Donner Lake was formed primarily through a combination of faulting and glacial action. "Glacial Polishing" of the granite can be seen nearer Donner Summit. Glacial moraine formed a natural dam to the Lake, upon which most of the State Park is situated. The main streams which feed the Lake are: Summit Creek, coming from the West and Gregory Creek (AKA: Negro Creek), from the North-West; as well as many underground springs which surround the Lake. The water then exits the Lake, through the State Park, via Donner Creek and joins the Truckee River near the Donner Creek Mobile Home Park, on West River Street. The depth of the Lake has been measured by the California State Lands Commission, to be 328 Feet deep at it`s deepest point -- just off the "guard rail" along Donner Pass Road. The Lake is just under 3 miles long and about 3/4 miles wide. Donner Lake can reach a temperature of 76° during Summer. When measurements were taken one year it was determined Donner Lake was, on average, 6° warmer than Lake Tahoe; when you take into account Donner Lake will occasionally freeze over during Winter, that means we have to definitely make up the difference during the Summer! There is quite a bit of "public" access to the Lake: Donner Memorial State Park and Museum (Video), West End Beach, as well as 1.5 miles of public boat docks along the North side of the Lake, from the Public Boat Ramp, to the Donner Tract Private Beach (there is also a small section of public piers at the foot of Summit Drive).
Description: The reservoir is on the Little Truckee River, 5 miles northeast of Truckee off I-80. Open year-round (frozen during winter), a surface area of approximately 980 acres (at full reservoir storage).
Directions: About 5 miles past Boca Reservoir off the same road. Description: Completed in 1970, Stampede Reservoir is located on the Little Truckee River immediately below the mouth of Davies Creek and approximately 8 miles above the confluence of the Little Truckee and Truckee Rivers. The dam and reservoir are features of the Washoe Project, open year-round (frozen during winter). A surface area of approximately 3,340 acres at full reservoir storage with 25 miles of shoreline.
Lake Tahoe is 22 miles long, 12 miles wide, and has 72 miles of shoreline. Lake Tahoe`s greatest depth of 1,645 feet makes it the third deepest lake in North America and the tenth deepest in the world. The bottom of the lake is actually 92 feet below the level of Carson City, Nevada.