Tunnel Hike at Donner Pass

Get ready to go Spelunking!  Okay its not a cave but its still an awesome adventure. Up at China Wall near the historic Rainbow Bridge there are abandoned train tunnels which have been artistically tagged with spray paint.  This hike is for the whole family as you don’t actually have to hike up to the tracks there is a back way!

Here is some basic history

The train tunnels and track were built by Chinese Laborers in the 1860’s to connect the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad.  Both companies were laying track from opposite directions and meeting in the middle.  The tracks however were removed in the 90’s as double tracks were put in place along another route.

More details

Because I cant do it justice and so many people have gone on this hike I’m linking out to a couple great blogs/articles regarding the area.

California Through my Lens provides a great overview of the area and some awesome pictures

On the Summit has a great map and pictures (scroll to the bottom for the map)

From Lola

The tunnels are 4 miles from Lola. Head down Lola Montez towards Donner Pass and take a left onto Donner Pass.  Take Donner pass about 4 miles. Note that there are two ways to access the tunnels one is near the Donner Ski ranch at the Summit Tunnel on the opposite side of Donner Pass road and is the easiest way.  The 2nd way is to go over Rainbow Bridge and park on the road.   On weekends you will see plenty of car parked on the side of the road and visitors!


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