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Author Topic: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike  (Read 3831 times)

cl94

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Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« on: October 20, 2022, 10:43:37 PM »

I want to put larger feelers out for this idea that got the interest of a smaller group: how would people feel about a guided hike along the old Donner Pass Roads? While there may be a short driving tour involved, the main "tour" would be a moderately strenuous walking tour of the Donner Pass area. There are no fewer than two abandoned alignments over the pass and, combined with the abandoned railroad, there's a boatload of transportation history to explore on foot in a very small area. No fewer than half a dozen tunnels and two historic bridges at the pass itself, with more nearby. Possible other stop at the infamous Donner Party Picnic Ground.

Such a "meet" would take place in September or October of 2023 if there were a couple interested persons. This would be late enough to be after the summer peak season, but still early enough to avoid snow. If there's enough interest, there could also be a series of these guided roadgeek hikes in the Tahoe/Truckee area given the wide range of possibilities. Old Meyers Grade, Old Kingsbury Grade, and other abandoned Lincoln Highway segments are in the area and would make for interesting expeditions for adventurous road enthusiasts.

This would push Reno back to 2024 or 2025, which might be better because it would allow other projects in the region to start.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2022, 11:01:45 PM »

Considering I’m about four hours out I would go given I would have advanced notice.  Really I would probably go in general given it’s one of my favorite hikes.
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Alps

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2022, 01:02:46 AM »

already did the tunnels :( so i will probably not be drawn out thousands of miles

hbelkins

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2022, 10:31:06 AM »

Where's the meet lunch going to be?  :ded: :-D
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2022, 10:33:36 AM »

Where's the meet lunch going to be?  :ded: :-D

The Donner Lake Picnic Area (which is real) of course.
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Brandon

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2022, 04:30:57 PM »

Where's the meet lunch going to be?  :ded: :-D

The Donner Lake Picnic Area (which is real) of course.

Better question, who’s for lunch?
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SSOWorld

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2022, 06:11:46 PM »

Where's the meet lunch going to be?  :ded: :-D

The Donner Lake Picnic Area (which is real) of course.

Better question, who’s for lunch?
even better question.

Why's for lunch?
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Scott O.

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2022, 06:17:19 PM »

Where's the meet lunch going to be?  :ded: :-D

The Donner Lake Picnic Area (which is real) of course.

Better question, who’s for lunch?
even better question.

Why's for lunch?

I’ll do you one better, when is for lunch?
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Alps

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2022, 01:35:01 PM »

Where's the meet lunch going to be?  :ded: :-D

The Donner Lake Picnic Area (which is real) of course.

Better question, who’s for lunch?
even better question.

Why's for lunch?

I’ll do you one better, when is for lunch?
L is for lunch

Rothman

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2022, 01:50:52 PM »

Where's the meet lunch going to be?  :ded: :-D

The Donner Lake Picnic Area (which is real) of course.

Better question, who’s for lunch?
even better question.

Why's for lunch?

I’ll do you one better, when is for lunch?
L is for lunch
That's good enough for me.
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roadfro

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2023, 11:16:06 AM »

Thought I replied to this thread weeks ago. I'd be interested to join. Despite having been in the Reno area for over 20 years, I've never really explored around Donner or some of the other nearby historic alignments.
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moabdave

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2023, 05:02:27 PM »

I've done hiked the old rail line a few times. That alone is worth it. But yeah, i'd be interested in a hike of old highway too.
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zzcarp

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2023, 05:31:19 PM »

Right now I'm a maybe. It will depend on which weekend y'all choose and my availability to road-trip 1000 miles from Denver.
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kurumi

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2023, 05:59:34 PM »

Pencil me in, too; that looks interesting.
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SSOWorld

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2023, 09:27:05 PM »

Road meets are not priority outside 2, (maybe 3) within the Midwest due to a long trip that will suck money and PTO.  I'm out
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Scott O.

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cl94

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2023, 10:34:21 PM »

Well then, maybe this needs to be a thing. This winter being reminiscent of what the Donner Party went through may make for an interesting few months up at the pass, but the advantage of this is that it *should* mean smoke would be less of a worry for us. But hey, more of an example why the rail alignment up there was abandoned for a lower tunnel!

I'll make a date poll, etc. in the next few weeks and come up with an itinerary over the summer. The nice thing about the layout at Donner is that we can have a mostly-flat walk when we meet up to explore the old highway and tunnels, then maybe driving stops at the bridge and/or viewpoints and a lunch in Truckee at the end depending on how everyone is feeling.
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cl94

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2023, 01:21:15 AM »

Now that snow has finally melted up at the pass and we know what damage has been done after the long winter, I think it's time to see if there's still interest in doing this.

I'm thinking late September or October if the interest remains. Park near the tunnel, check out the westernmost tunnels and part of the abandoned Lincoln Highway. There will be a decent amount of walking at 7,000 feet and it will be dark/cold in the tunnels, but we can minimize the elevation change if people are up to that and stick close to the rail grade. Most of the cool stuff is right along the old rail grade or can be seen from it. Start early-ish to beat the crowds, maybe find somewhere in Truckee to have a group lunch once we're done. I might cross-post this with some of the history and Lincoln Highway groups given the subject matter, but if you haven't seen the tunnels and abandoned road, it is one of the roadgeek/railfan "things to see before you die".

A warning though: there's a rockslide on old 40 east of the Donner Summit Bridge, so the entire route cannot be driven. AFAIK, the road is closed just east of the bridge; this is something I'll need to check if I do another exploration visit before the meet. This would preclude driving the famous part of Old 40 after the walk, but most of it can be seen from the rail grade.

Exact date, I need to check events calendars before setting one, but provided there aren't fires causing smoke, late September/October is usually a beautiful time of year in the Northern Sierra.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2023, 08:04:19 AM »

I can do late September but I would need to know the meet day probably by 8/20 before I start writing schedules for said month.  Unless something really goes south (it certainly did on Maui) it appears my wife and I are still on for the Hawaiian Big Island for the weekend of October. 
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roadfro

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2023, 11:08:16 AM »

Curious if this may be happening. I'll be down in Vegas for work and a family visit October 14-28, but would still attend outside of that.
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cl94

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Re: Gauging Interest: Fall 2023 Donner Pass Guided Hike
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2023, 10:25:57 PM »

Curious if this may be happening. I'll be down in Vegas for work and a family visit October 14-28, but would still attend outside of that.

Honestly, I forgot I even suggested this. Whoops. :spin:

Between the harsh winter, rockslides up at the summit, and some busy weeks at work, I haven't had time to get up there and scout current conditions. And with winter already starting in the mountains, it's probably too late for this to happen. The emergency work on 80 only complicates things.

That being said, the Reno meet is happening next year. That isn't as dependent on weather or needing a full day for me to scout things out. Much, MUCH easier to plan that.
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