Lodges, Lagoons – Oh My!! – Donner Lake, Cali

What started out as a great thought and plan, quickly moved into an adventure.  We packed the car and headed up to Tahoe city to spend the night.    After we hit town, we drove around, however what is important to know is the sidewalk rolls up at 6PM.  So we didn’t hit many shops before it was already done.  One of the things we are trying to do is just stop at random places, one of those places was the Lucky 7 Tattoo http://lucky7tattoo.net/.


My daughter and I went in, checked out the place and it looked really cool.  It wasn’t time for my next tattoo, of course I only go to Forever Tattoo (Ian) in Sacramento, so we picked up a great shirt and hit the road.  Once we checked into the “LODGE”, which was literally a bed, a door and that’s about it (no anything else – could have brought a tent and had better accommodations).



We were closely located to Steamers Beach Side Bar & Oven.  They had Racer 5 IPA on tap (Nicely played Steamers) and the pizza was five stars, we grubbed it down.   After dinner we walked down to the beach, okay literally like 20 steps and then headed north towards great live music.    We walked into Adrift, the environment was awesome, so low key, good beer (yep) on tap and the band was playing all kinds of great 90’s music.   We sat until their set was over and then it was back to the bed and the door (Lodge).

Next Morning it was a quick wake-up, jump in the car and we headed towards Donner Lake.   If you get off at the Donner Lake State park exit, then after you hit the gate, go right, then first dirt lot is the lagoon lot.  Go there, stop there and then look for about two nice sand entry points w/ no big rocks to cut your feet.     I’m a bit mixed on the adventure, so here’s the criteria..


5/10 Kayaks (I’m working on a cool image for this – if anybody has a suggestion please tell me).

  • Water clarity –  Absolutely amazing throughout.
  • Entry / Exit –  Here’s the part that makes it mixed.  I had found the best sandy place to enter the water and this “gal” quickly moved in on the spot, setup her chairs, had her dogs and would not let us pass when it was time to enter the water.   It was by far not COOL at all, so with that, we launched in a rockier spot and I tore both feet up a bit.  I was a bit disappointed as in all my adventures in the water people have been very nice and legit.  This gal was not..  but I didn’t let one gal ruin the trip..  Nope..  Let’s talk about Exit, same gal in the same place.. so we pulled out earlier in the lagoon.  It was a nice on the hands/feet, while pulling the kayak up the hill a few feet. It was EPIC footage that I cut out of the video. I may post later.
  • Environment – Well……   it felt like a vacation lake vs. a chillax lake.  Tons of beginners which is a great, but the sense of chill was not in the air.   Haley got smacked by a kid in the kayak, a few paddle boarders were kinda rude when I tried to help them hold the paddle the right way vs. backwards..  (it was entertaining but seriously I had to help them out).
  • Company –  The big kid was on the shore, so the younger kids were with me..  It was so much fun..  but without the big kid it just wasn’t the same.
  • Weather – Windy.. right outside the lagoon was pretty choppy, but even towards to the rental area was a bit windy.  Definitely not swimming weather.
  • Cost –  Did I say Poppy pass?  Yah another state park, another $10 not paid..  YES!!!   (get it already)..
  • Water Level –  Excellent….
  • What the specific gear was – Scrambler single ocean kayak, Mailbu XL 3 person Ocean Kayak, GoPro2 w/ Head strap.

Would I go again? Yes.. however I think there’s a lot more lakes to adventure first before I return.   I will say if you are going to donner, go to the lagoon it’s worth it.  Normal lake area is a bit rough.


Happy Paddling folks..    – drop me a note if you have been here, have questions or any comments about the gear I’m utilizing.




This entry was posted in Kayak, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply