Step back in time with Fido when you set foot and paw on the Donner Camp Trail! Part of the Tahoe National Forest, this 1/3-mile interpretive loop tells the story of what happened to the Donner party here at Alder Creek during the winter of 1846-47.
The trail is located right off Highway 89, about 3 miles north of Interstate 80. Follow the signs past the picnic area to begin your trek. Flat and easy, the path is adorned by six signs that include excerpts from the letters and diaries of the Donner party members. Their journey from Independence, Missouri to California turned from hopeful to tragic when a severe snowstorm trapped some of the families and left others stranded. As a result, nearly half of the party members perished.
Today, only signs and plaques serve as reminders of what the Donner party had to endure. As you and Fido follow the loop, you'll cross wooden boardwalks over creeks and walk through a lush forest with grassy fields. About halfway through the trail, you'll arrive at the party's camp spot, which is indicated by a plaque affixed to a boulder. Take in the beautiful scenery as you contemplate the hardships the party members went through in search of a better life in the west.
After completing the loop, head back to the picnic area to share a packed lunch with your pooch. Wherever you go at this unstaffed historic site, be sure to keep your doggo on a leash at all times and pick up after them. And while the trail is short and easy, bringing water for both you and your furry pal is still a must. Always remember to practice good petiquette and stay hydrated! That way, you can have a pawsitive experience with your pup as you stroll along the Donner Camp Trail!
Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat as some sections are not shaded.