So much has been written about the tragic fate of the Donner Party; there’s no shortage of opinions about what led to this group of pioneers becoming trapped in the snow-packed California Sierras during the winter of 1846-47 and what they did or did not do in order to survive. But there’s nothing quite like visiting the site of these events for yourself and seeing it with your own eyes.
This week, I chose this episode of Huell’s Golden Parks series as Northern Californians look forward to a cold storm predicted to bring almost two feet of snow to the lower elevations of the foothills. It’s been a few years since I last visited the Donner Memorial (and I really wish I could find my photos from that occasion!). I missed out on seeing the museum when I was there, so now I have a good excuse to go back.
Huell travels to the beautiful Sierra Nevadas and Donner Memorial State Park which commemorates those who emigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800s. It is named for one of the earliest pioneer wagon trains, the Donner Party, forced by circumstances to camp at the east end of Donner Lake in the winter of 1846-47, resulting in human suffering and loss of life.