Due to its close proximity to town and abundance of trails and scenery, Coldstream Valley is a favorite recreation destination in summer and winter. Framed by Schallenberger Ridge to the West, Jackass Ridge to the East and Anderson Ridge to the South, the Valley offers a distinct Alpine feel; visitors can easily imagine the monstrous glacier that bulldozed the valley into what it is today. Much of Coldstream Valley and Schallenberger Ridge are now a part of Donner Memorial State Park, originally purchased and protected by the Truckee Donner Land Trust and its partners over the course of two decades. The Donner Memorial State Park Expansion nearly tripled the size of the Park, protected several key tributaries to Donner Lake and protected the Lake's scenic view shed.
In winter the Valley is visited by cross country skiers and snowshoers as well as backcountry skiers looking to make turns. After a short, but steep climb over the glacial moraine, skiers and snowshoers are rewarded with a nice, flat tour around the Coldstream Ponds, a tour that can be four to five miles in length. Schallenberger Ridge has south-facing corn when there is enough snow from the iconic "Windmill Tree" and North Facing Powder in the trees. Also, past the railroad tracks and up the canyon there are numerous powder stashes.
Coldstream Canyon is accessed through Donner Memorial State Park or Coldstream Valley Road. The latter is located south of the red flashing signal at the Donner Lake Exit on Interstate 80. Please note: CA State Parks has special regulations on dogs.
For more information visit: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=50
*Photo by Grant Barta Photography