The Donner Tunnels


There are a string of abandoned railroad tunnels in the California Donner mountains built by Chinese workers in 1867. More recently, a 2.12 mile tunnel running under Donner peak was created bypassing this section for hooligans like myself to explore! This abandoned section runs for 2.1 miles mostly made up of cement snow coverings with an occasional exposed area.

This first section is the coolest part of these tunnels—It runs deep into the mountain and the floor is covered in cascading ice. To enter, you pass under a frozen waterfall into the growing cold. Reaching the other end, I was met with the blinding snow which kept getting deeper—I decided to head back rather than get stuck out there alone. Having fallen on my butt two times on my way through, I proceeded back to the entrance with 20 minutes of baby-steps over the ice.