The Tahoe Backcountry Alliance Requests Public Help to Ensure Success of Donner Lake Run Parking Lot

Spencer Cox | BackcountryBackcountry
Donner Lake Run is where you come out of a hole in the old train tunnel you can see in this image. The hole is on the left side of the pic. image: sierra avalanche center

With good snow and exciting lines, the Donner Lake Run has become a popular backcountry ski area for the likes of Tahoe backcountry users. Beginning at Donner Summit Skyline, the Donner Lake Run offers incredible, picturesque views of the Tahoe area. There’s just one problem…

In order to gain access to this area, backcountry recreationists must park in the neighborhoods of west Donner Lake– an area that currently offers no public parking. Unsurprisingly, the lack of free, public, legal parking has not deterred skiers and snowboarders from parking cars in these neighborhoods. Also unsurprisingly, this has ruffled the feathers of many west Donner residents and ultimately has resulted in a plethora of parking violations.

In an attempt to quell animosity between residents and backcountry users, the Donner Lakewoods Homeowners Association (HOA) reached out to the Tahoe Backcountry Alliance (TBA) as well as the Truckee Donner Land Trust (TDLT) in hopes of alleviating this parking problem.

Through joint collaboration, the three organizations have proposed a solution to mitigate this issue. The HOA will donate a parcel of land to the TBA and TDLTA so that these two organizations may build a year-round trailhead parking lot. The construction, maintenance, and plowing of the lot will be paid for by the TBA. On TBA’s website, they write:

“Channeling users through one entry and exit point with public parking, the Lake Run Proposal aims to mitigate illegal parking issues, reduce unintended backcountry user crossings on private land, and create a safe, legal access point to public lands.”


Proposed parking location. Photo credit: TBA
Donner Lake
A closer look at the proposed location. Photo credit: TBA

Despite the joint effort to propose a solution, there has been pushback against this project by some members of the community. Tomorrow, the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District (TDRPD) will be holding a board meeting to further discuss this project. As such, the Tahoe Backcountry Alliance is asking supporters of this project to take action. In a Facebook post, the TBA stated:

“…we need you to take action TODAY as the TDRPD board meeting is tomorrow evening… Please formulate your thoughts and send your comments supporting this long-overdue community project to and don’t wait! You can also call Jason Hansford who is the chairman of the board at 530-412-0426.”

Ultimately, a lack of parking places this well-loved public ski area in potential jeopardy. If you would like to ensure that this project is successful, make your voice heard and contact Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District.

Proposed parking lot plan. Photo credit: TBA

Related Articles

4 thoughts on “The Tahoe Backcountry Alliance Requests Public Help to Ensure Success of Donner Lake Run Parking Lot

  1. Tahoe Backcountry Alliance is selfish organization that promotes kicking other people who don’t subscribe to their specific back country activities out of the Tahoe Region

    Tahoe Backcountry Alliance diligently works to limit access to mountain bikes, snow bikes and snowmobile accessed terrain. 85% of the Sierra’s is already closed to these activities.

    Tahoe Backcountry Alliance and their friends at Winter Wildlands Alliance and the Sierra Club, tirelessly raise money, sue the government and work to close the remaining 15% of the Sierra’s to other users groups they don’t like.

  2. The problem has exponentially increased because media outlets like yours keep promoting the once mildly secret spot.

  3. Hey that picture isn’t Donner lake run, It’s in ward canyon outside of the Alpine meadows boundry

  4. “We don’t have a picture of anyone ripping Donner Peak, lake run.”
    Who cares? Just throw up this picture of a rider slashing a turn in Ward Canyon, little AK. Call it the “Donner Lake run” and nobody will ever know.

Got an opinion? Let us know...