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Cycling Donner Summit (Donner Pass)
Donner Pass Road is bottom center of photo and Donner Lake top center.
Ride 3.2 miles gaining 1,117’ at 6.7% average grade.
Donner Summit Road (Hwy 40) + Donner Lake.
WOW! This is an iconic and gorgeous climb out of Donner Lake near Lake Tahoe, California. We begin in a cool and sweet smelling alpine setting at the western end of Donner Lake by riding up (you’ll know!) Donner Pass Road from its intersection with South Shore Drive.
Start climb at the intersection of Donner Pass Road and South Shore Drive.
The pass is on Historic Highway 40 and gets its name from the ill-fated Donner Party which arrived at Donner Lake too late in the winter of 1846 to cross the Sierras. This route was originally crossed by eastern settlers in 1844 with the assistance of Chief Truckee.
After being traversed by wagon trains in 1844, the pass was conquered by the Central Pacific Railroad 1868 after 3 continuous years of construction, primarily by Chineses laborers.
Eastern end of Tunnel 6 and the China Wall.
The 3 most interesting sites along this beautiful climb are:
Views of Lake Donner to our east . . . and . . .
Views of the long railroad tunnel to our south . . . and . . .
DONNER SUMMIT (RAINBOW) BRIDGE
That’s a wrap!