Donner Lake is a large scenic alpine lake that is three miles long and three quarters of a mile wide in Truckee, California. It easily accessible off Interstate 80 and is extremely popular in the summer months. It was formed primarily through a combination of faulting and glacial action. A glacial moraine from the surrounding high peaks of the Sierra, Nevada Mountains formed a natural dam to the lake. Several streams now feed it as do underground springs. At its deepest point, the lake is three hundred twenty-eight feet deep. Donner Creek drains the lake, flowing into the Truckee River.
Donner Lake is a local center for a variety of recreational activities including: swimming, boating, sailing, diving, and fishing. Fish species in the lake inclu3.5de: Rainbow trout, German Brown trout, Mackinaw trout, and Kokanee. In the summer, it is host to a mini-triathlon, the Donner Lake Swim, the Lake Tahoe Music Festival, windsurfing and sailboat races. In warm summer months, thousand of visitors flock to itsbeaches and Donner Memorial State Park. The lake is much smaller than Lake Tahoe and water temperatures are up to six degrees warmer in the summer, reaching up to seventy-six degrees. Other nearby activities include: hiking, horseback riding, and golfing.
In the winter, Donner Lake occasional freezes over and there are cross-country ski trails at Donner Memorial State Park. The lake level is lowered by eight to twelve feet in the winter to help prevent spring flooding of the Truckee River. Its variety of activities and scenic beauty attracts many visitors and residents. Houses on the lake typically have prices in excess of one million dollars.