Donner Lake, Truckee, CA, USA

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Donner Lake, Truckee, CA, USA

Donner Lake vacation rentals

Climb high or dive low at Donner Lake

Boasting sunshine and snow in equal measure, Donner Lake has everything you could ask for on a holiday, in whichever season you choose to visit. This 3-mile-long freshwater lake is flanked by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, whose snow-covered ridges and peaks make a beautiful backdrop for a winter break. In summer, it’s a haven for water sports and hiking, and its beaches and forests offer plenty of picnicking opportunities. Book a Donner Lake vacation rental close to the waterfront and enjoy action-packed days and peaceful nights at this family-friendly resort.

It's all happening over at Donner Lake

You’ll find it hard to stay out of the water during the summer months, with jet skiing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and scuba diving among the many lakeside activities on offer. In winter, there are many cross-country skiing trails to discover, and you’re just 4 miles from the Sugar Bowl Resort for great powder. Donner Lake is also home to some of the state’s biggest lake trout, which come up to the surface during spring and fall, making fishing a popular pastime at these times. Horseback riding and golf are also available nearby.

Step back into Donner Lake's fascinating past

The lake is named after the ill-fated Donner Party expedition in 1846, and you can find out more at the Emigrant Trail Museum, open year-round and located in the Donner Memorial State Park. The park, which wraps around the eastern and southern shores of the lake, also gives access to some of the lake’s public beaches, as well as picnic areas, playgrounds, and hiking and biking paths. Make time to visit the Pioneer Monument, which stands at a height of 22 feet, said to be the depth the snow reached when the Donner Party became trapped in the mountains.

Peak perfection at Donner Lake

With hot summers and snow-covered winters, Donner Lake is truly a year-round resort. Just decide if you’re traveling here for water sports or winter sports when you book your Donner Lake vacation rental. Temperatures soar into the 80s during July and August, but the fresh mountain air stops it getting too humid, making it a very popular time to visit. In winter, the lake has been known to freeze over, and as for the white stuff, the ski season here is long, with snow falling from November until well into March.

Water, water, all around...

Situated on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, in the Tahoe National Forest, Donner Lake was formed by a combination of faulting and glacial action, and there are examples of glacial polishing on the granite at Donner Summit. You’ll be surrounded by magnificent flora and fauna at your waterfront Donner Lake vacation rental, and there’s plenty of aquatic life too. As well as lake trout you’ll find rainbow and brown trout, and kokanee salmon, in the glistening waters, which are around 300 feet at their deepest point.