We’re over a week into December and snow is beginning to blanket regions of the country. One of the more intense winter driving stretches is Donner Pass, located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, 9 miles west of Truckee, California.
Donner Pass has been a hazardous route through the mountains since 1868, when the Central Pacific Railroad created a 1,659 foot tunnel in order to allow the transport of goods to and from the coast. The pass is infamous for acts of cannibalism by the Donner Party which occurred in 1846, prior to the creation of the tunnel. The Donner Party was traveling from Missouri to California, and was stranded in the mountains during an incredibly harsh winter.
Precipitation around Donner Pass (mostly snow) averages 54 inches per month and 415 inches per year. Donner Pass is one of the worst places in the country in terms of snowfall.
This video taken near Sugar Bowl Ski Resort on Donner Pass in 2011 shows an epic 20 feet of snow as a driver moves through the pass, capturing the sights of a blanketed land.