Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Donner Summit Bridge and its other names

Donner Summit Bridge is a concrete arch span built during the 1920s. This landmark bridge, as part of the Old Lincoln Highway (Hwy 40), was then an important east-west artery between San Francisco Bay and New England. Now, Interstate 80 takes most of the traffic and the route leading over this bridge, called Hwy 40 Scenic Bypass, is favored by tourists and those who come to the Donner Pass area for hiking, biking, rock climbing, skiing and exploration of natural and Gold Rush history.

Donner Summit Bridge is commonly known as Rainbow Bridge. It also is named Donner Memorial Bridge, reminding visitors to memorize the fateful event of 1846 and 1847, during which many emigrants to California lost their lives. The vista point next to the Rainbow Bridge offers a great overlook of  Truckee's Donner Lake. This view point, as many other locations of interest along the scenic bypass, features informative panels illustrating the local history. More about the Donner history can be learned around the Donner Party Memorial (Pioneer Monument) and in the Emigrant Trail Museum at Donner Memorial State Park at the east end of Donner Lake. 

Keywords: Sierra Nevada, geography, history, landmark name.

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