125
    Very good
  • 39
    Average
  • 8
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Nice picnic stop

Stopped here in March to see the depth of the snow. It amazes me what the depth was when the Donner Party tried to cross the Sierras. Was happy to see that the trail to the... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Karen T
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352 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 347: English reviews
Level Contributor
35 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Stopped here in March to see the depth of the snow. It amazes me what the depth was when the Donner Party tried to cross the Sierras. Was happy to see that the trail to the monument was plowed & there was ample parking. The museum was nice & informative. It has been given a brand new building.

Helpful?
Thank Karen T
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
42 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Beautiful views of mountains and Donner Lake. Built a cabin on Donner Lake here in 1970s. Still a relaxing, quiet retreat area. Wish we still owned the cabin on the old Donner Estate! It is still equally beautiful in the summer but has more people.

Helpful?
Thank 15ann250
Southwest Gulf Coast, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

The Welcome Center is very informative and even has diary entries on display from the Donner Family. Very well laid out and not only gave history on the Donner Pass, but also had information on the vegetation and the wildlife in the park. Well worth the stop!

Helpful?
Thank ckjacksons
Hemet, California
Level Contributor
52 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The museum inside the building is a little weird and there's this huge focus on the cannibalism that is theorized to occur - check it out if you're interested because it is tastefully done. What we really enjoyed was the grounds - you can hike around the park and the area is really beautiful.

Helpful?
Thank Danielle K
Haifa, Israel
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Suitable even for younger kids. To walk on snow, jump on frozen puddles. Collect pine cones. Kids had a lot of fun.

Helpful?
Thank AnnaDvinsky
Level Contributor
717 reviews
346 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 329 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2017 via mobile

This was our first visit since the opened the new visitors center, which gives and excellent introduction to the historical events that occurred here in the mid 1800's. The visitors centers and hiking trails are free, but they do charge a $5 parking fee.

Helpful?
1 Thank Bigredmachine
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
42 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2017

If you remember the history of Donner Pass, you will want to visit this location. The museum and the way they tell the story is great. Very well detailed and follows a time line. There's a short movie as well to affiliate you with the history. Donner Lake is nearby as well as a historic bridge worth going to see,... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Tiffany75
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
39 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2017

We stopped at the museum on our way through. It was interesting to understand the history of this mountain pass. It started with the Donner Party and their struggles in the mid 1800's. What was interesting is it's historical importance to the railroad and the first highways in the country.

Helpful?
Thank shadv00
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
1,124 reviews
672 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2017

Great place to take a hike along the lake or sit on the beach. The water is a little cold, so only suitable for swimming on hot days. Views of the lake and mountains are terrific. The history display of the Donner Party is interesting. Some good nature exhibit along the hiking trails.

Helpful?
Thank Thomas V
Huntington, New York
Level Contributor
100 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2017

Took a ski day off and decided to do a little sightseeing here. We found the museum and even the movie informative and interesting. Wish we had more time to enjoy the nature portion of the park.

Helpful?
Thank Margaret M

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over a year ago
Chatham, United Kingdom

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?