Truckee time travel: Hiking into history

The fastest way to see California’s iconic Donner Pass is to cruise Interstate 80 between Truckee and Reno.

But if you really want to experience the environment and culture of one of the state’s most scenic and historically significant places it helps to get your feet dirty.

And one way to get the most out of a trek through the region is to participate in the Donner Party Hike weekend, a two-day event that combines hiking, history and culture.

Although Oct 3 and 4, 2015 will mark the 23rd year for the event, organizers have added new wrinkles to keep it fresh.

This year they’re bringing back tours of the railroad snowsheds that made winter rail travel possible in the Sierra Nevada. They’re also taking hikers off the beaten path on the High Sierra Lakes tour that includes visits to out-of-the-way alpine lakes in the area.

“It takes you to areas you wouldn’t know existed,” said Kathy Hess, one of the organizers. “These are not established trails on maps.”

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