donner lake swim

2020 Donner Lake Swim Cancelled

After much consideration, we have decided to cancel the 2020 Donner Lake Swim scheduled for August 15, 2020.  We were hoping to move forward with the race, but due to the many uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic we do not feel it appropriate to continue with the race.  Our concerns include the safety and health of swimmers and volunteers related to COVID-19, lack of ability for our participants to train for the swim, and the possibility that our event might not be sanctioned or allowed by USMS, state, county or city officials.

 To our 2019 swimmers who checked in on race day, your offer of early registration before regular registration will be carried forward to the 2021 Donner Lake Swim.  Later this year we will commence planning the 2021 race.
Thank you for your understanding of this cancellation.  We look forward to seeing you at the 2021 Donner Lake Swim.
Donner Lake Swim Committee
Sierra Nevada Masters Board of Directors



2018 Results Category I
2018 Results Category II

2017 Results
2017 Wet Suit Results

2016 National Championships Results

2015 Open
2015 Kayak escort
2015 Wetsuit

2.7 MILES 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 10, 2019 8:30 AM
Water temp. : 65-68°
Truckee, CA. Altitude: 5933 ft.
Santion #

ENTRIES:  This event is open to 450 swimmers.  No refunds, transfers or deferrals for your entry!  Entry fees are $60 per person if you pre-register; $85 per person for registration on race day.  Registration opens May30th at 12pm. All swimmers must sign the USMS waiver liability form.  No mail in entries will be accepted.  Online registration closes August 1st.  If the Donner Lake Open Water Swim sells out before race day, there will be NO race-day registration.
Please note: If paying by credit card, your credit card statement will reflect a charge from " Events."

CHECK-IN: Check-in and race day registration will begin at 6:30 AM and close at 8:00 AM. Pre-race instructions will take place at 8:15 AM.

SHIRTS: Shirts, sweatshirts, hats, water bottles, and more may be pre-ordered with event entry, or on this public shopping cartuntil July 15, 2019.  Limited numbers will be available for purchase on race day. For a peek at samples of all items, click here.

TIMING: Chip timing for this event will be provided by Lynn Mentzer.  $50 will be charged for lost chips.

SWIMWEAR: Category I and II suits will be allowed in this years swim. (Information on Categories found here)

DIVISIONS: Masters divisions 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, etc.; male and female. No entrants under 18 years of age are permitted.

AWARDS:  Awards given to top three finishers in each age group for Category I swimmers.  All entrants will receive an official race cap and post-race refreshments.

PARKING: This is a point-to-point swim with parking available in designated parking areas at the start and at the finish.  At the start of the race, you may park at the Donner Museum parking lot for a fee or on the south side of Donner Pass Road (absolutely NO parking on the north side of Donner Pass Road).  At the finish, you may park at the West End Beach parking lot.  A shuttle will operate between the start and finish from 6:30 AM to noon. Spectators must pay the West End Beach admission fee.  Animals are not allowed in the park.

LUNCH: SNM will provide post race recovery refreshments.  You may purchase a lunch for your self and non-participants from the Liberty Food Truck.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Accommodations in the area are limited, so make your reservations early! Campers should call 800-444-PARK for reservations for Donner Memorial State Park (located at the start of the race).

SAFETY: Bright colored caps will be provided and must be worn during the swim. The course will be patrolled by safety craft. Life jackets and "man in water" flags are required on all craft.

CUT OFF TIME: Cut off time will be set to two and a half hours. If a swimmer is still in the water at this time, they will be removed from the course.

EQUIPMENT: The use of fins, pull buoys or other swimming devices shall not be permitted except that soft hand paddles may be used as a prosthesis, if they do not present a safety hazard to the other swimmers.

WARM-UP:  A designated warm-up area will be provided. All swimmers wishing to warm-up prior to the race must do so in the designated warm-up area.

RACE START:  All swimmers must be out of the water at 8:15 am.

KAYAK: If you want to kayak for the race, contact JD McCrillis at  If you would like to volunteer at the event please email



Please note: If paying by credit card, your credit card statement will reflect a charge from " Events."

