Donner Summit

In 2015, the Truckee Donner Land Trust (TDLT) and Access Fund conserved a significant set of climbing areas on Donner Summit, California. TDLT owns the 11.9-acre property and Access Fund holds a permanent conservation easement to back up TDLT’s long-term commitment and ensure climbing access in perpetuity. The world-class climbing at Donner Summit features finely textured granite with deep chimneys, low-angle slabs, overhanging test pieces, and splitter cracks. The climbing is set amidst some of the most dramatic terrain in the Truckee-Tahoe region, boasting stunning vistas. The acquisition protects the historic 400-foot Black Wall, as well as the Peanut Gallery and Road Cut climbing areas and access trails to the popular Space Wall and Stealth Wall.

History
Climbers have been scaling the walls on Donner Summit for 50 years. But in 2013, the private landowners expressed concerns about liability, putting access to the historic climbing area at risk. Local climbers, Access Fund, and the Land Trust reached out to the landowners, and after nearly a year of negotiations, they agreed to sell the property.


Location

Located on Donner Summit just west of Truckee, California, the Black Wall is 2-3 hours northeast of Sacramento and the Bay Area and less than an hour from Reno, Nevada.

Driving directions: From Truckee, follow Donner Pass Rd west approximately 5 miles to Black Wall. Park at pulloffs and follow the appropriate climbing approach trail to your destination.

Resources

  • Land Owner/Manager: Truckee Donner Land Trust
  • Land Steward: Gary Allan, garya@aegisins.com
  • Area Guidebooks: None
  • Conservation Easement: Download PDF
  • Rules & Restrictions:
    • Access allowed only from sun-up to one hour after sundown
    • No camping, overnight use, or fires
    • No littering – pack in, pack out
    • When raptors are actively nesting, please respect route-specific closures
    • Commercial guiding/instruction requires prior approval

Photo Courtesy of Sam Okamoto