Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

Explore the Donner Summit Railroad Tunnels and Wagon Routes September 13

Posted on August 31, 2011
Filed Under North Tahoe Events

In the 1860s hundreds of Chinese laborers braved freezing temperatures, blizzards and unbelievably hazardous conditions to drill the 1,659-foot-long Summit Tunnel near Donner Pass, enabling the Central Pacific Railroad to move trains over the summit even in the worst of Sierra winter conditions.

Feel the depth of their harrowing accomplishments as you walk through the 145 year old tunnels and along emigrant wagon routes dating back to 1844 with local historian Paul Ackerman at Donner Pass on September 13th at 9:15am.

Paul will discuss the history of the Central Pacific Railroad train tunnels and the major wagon routes that preceded them.  If time allows you will take a small detour route to observe some amazing Native American petroglyphs too.

Presented by the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society, the walk will last about 3 to 4 hours. Please bring your lunch, water, a camera, lug sole hiking shoes, a walking stick, and a flashlight. You will be inside dark tunnels.

Where to meet:

Plan to meet at 8:30 am at Gatekeeper’s Museum or at 9:15 at Sugar Bowl.

West Shore and Tahoe City area participants meet at the Gatekeepers Museum parking lot at 8:30 AM. Kings Beach area, Incline Village, and Truckee participants meet at 9:15 AM in the Sugar Bowl Academy parking lot just off Old Highway 40 at Donner Pass. The Sugar Bowl Academy is the first group of buildings you come to about ½ mile west of the Rainbow Bridge on Old Highway 40 which is the vista point for gazing upon Donner Lake.

The cost for this guided trip is only $10 for North Lake Tahoe Historical Society members; $20 non-members. Please RSVP by September 9th to (530) 583-1762 or



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