The Donner Party by Daniel Lewis
Route of the Donner Party


The Year of 1846
The Story: Part I
Part II: The Journey
Part III: Snowbound
Part IV: Eating of the Dead
Epilogue: Journey's End
General Roster
Names for Research
Route of the Donner Party
Forensics of the Donner Party
Forensics II
The Donner Party and Native Americans
Religion of the Donner Party
Links and Sources
Contact Me

Click here to see maps of the Donner Party Route at Daniel M. Rosen's web-site.

INDEPENDANCE. This is where most emigrant heading west started out from. While most of the Donner-Reed Party actually came from Illinois, this is where the Donners and Reeds organized with the other emigrants.

ALCOVE SPRING. It was here Sarah Keyes died.

CHIMNEY ROCK, large natural tower (looks like a chimney) made of stone.

INDEPENDANCE ROCK. A large stone mound. Emigrants were supposed to reach this rock by July 4th, but the Donners were a week late.

FORT LARAMIE, operated by the United States Army.

FORT BRIDGER, built by Jim Bridger around 1846, to serve as a trading post. It was here that the last emigrants overland waited and organized themselves in a party, led by George Donner. They departed from the fort on July 31st.

GREAT SALT LAKE. At the southern end of the Lake, the Donner Party consulted Lansford Hastings for advice about information for the Hastings Cut-Off.


BONNEVILLE SALT-FLATS. After trudging miles over harsh Utah desert, the Donner-Reed Party lost many of its oxen.

PAUTA? PASS, where James Snyder was stabbed to death.

ALDER CREEK. The Donners travelled behind the others, so were forced to stay here, several miles away from Truckee Lake. The others had travelled ahead to

TRUCKEE LAKE. (Now Donner Lake.) The Donner Party spent their winter here, at the Schallenberger Cabin and other shelters constructed nearby.

TRUCKEE PASS. (Later Donner Pass.) Steep climb that prevented the Donner Party from reaching the Sacramento Valley.

JOHNSON'S RANCH. The Forlorn Hope was led here by a local tribe of Miwok Indians. This was the first white establishment for hundreds of miles.

SUTTER'S FORT, built in 1839 by Swissman Johann Sutter. During the 1840's, Sutter's Fort became the unofficial end of the California Trail. It was here the Donner Party was led to in rescue, where they recouperated from their horrendous ordeal. Sacramento lay just beyond the Fort.