Donner Rest Stop for Free Snow Play in Truckee

Truckee is one of my favorite spots to stop in the winter for lots of snow activities like snowmobiling and sledding. Our favorite place to stop for brief free snow play in Truckee is the Truckee Eastbound Rest Stop!  The official name is the “Donner Summit Eastbound Rest Area“. It lies adjacent to Interstate 80 and is a clean well-lit area that is perfect to stop and play in the snow for a bit.  

free snow play Truckee

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The parking lot at this Truckee Donner rest stop is a decent size. On a recent visit, we arrived around Noon and found plenty of parking. Keep in mind, it does get packed on days when the highway experiences massive delays due to inclement weather conditions.  

The best part of this rest stop is that the bathrooms are clean and well-maintained.  While we were there the women’s bathroom was getting cleaned but one side was open so there were no lines.  There was plenty of soap and the hand dryers aren’t the best but they do work.

free snow play Truckee

If you are driving and need to stop for a bite to eat, there is also a few tables outside that you can have a quick lunch on.  Inside the building are two vending machines for drinks and snacks.  On a day in which the highway is shut down don’t be surprised if the vending machines are empty. LOTS of travelers tend to stop at this rest area.

Always make sure to pack snacks like protein bars or chips if you plan to be driving in this area!

The view at this Truckee rest stop is so beautiful and there is a short hike to the rear of the building for free snowplay! The hiking trail is also adjacent to a large rock slope area that lots of people like to sled down. 

There isn’t an official place for Truckee snow play, but behind the building is a hilly area that people like to stop and play in.  We travel with this compact sled for the kids to play with!

free snow play Truckee

Tips For Snow Play At Donner Rest Stop

Make sure to pick up all your trash and broken sleds. There are plenty of garbage cans throughout the area. Leave no trace of your visit. Carry out all trash and waste, and avoid disturbing wildlife or damaging vegetation.

Please clean up after your pet!

Be careful especially if hiking or playing on the rock slope, as there are no first aid areas.

Dress in warm, waterproof clothing and wear sturdy snow boots, gloves, and a helmet for safety. Dress in layers to stay comfortable and regulate your body temperature.

Bring along energy-rich snacks and enough water to stay hydrated throughout your snow excursion.

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