How to Get to the Cabin

Directions

Unfortunately, public transportation to the cabin is limited and difficult. There was a time when a special passenger train ran non-stop from San Francisco to Truckee during ski season, but with cargo taking precedence over passengers on railroads, those days are over. You can take Amtrak from San Francisco to Truckee, but there are multiple stops, and you'll need to find a ride from Truckee to Donner Summit. Still, it's been done! We know of a few people who have biked to the cabin from San Francisco in good weather, too.

 

However, like most people you'll likely travel by car, which in good weather with little traffic will take you about 2.5 hours from the city or about 1 hour from Reno. Traffic on I-80 can be notoriously heavy, especially on weekends and in bad conditions, so plan appropriately.

 

Carry snow chains from 09/15 – 06/14. You will be stopped if your vehicle is not equipped for snow travel. In most cases, 4WD with snow tires on all 4 wheels is acceptable. Check the road conditions before you go.

 

Directions start at the Oakland Bay Bridge Toll Plaza

  1. Drive 169 miles E on I-80.

  2. Take the Norden/Soda Springs exit. There is a sign before this exit that also includes notification for the Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, which is down the same road.

  3. Make a right at the top of the exit ramp (you'll see a Unocal 76 gas station). Go about 3.9 miles on this road, which is Old Highway 40 (aka "Donner Pass Road"). You'll pass two large Sugar Bowl Ski Resort signs. Immediately past the 2nd Sugar Bowl sign, you'll see the Sugar Bowl Ski Academy on your right. There is an odd, tall grey metal shed before the Academy, which is a large, white lodge. If you pass the Academy, you'll be heading downhill on a steep, curvy road. If so, you have gone too far!

  4. Turn right into the Academy's parking lot.

  5. A single-lane gravel/dirt road begins at the back right of the parking lot. This is the road you'll turn onto to get to the DOCNC cabin.
    SNOW SEASON (Oct-June — The exact "Snow Season" varies widely, of course, but these dates are a general outline): This road is unplowed and is usually invisible behind a giant 10-30 foot berm of snow! If you are traveling during snow season, refer to the Snow Season Parking Procedures in this document. You will have to park here and hike the rest of the way to the cabin. Follow the instructions carefully, or a) your vehicle will be towed, and b) you will jeopardize the long-standing good relationship between Academy and DOCNC!

  6. Continue about 0.25 miles along this road, curving right. If it's snow season, you'll have to ski, snowshoe or "posthole" in.

  7. At the red and white "Private Road" sign on your left (typically buried under the snow during snow season), turn left into the dirt road to the immediate right of the sign itself. Remove the chain across this dirt road, drive through, and re-hook the chain. There is also a small "DOC" sign on the post.

  8. The cabin will appear in about 150 yards: first cabin on the right, on the lakeshore.

The Weather

The cabin is at 7000 feet elevation, so weather tends to change rapidly. If it's snowing, there can be a lot of traffic and areas where chains or 4WD are required. Check out NOAA or Tahoe'sBest for the most accurate forecasts before heading to the cabin.

Parking

Please be sure to print out the appropriate number of parking passes when you make your reservation, display them in your vehicles, and park only in the designated areas.

 

Your ability to follow these directions is essential to our relationship with our neighbors, including the Sugar Bowl Ski Academy, which generously allows us to use a small portion of their parking lot in the winter.

 

During summer, please obey all parking signs and do not use our neighbors' driveways as overflow parking or turn-around areas.

What to Do When You Arrive

See the PDF below starting at the "POWER" section for cabin arrival procedure

Using the Cabin

Fire Safety

The cabin is a treasured place with sentimental value to countless Dartmouth Alums. Treat it as an heirloom and please don't do silly things that could endanger it.

  • DO fully extinguish the fireplace and wood stove before leaving the cabin

  • DO wait to remove ashes from the fireplace and wood stove until they are cold (they should be cool enough to touch).

  • DO NOT burn candles

  • DO NOT smoke in the cabin or on the decks

Sleeping Arrangements

There are enough (new!) mattresses for about a dozen folks. The cabin does have sheets, pillows and pillowcases, but we also suggest bringing your own sleeping bag (and a sleeping pad if you would like to sleep outdoors on the deck or beach). It can be quite cold in the cabin at night during the snow season, particularly if there isn't enough snow to help insulate the cabin walls.

Sports Equipment

Bring whatever sports equipment you need (e.g. climbing gear, skis/skins, snowshoes, hiking boots, mountain bike, etc.). Note that in the snow season, you'll have to walk to the cabin. Due to deep snow, we recommend that you hike in on snowshoes or skis. The cabin has its own canoe with two lifejackets and paddles as well as a swell set of horseshoes.

Landline

The cabin does have a phone number: (530) 426-0413.

 

You may use it if you still can remember how to use one of those contraptions. There is no answering machine or voicemail service, and it is sometimes difficult for people in the cabin to hear the ringer. When placing a call to the cabin, be sure to let the phone ring for a long time before you give up.

Kitchen & Cooking

It wouldn't be a Dartmouth Cabin without a place to make meals for massive amounts of people! The cabin has a full working kitchen, including a refrigerator/freezer, stove, and a sink with running water. Cooking sets and utensils are unnecessary as the kitchen is fully stocked with anything you'd need: plates, bowls, cups, coffee filters and a pot, serving bowls and platters, a small microwave, silverware, cooking pans and pots, etc. The cabin also has two large plastic bins to help with food storage (in addition to the cupboards). Only the tightly shut bins can be guaranteed mice-free. We haven't had a bad problem with mice in the cupboards recently, but it can happen.

Cell Signal

AT&T phones seem to get a few bars of LTE at the cabin. 

Pets

Pets are allowed, but please be sure to keep your pets well-mannered and respect anyone with allergies on non-exclusive weekends. Also, please respect any requests regarding your pets that might come from the neighbors. There are a few other cabins on Lake Mary, and it's imperative that we keep up good relations. You are responsible for cleaning up after your pet. Be considerate.

Fire Safety (Again)

The cabin is a treasured place with sentimental value to countless Dartmouth Alums. Treat it as an heirloom and please don't do silly things that could endanger it.

  • DO fully extinguish the fireplace and wood stove before leaving the cabin

  • DO wait to remove ashes from the fireplace and wood stove until they are cold (they should be cool enough to touch).

  • DO NOT burn candles

  • DO NOT smoke in the cabin or on the decks

Departure Procedure

See the PDF below starting at the "DEPARTURE CHECKLIST" section for cabin shutdown procedure.

© 2020 Dartmouth Outing Club, Board of Directors

Contact us: information@docnc.net

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