Built by a dedicated group of Sierra Club volunteers in the early 1930s, Clair Tappaan Lodge is a historic, rustic mountain lodge located near the summit of Donner Pass, at 7,000 feet. The area receives the highest average snowfall of the entire Sierra Nevada range, making the lodge a favorite destination for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals are offered at a rate of $20 per day. Sometimes there’s snow in early November; sometimes not. If not, a network of nearby trails offers miles of hiking and provides access to fishing streams, remote meadows and peaks, and crystal clear lakes. The Pacific Crest Trail is only a mile away and can be reached right out the back door of the lodge. The Donner Summit area is great for both road and mountain biking and is also widely known as a rock climbers’ mecca.
Accommodations and Meals
Full conference fees include accommodations and meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch. Accommodations are rustic: twin-sized bunk beds and shared bathrooms. Each bed comes with a pillow and a fitted sheet. Guests should bring their own sleeping bag and a towel. If needed, towels and blankets can be rented from the front office. The lodge’s professional kitchen serves hearty, well-rounded meals every day. Breakfast and dinner are served family-style in the dining room. For lunch, guests prepare healthy bag lunches at the sandwich station immediately before breakfast.
Breakfasts (8:00 AM) include lots of fresh and delicious options like veggie scrambles, breakfast sausage or bacon, country potatoes, fresh fruit, oatmeal, cold cereal, and orange juice.
Lunches (7:30 AM) are prepared on your own at the sandwich station, where you’ll find ingredients for sandwiches like ham/turkey and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, homemade hummus, and tuna salad. Each bagged lunch includes chips, cookies, and a piece of fruit.
Dinners (6:00 PM) might be roast beef, chicken, or pasta paired with garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed vegetables, a garden salad, bread rolls, and dessert. Vegetarian options—be sure to note your preference on our registration form—include items like stuffed peppers and tofu stir fry.
Those with special diets or allergies should be prepared to supplement the Lodge’s offerings with food of their own. Refrigerators, microwaves, and food storage lockers are located throughout the building and are available to all.
Complimentary coffee and teas are available in the dining room during meal times. Bring your own adult beverages.
For those who need to stay connected to the outside world, alas, there is Wi-Fi in the lodge and cell phone coverage is good. Other amenities include a hot tub, ping pong table, a library and two fireplaces.
Conference participants should aim to be settled in at the lodge before dinner at 6:00 PM on Thursday, November 9.
Clair Tappaan Lodge is located 51 miles (about one hour driving) from the Reno-Tahoe Airport (RNO), and 98 miles from Sacramento International Airport (SMF). If possible, we recommend flying into Reno.
For registered conference participants, we will arrange for a charter bus to leave RNO for Clair Tappan Lodge at 4:30 PM Pacific Time on Thursday, November 9. A return shuttle will be available Sunday morning. TBD. If you’re flying into SMF you’ll have to rent a car.
Clair Tappaan Lodge is located at 19940 Donner Pass Road, in Norden, CA, just south of I-80 in California, near Donner Pass. Take I-80 exit 174 for Soda Springs/Norden, head east on Donner Pass Rd. for 2.4 mi, and look for the sign on the left. A loading zone is located up the paved driveway on the north side of the road and the lodge entrance is just beyond that at the end of the footpath.
Parking is available in the large lot on the south side of the road. If coming from the west, the lot is on your right. If coming from the east, the lot is on your left. During the winter when snow removal is in progress, it’s best to park perpendicular to the road, with your front end facing the road. This will ensure there’s room for other guests to park and that snowplows have ample space to remove snow.
Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization promoting and
preserving winter wildlands and a quality human-powered snowsports
experience on public lands.