Donner Memorial State Park Campground

Donner Lake


Donner Lake


picnic site at Donner Lake, Donner Memorial State Park

Picnic Area near Campgrounds

Donner Memorial State Park
Attractions and Activities

Donner Memorial State Park has both the history of the Donner Party as well as all the treasures of Donner Lake for visitors to enjoy.

  • Visit the new High Sierra Crossing Museum.
  • Stop by the famous Pioneer Monument.
  • Hike out to the site of the Murphy Cabin.
  • Enjoy boating on Donner Lake with rentals from Donner Lake Watersports and Marina. Donner Lake is popular for boating, fishing, waterskiing, pedal boats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and more.
  • Walk the Nature Trail,
  • Children can participate in the Junior Rangers program.
  • Enjoy interpretive programs.
  • Drive up old Highway 40 to the Rainbow Bridge and the top of Donner Pass.
  • Hike on trails up Coldstream Canyon or set out north or south on the Pacific Crest Trail,

Key Donner Memorial State Park Campground Regulations

  1. Food and similar items must be stored in bear-proof lockers.
  2. Water may still be in short supply after California's drought.
  3. Purchase firewood locally to avoid bringing in pests.
  4. Dogs must be on leash and attended at all times.

Donner Memorial State Park Campground

Donner Memorial State Park Campground, on the shore of Donner Lake, is one of the premier camping spots in California. Excellent facilities, a spectacular lake, and all the history of the region combine to make Donner a great experience for all ages. Donner Lake offers swimming, fishing, boating, waterskiing, and paddleboarding. The new High Sierra Crossing Museum has exhibits about Native Americans, pioneers, and the building of the transcontinental railroad.

Donner Memorial State Park Campground has 138 campsites separated into three areas. Most campsites will accommodate RVs, trailers and tents. A handful of sites are tent-only. Restrooms include hot showers. Reservations are released in one month blocks on the first of each month, 7 months in advance.

Changes in California State Parks Reservation System

California State Parks is switching to a new reservation system beginning August 1, 2017. ReserveCalifornia will replace the previous ReserveAmerica. "Beginning on midnight July 26, 2017, the website and telephone reservations for California's state parks will be temporarily offline to prepare for the exciting launch of the new system on August 1. During this time, all existing reservations will be honored. An electronic or hard copy from ReserveAmerica will need to be presented to State Parks staff when checking in for reservation made prior to July 26, 2017."

Donner Memorial State Park Campground Basics
Donner Memorial State Park Campground Location: Off Interstate 80 west of Truckee
Elevation: 6,000 feet
Mileage and driving time from gateway city: Sacramento - 98 miles, 1:40
Number of Sites: 138
Open - Closed: Late May through late October
Max. People per Site: 8 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 2 (fee for 2nd vehicle)
Pets: on leash, always attended
Donner Memorial State Park: (530 )582-7894

Reservations at Donner Memorial State Park Campground
Reservations available whenever campground is open
Booking Window: Reservations can be made from 2 days up to 7 months in advance of arrival date. New dates are released in 1-month blocks on the first of each month.
Maximum RV/trailer Length: 24 feet
Accessible Sites: #20, 28, 30, 53, 60, 73, 79, 114, 115, 124
Favorite Campsites: #18, 19, 84, 85, 86, 87, 99, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 122, 145, 147
Fees: $35 per night
Online Reservations at ReserveCalifornia: Donner Memorial State Park Campground Reservations
or call (800) 444-PARK (7275) between 8 AM and 6 PM
Check-in, check-out: 2:00 PM, check-out Noon

Donner Memorial State Park Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, food locker, fire ring; no hook-ups
Campground: Restrooms with flush toilets, tap water
Showers: Yes
Dump station: No
Campground Map: Donner Memorial State Park Campground Map
Attractions near Donner Memorial State Park Campground: Visit the High Sierra Crossing Museum. Hike the short Nature Trail. Enjoy hiking on park trails, Stop by the many historical monuments. Swim and boat in Donner Lake. Drive up Donner Pass. Take a day trip to nearby Lake Tahoe.

ReserveCalifornia Reservations Tips

California State Parks' new reservation system - ReserveCalifornia - now allows campers "to make reservations 6 months to the day in advance of their arrival date." For example, on January 1 reservations can be made for stays beginning on July 1. In the past, reservations were released in one-month blocks. Now it is day by day. For months with fewer days than the month 6 months away, reservations for the remaining days will be released in a small cluster on the first of the next month. For example, on March 1 (because February is a short month) you can make reservations for stays beginning August 29-31. Read details at ReserveCalifornia.

Donner Lake, Donner Memorial State Park

Donner Lake

General Camping Information

Opening and closing dates of campgrounds are only estimates, usually dependent on snow conditions. Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the website when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite.

In order to prevent the spread of invasive insects, purchase firewood locally.

Accessible Sites

Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.

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