Please note: If paying by credit card, your credit card statement will reflect a charge from " Events."
Online Registration will open on 6/1/2018.


Frequently Asked Questions Donner Lake Open Water Swim

Q: Where do I park?

A: You can park 1) at West End Beach parking lot located at the finish end. If you choose this option, please be sure to give yourself adequate time (up to 45 minutes from arrival at west end to registration at east end via the shuttle); 2) at the start end of the race (east end of Donner Lake) on the south side only of Donner Pass Road; or 3) for a fee, at the Donner Museum parking lot located near the start.

Q: With the start in one location (east end) and the finish in another (west end), what do I do with my belongings?

A: After you register, go directly to the body & bag marking area. There you will be given a bag with your race number on it. Place your belongings in the bag and bring your bag to the designated ‘competitor bag’ area on the beach; we’ll take it to the finish for you. Please keep in mind that 1) bags are fairly small, so please travel light, with only essentials and no valuables; 2) all of your belongings must fit in the bag - belongings left out of competitor bags, lying loose on the beach, will be discarded; and 3) Sierra Nevada Masters is not responsible for lost or stolen items, although the utmost care and respect for your personal belongings will be given at all times.

Q: Can I do the Donner Lake Swim unofficially?

A: No. Under no circumstances is an ‘unofficial’ swim appropriate, allowed, or advised. For your safety and the safety of all the competitors, only registered swimmers are permitted to participate in the Donner Lake Swim. Unofficial / unregistered / imposter swimmers are not insured by United States Masters Swimming, cannot be supervised by the race staff, and are a liability to themselves and to others. Please choose another day to swim across the lake (there are 364 choices). The safety of our athletes is very important to us. Thank you for your consideration.

Q: Can I wear a wetsuit?

A: Category I and II suits allowed.  More information on the categories can be found at  We encourage all participants and prospective participants to consider the challenging nature of the Donner Lake Swim: 2.7 miles, with water temperatures varying from 65-68°, at 5,933 ft. Proper fitness and preparation, along with a hearty breakfast, a dose of guts, and respect for one’s limitations are advised.

Q: Are there t-shirts/sweatshirts for sale?

A: Yes, carefully designed merchandise to commemorate the Donner Lake Swim can be pre-ordered at the time of online registration and at, with a limited number of items available for purchase on race day. Swimmers, we recommend that you make use of the pre-order option to assure that you get the sizes and quantities you desire.

Donner Lake Swim
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Presented by Sierra Nevada Masters Swim Team in association with Lakeridge Swim Team

Donner Lake Swim Results:

-2017 Results
-2017 Wet Suit Results

-2016 National Championships Results

-2015 Open
-2015 Kayak escort
-2015 Wetsuit

-2014 Open Age Group
-2014 Kayak Age Group
-2014 Wetsuit Age Group

-2013 Open Age Group
-2013 Wetsuit Age Group
-2013 Kayak Age Group

-2012 Open Age Group
-2012 Wetsuit Age Group
-2012 Kayak Age Group

- 2011Overall results .xls
- 2011 Wetsuit results .xls

- 2010 Overall results .xls »
- 2010 Age group results .xls »
- 2010 Wetsuit results »

- 2009 Overall Results .xls », .pdf
- 2009 Age Group Results .xls », .pdf
- 2009 Wetsuit Results »

- 2008 Results .xls »
- 2008 Wetsuit results »

- 2007 Results .xls »

- 2007 Results (wetsuit) .xls »

- 2006 Results (male) .xls »
- 2006 Results (female) .xls »
- 2006 Results (wetsuit) .xls »

Previous years (scanned documents . pdf)

- 2005
- 2004
- 2003
- 2002
- 2001
- 2000
- 1999
- 1998
- 1997
- 1996
- 1995
- 1994
- 1993
- 1992
- 1991
- 1990
- 1989
- 1988
- 1987
- 1986
- 1985
- 1984
- 1983
- 1982
- 1981
- 1980