Cold Stream Valley – Sierra Canyon Hiking Group Thursday hike

It was an absolutely perfect day to hike today. The sun was shining and the air was cool but not cold. The Sierra Canyon Hiking Group hiked up into Cold Stream Valley South of Donner Lake. We parked at the same place we did for the Tinker Knob Hike a couple of weeks ago. For that hike we had snow and fog. Today was just the opposite. There was no snow left. The gate was closed on Coldstream Road off of Interstate 80 so we accessed the trail by driving through Donner Memorial State Park.

For much of the hike we were on the old railroad bed that you can see from Interstate 80. We passed the entrance to the railroad tunnel under Mount Judah and then came to the entrance to the old snow sheds where we had lunch overlooking Donner Lake. The whole hike was about 6 miles. Here are some of my pictures and the rest can be seen on Flickr here.

The entrance to the railroad tunnel under Mount Judah


The entrance to an abandoned snow shed


The snow shed was pitch black on the inside.


Lunch break overlooking Donner Lake


Author: marionvermazen

I am a traveler, hiker, avid reader, Sun alumnus, computer geek, Spanish and French language student, knitter and genealogist. I am retired after working for almost 30 years in the Computer Industry. I live in Reno, Nevada with my husband Duke.

4 thoughts on “Cold Stream Valley – Sierra Canyon Hiking Group Thursday hike”

  1. One late fall day I hiked from Donner Lake level up to Rainbow Bridge; U.S. Highway 40. I wanted to check my lungs out and my stamina. I do not smoke so this 45-year old at the time took the hike well. I rested several spots nearest the former U.S. Highway 40. (Donner Pass Road)
    It started to get real cloudy; cold; windy and darken clouds above. I felt sleet after awhile and hiked down U.S. 40 back to my camper that was parked at the western parking lot of Donner Lake.
    It snowed later as I enjoyed a good hot bowl of chilli with onions and cheese at a western diner in Truckee. I believe the diner was called “The Mountainaire”; but I cannot remember exactly.
    I did take some slides of old Highway 40 and the scenic Rainbow Bridge area plus Donner Lake off in a distance fall below.
    The next afternoon I drove into the Boomtown Casino/Verdi, Nevada area and chowed down with the all you could eat buffet with the fried chicken on the menu. Believe me hiking about this area WILL build up your stamina and appetite and after awhile..
    Enjoy and love this area of Truckee/Donner Pass/Hirshdale/Verdi area..
    I drive as much as old Route 40 as I can. Even though the roadway in non-existant west of the Verdi/Stateline area..
    Glad to share this with you..
    “Red Barr”


  2. If somehow you may have enjoyed this entry from above; well so be it and thank you! I’ve had other adventures within this area of Truckee/Donner Pass/Old U.S. Highway 40/Verdi/Glenshire/Hirshdale and the Boomtown Casino area..
    A good hot bowl of chilli; crackers; onions and cheese with a good hot cup of coffee would be an excellent treat to cure an appetite brought on by cold, windy, storm driven mountain air..
    The hike up old U.S. 40 from Lake Donner level could be an effort of one at middle age. Now that I am 60-years the hike might be more difficult. But who knows? I do not smoke as I have never have smoked in my life..
    U.S. 40 in bits and pieces west of the Verdi/Mogul area. A bridge that would cross the Truckee River at one point near Farad, California has been demolished or taken away in favor of the newer Interstate 80 through this area..
    I would like to do the Cold Stream hike; but I would have to take it slow.
    Again thank you for your time..
    “Red Barr”


  3. Enjoy your website and images of this scenic; wonderful area…
    Second entry…
    Mountain air sure builds an appetite. Chilli, crackers, onions and cheese with a good hot cup of coffee on a cold, windy almost snowy afternoon; a real treat!
    I’ve traveled much of old U.S. Highway 40 as I could enter. The roadway pretty much out of existance west of the Verdi/Farad area. A bridge that use to cross the Truckee near Farad was demolished in favor of the newer Interstate 80 in this area..
    My uncle and aunt from Sacramento would trout fish at Donner Lake when he would be off from his city employment in Sacramento. He loved to hike while she would frequent Reno for games of chance. Basically they would love to set up camp with their camper at Donner Lake Camp area near the Donner Memorial Museum off old U.S. 40..
    Again thank you for your time..
    “Red Barr”


  4. My uncle passed away October 10th, 2008 after a long illness with just about everything imaginable.. He was 91 years of age. He lived a good life fishing and camping in the mountains nearby he loved..
    Whether he would drive old U.S 40 or the newer Interstate 80 and even U.S. 50 to Lake Tahoe he loved the country eastern of Sacramento….
    I could picture him trout fishing at Donner Lake near the embankment off U.S. 40 on mornings when he would frequent this area. Cold; foggy mornings with the Central Pacific train making its way up the mountain side across Donner Lake high above. It was like seeing a toy train climbing that pass going through those snowsheds.
    What a steep dropoff the train would be nearby..


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