Truckee/Donner Memorial State Park
This historic park, located on the shore of Donner Lake, is named after the ill-fated Donner Party. The 91 pioneers and their 23 wagons were stranded in this area by an early snow during the winter of 1846-47. Some of the families took shelter near where the park's Emigrant Trail Museum is now located. Only 49 members of the party survived the starvation and the 22-feet of snow, some by cannibalizing their dead neighbors. The museum's exhibits showcase the people who lived and traveled through this Sierra pass, beginning with the Native Americans. The park offers trails, camping, fishing, and during winter, cross-country skiing. The museum is open year-round. The nearby town of Truckee is a great place to eat or spend the night, if camping doesn't interest you.