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Truckee, California: Abandoned Historic Railroad Tunnels

1867 tunnels carved into Donner Pass for the railroad by Chinese workers, bypassed after 1993. Hikers walk the old line, with its varied bores and construction and scenic overlooks, and lack of safety features. And graffiti.

Donner Pass Rd, Truckee, CA
Two entry spots: #1: South side of Donner Pass Rd, across from Donner Ski Ranch, goes under Sugar Bowl Rd. (39.316719, -120.330199) #2: near this parking near the China Wall. (39.317049, -120.319529). Bring flashlights, hiking shoes, water, and a friend.
Unattended, hike at own risk. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About Abandoned Historic Railroad Tunnels

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Railroad tunnels.

Abandoned Historic Railroad Tunnels

Wear appropriate shoes for walking on gravel for an hour or three (depending how far you go along the tracks). Lots of colorful graffiti (and often upbeat). Overnight camping is not allowed in the parking lot.

[Stacey, 08/20/2021]

Abandoned railroad tunnel.

Abandoned Historic Railroad Tunnels

Definitely worth it! The tunnels can be very dark, but nice and cool on a hot day. We did about four miles on a round trip. Pie across the street (Donner Ski Ranch).

[Hayley Townley, 07/27/2020]

Railroad tunnel with ice.

Abandoned Historic Railroad Tunnels

The railroad tunnels fill with ice in winter. Still walkable, but high risk of slipping and falling. Waterproof footwear recommended. Flashlights a must.

[Stephen Smith, 02/20/2020]

Several tunnels remain accessible to careful explorers. The 1,659-ft tunnel was for the first railroad to cross the Sierra Nevada Range. The first train successfully crossed on June 18th, 1868.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Balanced Rocking StoneBalanced Rocking Stone, Truckee, CA - 8 mi.
Forest Gift Shop RuinsForest Gift Shop Ruins, Cisco Grove, CA - 11 mi.
Grizzly Bear made of PenniesGrizzly Bear made of Pennies, Tahoe City, CA - 14 mi.
In the region:
Large Mosaic Trout Sculpture, Kings Beach, CA - 17 mi.

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