This bridge is personal for me. I love the view of Donner Lake from this angle. My family owned land a few miles west of this bridge for almost 40 years. They built a cabin which we used all year long.
In the summer I loved driving along this road with the windows down, the warm summer mountain breeze flowing through the car. On this road you pass by a stone wall that was built by Chinese labor when they were constructing the Central Pacific Railroad. There's a rock that calls out to rock climbers for much of the year. You'll find cyclists climbing from the lake to the peak still high above where this shot was taken.
Click on either image to see it larger.
At some point a bus went off this road into the gully right before the bridge. That bus lay there for decades slowly rusting, its once vivid colors turning muted. There was also an old rusted hulk of a car. Understand that at one time this was the route across the Sierras from California to Nevada. The eventual Interstate 80 was built on the hillside to the left where you can see what was possibly the beginning of the construction.
And of course this is the lake made famous by its namesake, the Donner Party. If you don't know the history of the Donner family and their fellow travelers you can read about it here. And if you're going to be in the area be sure to visit the California State Park where you can walk a path through the area where the families lived during the dreadful winter.
At the eastern end of the lake is the bustling town of Gateway with Truckee nearby. Both towns have changed dramatically and look nothing like what I fell in love with in the mid-1960s. At that time neither town would have been called bustling. Many an evening was spent at a restaurant in Truckee flirting with the waiters who were at heart nothing more than ski bums. And many a late night I had to come back over the pass to the cabin in a snowstorm. Now I'm older and wiser.