Donner Lake is a short drive from Tahoe City.
Last Saturday I drove out to Donner Lake for a Splash-In (seaplane event). Unfortunately, due to the foretasted thunder storm, there were only two sea planes at the lake. Both pilots were available to answer questions about their aircraft and the adventures they have had in them. When I arrived at the lake the weather was perfect but the thunder heads started to build around noon. Both planes left early; they were able to take off safely and beat the storm.
The public beach where the planes were moored is a great place to spend the day. There are plenty of activities here such as water-skiing, fishing, sailing or just laying on the beach.
If you bring your boat, the lake has a nice boat launch that offer restrooms and a fish cleaning station. I saw a few people fishing near the boat ramp but there were no fish caught while I was there. Although I have heard some pretty good fish stories about Donner Lake over the years. The lake has a variety of fish including Mackinaw, Rainbow, Kokanee and German Brown.
There are several piers on the Lake, most of which are private.
The shore is lined with private homes, condos, restaurants and both public and private beaches. The surrounding area has unlimited hiking and mountain biking.
If you are visiting Lake Tahoe from the Bay Area, Donner Lake is a easy stop on the way. From Interstate 80, get off at the Donner Lake exit and turn on to Donner Lake Road.
After your visit, let us know what you thought of Donner Lake in the comment box below.
Here are some links to other lakes near Lake Tahoe: