Donner Summit Tunnel

So if you happen to be driving anywhere near Truckee California (over Donner Pass) on highway 80, this is a MUST DO. It’s open in the Summer and the winter (though there might be a little ice inside, so watch your step).


  • You can make this trail either 100ft long or 6 mi RT. All depends on how far you want to go into the tunnels. Or just run inside, take the selfie and be on your way.
  • How to get there? Start of the tunnel is at:
    • GPS COORDINATES: 39.316687, -120.329890



This is an old railroad tunnel that is now abandoned but completely legal and safe to walk through (as of this writing). Also, no need to worry as there won’t be any trains running through here. Unlikely to have animals inside because this is very highly trafficked.


  • This trail is on your way. You can take Highway 80 or Donner Pass Road. If you’re not in a hurry, this is totally worth taking the time to do and won’t set you back very long in your travels.
  • You can always turn around. The full trail is 6 miles, but you can turn around at any time. So you can make it 100 ft or 6 miles, depending on your preference.
  • Bring a jacket as it can get really cold inside. I gave my spouse and her friend all my jackets because they were cold. Best to come prepared, or just make it a short hike.
  • Keeping the lights on:
    • It’s relatively flat inside, but there are areas where rocks are on the floor. I If the sun is up, you should be okay to get by using your cell phone’s light. Swipe your phone to enable it and that should be good enough to get you through. If it’s dark outside, definitely bring a flashlight or headlamp.

Interesting tunnels & graffiti await your gaze if you decide to explore deep into the tunnel.

Great views of Donner Lake Below.