Alt: 7,042' MSL
Bronze plaque erected above the Summit Tunnel (#6)
|Summit Tunnel (#6) West portal||Summit Tunnel (#6) West portal (composite image)||Summit Tunnel (#6) West portal, tracked (composite image)|
|Summit Tunnel (#6) looking East from West portal||Summit Tunnel (#6) Ceiling||Summit Tunnel (#6) Interior wall|
|Summit Tunnel (#6) Central construction shaft (midtunnel)||Summit Tunnel (#6) Hand drilled blasting hole, North wall||Summit Tunnel (#6) Construction feature, North wall near central shaft|
|Summit Tunnel (#6) Ceiling, (midtunnel)||Summit Tunnel (#6) Interior, looking East (midtunnel)||Summit Tunnel (#6) East portal and snowshed, looking West|
|Tunnels #8, #7, & #6 (l to r) [the Dutch Flat - Donner Lake Wagon Road crossed the grade near Tunnel #6]||Tunnel #7, North wall and concrete roof (#7 was "daylighted" then covered by snowshed)||1912 "Lincoln Highway" underpass (foreground), upper Chinese Wall, & Tunnel#8 (West portal)|
|The Donner Trail above the CPRR grade approaching the summit of Donner Pass||Upper Chinese Wall seen from the area of the original Donner Trail||Upper Chinese Wall and Tunnel#8 (West portal) from the grade, looking East|
|Tunnel#8 looking East from West portal into the snowsheds beyond||Wrought iron cable guide inside Tunnel#8, North wall||Tunnel#8, East portal where it connects with the snowsheds|
|Snowsheds just East of Tunnel#8, looking East||Donner Lake seen from outside the snowshed just East of Tunnel#8||The Chinese Wall which fills the ravine between Tunnels #7 & 8 through which the Donner Trail once passed|
|Lower & Upper Chinese Walls, Tunnel#8, West portal ||Lower & Upper Chinese Walls, Tunnel#8, West portal ||The Chinese Walls and the area transited by the Donner Trail|
|The area transited by the Donner Trail just below Tunnel #8||Donner Lake as seen from the Donner Trail below Tunnel#8||Snowsheds running East from Tunnel #8 along the mountainside|
|Large block of granodiorite excaveted from Tunnel #8 with hand drilled blasting holes||Small block of granodiorite excaveted from Tunnel #8 with hand drilled blasting hole||Cover over the central construction shaft, Summit Tunnel #6|
|Rusted "pear" rail and block of hand drilled granodiorite near the covered construction shaft||View of Donner Lake and Tunnels #6, 7, & 8 from above Summit Tunnel ||View of Donner Lake and Tunnels #6, 7, & 8 from above Summit Tunnel |
|View of Tunnels #6, 7, & 8 from above Summit Tunnel||Looking toward Donner Summit from above Summit Tunnel ||Looking toward Donner Summit from above Summit Tunnel |
Compare with Historic CPRR Sierra Grade Construction Views (1864-1869).
For an interesting study of the harshness of winter weather at Donner Pass
see the article by
"Reign of the Sierra Storm King: A Weather History of Donner Pass."
Digitized and Ortho-rectified Aerial Image Courtesy USGS (Click
to enlarge; annotation added):
Digital photography and images by Bruce C. Cooper.
Donner Summit Panoramas, 2006
Click on the images below to view 360º interactive "QTVR" panoramas of Donner Summit. (Requires Quicktime)
"GREAT SUMMIT TUNNEL OF THE SIERRA NEVADA
BENEATH THIS PLAQUE THE FIRST TRANSCONTINENTAL RAIL-
ROAD TRAVERSED THE MIGHTY SIERRA NEVADA RANGE. THE 1659
FOOT LONG SUMMIT TUNNEL TOOK OVER 15 MONTHS OF CHINESE
MUSCLE AND SWEAT TO BUILD. THE CHINESE PAINSTAKINGLY
HAND DRILLED, THEN BLASTED THE GRANITE ROCK WITH BLACK
POWDER AND NEWLY INVENTED NITROGLYCERINE. A VERTICAL
SHAFT TOOK 85 DAYS TO COMPLETE AND ALLOWED TUNNEL CON-
STRUCTION TO PROCEED FROM THE CENTER AS WELL AS FROM
THE PORTALS. THE MOST DIFFICULT OBSTACLE FACING THE
CENTRAL PACIFIC RAILROAD WAS OVERCOME WHEN THE TUNNEL
WAS COMPLETED IN AUGUST 1867. THE FIRST PASSENGER TRAIN
PASSED THROUGH THE TUNNEL ON JUNE 18, 1868. THE LAST
TRAIN WENT THROUGH IN 1993.
DEDICATED AUGUST 7, 1999
CHIEF TRUCKEE CHAPTER NO. 3691
E CLAMPUS VITUS"