A glimpse of Donner Lake

Donner Lake is one of California's alpine lakes on the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. It is visible from Interstate 80 as it passes through the high country. Stop at this viewpoint for the views, on the road to Reno.

Donner Lake viewpoint on Interstate 80

Donner Lake is one of California’s alpine lakes. This lake that lies on the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range can be seen from Interstate 80 as it passes through the high country. I-80 is one of those cross-country highways in the US, this one beginning at San Francisco on the west coast and going all the way to New Jersey on the East Coast. If you find yourself traveling between San Francisco (or Sacramento) and Reno, you might want to make a stop at this Donner Lake Viewpoint.

The overlook on I-80 is a few miles east of Boreal Mountains and just before you enter Truckee’s City Limit. Here are some pictures from the Donner Lake Vistpoint, from our trip to Squaw Valley and Reno, last Spring:

Interststate 80 passing through the Sierra Nevada mountains

The road to Reno. [Interstate 80 on the Sierras in California]

Donner Lake from the viewpoint on I-80

Donner Lake in Truckee, CA

Donner Lake, Truckee, CA

Donner Lake from the vista point

I’m hoping that these pictures from the Donner Lake Viewpoint on I-80 will inspire you toΒ make a stop and take in these vistas of the top of the Sierra Nevada Range, the conifers and the beautiful blue lake that ornaments this part of the mountains.

For a closer look at this lake in Truckee -CA, you could take Exit 180 onΒ the Interstate Highway (I-80). Not very far from Donner Lake is the more celebrated ‘largest alpine lake in North America’ — Lake Tahoe.

You might also want to visit Squaw Valley while you are in the region. Squaw Valley is known for the Squaw Valley Ski resort, which is known for having hosted a Winter Olympics back in the 60’s. Take the aerial tram ride up to Squaw Valley’s High Camp at 8,200 ft above SL and it will treat you to a panoramic view of Lake Tahoe.

Donner Lake, I-80

[Interstate 80| Google Maps] Starred: Donner Lake

Donner Lake viewpoint, I-80

Want to PIN this to your Sierra Nevada Board? Or California Lakes Board? Or Alpine Lakes Board? πŸ˜‰

Further reading suggestions:

Where Donner Lake and the nearby Donner Pass got their names from:Β Donner Party

Other nearby attractions:

Scenic Snow-clad slopes of Squaw Valley

Pristine Lake Tahoe

The heavenly Heavenly Gondola Ride


LAKES (on Tipsy from the TRIP)

Linking to the meme–Β 

Our World Tuesday.



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28 Comments on this post.
  • Valerie
    29 January 2018 at 6:31 pm
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    Wonderful, majestic scenery – thank you for sharing.

    • dNambiar
      30 January 2018 at 9:35 am
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      Thank YOU for visiting Tipsy from the TRIP, Valerie. πŸ™‚

  • Photo Cache
    29 January 2018 at 8:43 pm
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    Having stopped in that viewpoint and in Donner Lake itself, I can say that this is indeed a sight to behold. Not to be missed.

    Worth a Thousand Words

    • dNambiar
      30 January 2018 at 9:37 am
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      I hear good things about the beaches of the lake, too. I’m going to try to get closer to the lake the next time I go that way.
      Thank you, M. πŸ™‚

  • Lady Fi
    29 January 2018 at 9:35 pm
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    So very beautiful!

    • dNambiar
      30 January 2018 at 5:25 pm
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      I agree.

      Thank you for coming this way, Lady Fi.

  • Cathy
    30 January 2018 at 3:58 am
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    It’s been many years since I’ve seen Donner Lake from the pass. We lived in Monterey for several years and would take I80 home to Colorado for visits. As often as not it was snowing on the pass so we’d not be able to stop! Thank you for these photos. They bring back fond memories!

    • dNambiar
      30 January 2018 at 5:36 pm
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      Oh you did? Winters in Monterey were so different, weren’t they? πŸ˜€ I hope you are staying warm.
      And oh yeah — I-80 over the Sierras can be bad when it’s snowing.

      I’m so glad these pictures brought back good memories of those drives. Thank you so much for coming this way, Cathy. πŸ™‚

  • Prasad Np
    30 January 2018 at 4:04 am
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    And these pics from the viewpoint? I wonder what a closer visit has in store, give me a relatively unknown place anyday compared to a famous one….

    • dNambiar
      30 January 2018 at 5:40 pm
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      Yes, Yes — from the viewpoint. We couldn’t fit the detour into our itinerary. So it was just that. Hopefully sometime else.
      True, it’s quite a hidden gem, when compared to the more famous Lake Tahoe close by. πŸ™‚

  • Susie of Arabia
    30 January 2018 at 4:20 am
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    Spectacular scenery!

    • dNambiar
      30 January 2018 at 5:57 pm
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      True that. πŸ™‚
      Welcome here, Susie. πŸ™‚

  • NatureFootstep PhotoArt
    31 January 2018 at 3:35 am
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    nice to drive if you have the time πŸ™‚

    • dNambiar
      31 January 2018 at 6:30 pm
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      It’s on a major highway. So this can be a quick stop. πŸ™‚
      Thank you for visiting, Monica.

  • Rahul Bhatia
    1 February 2018 at 10:12 pm
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    So pretty!

    • dNambiar
      2 February 2018 at 9:50 am
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      Absolutely. πŸ™‚
      I should go see what it looks like up close, now. πŸ™‚

  • magiceye
    6 February 2018 at 6:16 pm
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    Stunning vistas captured!

    • dNambiar
      7 February 2018 at 12:45 pm
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      They were stunning vistas indeed.
      Thank you for stopping by, Magiceye. πŸ™‚

  • Amit Agarwal
    6 February 2018 at 11:14 pm
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    Absolutely wonderful!

    • dNambiar
      7 February 2018 at 12:46 pm
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      A really wonderful sight, indeed. πŸ™‚ Alpine lakes come in beautiful colours, don’t they?

  • Deepa Gopal Sunil
    7 February 2018 at 3:09 am
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    Incredible view, D!

    • dNambiar
      7 February 2018 at 12:47 pm
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      I have to agree with you.
      That would make a great postcard, wouldn’t it? πŸ˜‰

      Your works are so beautiful, Deepa. πŸ™‚

  • Jyotirmoy Sarkar
    7 February 2018 at 6:00 am
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    Amazing and beautiful place and captures.

    • dNambiar
      7 February 2018 at 12:49 pm
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      It was a beautiful sight — that lake high up in the mountains and surrounded by conifers. πŸ™‚
      Thank you, Jyotirmoy. πŸ™‚

  • rupam { xhobdo }
    7 February 2018 at 9:24 pm
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    Amazing place. Loved all pics.

    • dNambiar
      8 February 2018 at 3:52 pm
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      Thank you, Rupam.

  • Sharada
    8 February 2018 at 6:21 am
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    Wow!Makes quite a spectacular sight!

    • dNambiar
      8 February 2018 at 3:52 pm
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      Thank you for the visit, Sharada. πŸ™‚

    Leave a Reply



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