Hike the Truckee Tunnels

Donner Pass Road

An awesome location just outside of Truckee CA for people who enjoy hiking and graffiti art.

To get here, drive along Donner Pass Rd. There is a turnoff about 100 yards away from the Donner Summit Bridge where you can park. The hike begins at a plaque for the China Wall- a large retaining wall built by Chinese railroad workers. Hike up the trail towards the tunnels. Some spots may require a bit of scrambling, but it is not too difficult. Once you have reached the top, the terrain is very easy and you can walk through the tunnels in both directions. The tunnels to the left are longer and filled with more graffiti, but can get darker so make sure you bring a flashlight. Occasionally, the tunnels have large openings with amazing views of the mountains. It may feel a little bit creepy in these long dark tunnels, so make sure to bring a friend along with you! Also, if you decide to climb on top of the tunnels, make sure that you can find a safe way down.

The tunnels go on for quite a long distance, so hike out as far as you'd like.

Pack List

  • flashlight
  • a friend
  • water
  • camera
  • comfortable shoes
Show More
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer
Features
Forest
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Lone Journey

Had an amazing trip up the old China wall and climbed around the face to the top of the tunnels! I was alone and the dark tunnel with no flashlight looked intense haha. Next time I'll bring some buddies, I highly recommend this place if you want an unordinary adventure!đź’Ş

Art And Exploration

Drove to the tunnels with my fiancée and our dog Fred. We spent about 3 hours at the tunnels and have plans to go back because 3 hours was definitely not enough time to explore! Finding the "trailhead" was a bit confusing at first but after a couple minutes we figured it out and began our trek up the mountain. It was quite hot when we headed up- make sure to bring plenty of water! We stopped quite a few times to hydrate our pup and ourselves. Once you get up to the top, it's nice and cool- especially inside of the tunnels! Natural AC. There is sooo much art to see and if you're like me, and into climbing just about anything- there are so many rock structures to climb! Quite fun. If you're an eager photographer, even better! My little bro was also with us and he took so many amazing photos- the view of the lake below, artwork EVERYWHERE, the tunnels themselves.... so many amazing opportunities for photos. The tunnels are so worth checking out. The only thing I'd do different is that I'd bring a large flashlight- even during the day it gets a bit dark in certain parts of the longer tunnels. To summarize, bring lots of water, flashlight, camera and have fun exploring!

Unique

Interesting walk that the whole family enjoyed. We went during the day and didn't require flashlights.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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