Donner Party Hike Event September 18/19: Explore scenic Donner Summit with local historians on interpretive walks and hikes. As you trace the steps of the emigrants, imagine the clip-clop of oxen and the rumble of wagons as countless pioneers scaled the mighty Sierra Nevada in search of a better life.
SATURDAY HIKES—Choose from one of seven hikes ranging from 3.5 to 6 miles with varying degree of difficulty. Explore the trails, see petroglyphs or the China Wall. Stroll through meadows or discover hidden Sierra lakes. Following the hikes, enjoy lunch at Donner Ski Ranch along with music and afternoon speakers*.
SUNDAY WALKING TOUR—Learn about the grueling mishaps of the Donner Party and the archaeological finds that remain. Then, it’s on to Donner Memorial State Park to view the Murphy Cabin Site and Pioneer Monument.
REGISTER TO SECURE YOUR SPOT IN TIME—Tour size is limited. Reserve your spot on the trail by August 31 for early savings.
To sign up go to You can read the details there.

*Our 2021 speakers will be Tim Twietmeyer and Bob Crowley, two of the extreme athletes who  redid the Donner Party's Forlorn Hope trek last December. They'll talk about the Forlorn Hope and their reprise.


Extraordinary Crossings - new Donner Summit history book for 2018:
From the Introduction:

The Sierra is a great barrier and there are only a few passes through the great barrier to connect California with the rest of the country. One of those passes is Donner Pass, the area colloquially known as Donner Summit. Through that pass have funneled many stories – stories of heroism, adventure, excitement, pathos, courage, and tenacity. Those stories encompass the very best of the human spirit.

Couple that with Donner Summit being the most historically significant square mile in California and maybe the entire Western United States, and that most of the stories have almost been forgotten, their resurrections ought to be really interesting. They are.

$25, tax and shipping included.

Walking Through Donner Summit History

Donner Summit is the most important historical square mile in California and maybe the entire Western United States. Native Americans crossed for thousands of years. The first emigrants to arrive in California with wagons came over Donner Summit. The first transcontinental railroad, the first transcontinental highway, the first transcontinental air route, and the first transcontinental telephone line all crossed Donner Summit. The first person to bicycle around the world went over Donner Summit, as did the first person to make a motorized crossing of the U.S. and the first people to attempt to cross the country in an automobile. That’s just a bit of the richness that is Donner Summit history.

Then there are the fun small stories: frozen turkeys roosting in the trees, the two-story out house at the Summit Hotel, blindfolded mules, and the Spider Dance.

You can walk through Donner Summit history, where it all took place. In the walks described here you will read the stories, “hear” history through people’s words, and see the historical photographs that bring the history to life.

Link to purchase the book 218 pages ©2015

You can purchase the book on line (link above), via regular mail, at the Soda Springs General Store, at the Donner Summit Historical Society, at the Donner Memorial State Park, or via regular mail (P.O. 1 Norden, 95724) The cost is $25 which includes sales tax, shipping and handling.