Black Wall, acquired by the Truckee Donner Land Trust in 2015, is the largest rock formation on Donner Summit.
The Land Trust and the Access Fund acquired this storied climbing area on Donner Summit in late 2015. Driving up Old Highway 40, the large east-facing wall is the first visitors encounter. The 11.9-acre property features some of the most dramatic terrain in the Truckee-Tahoe region, with stunning vistas and world-class climbing on finely textured granite. The acquisition protects the popular and historic Black Wall, Peanut Gallery, and Road Cut climbing areas, as well as the access trail to the popular Space Wall, Shark Wall, and Grouse Slabs, all easily accessible from Old Highway 40
The climbing routes were established more than 50 years ago and range from deep chimneys and low-angle slabs for beginners, to overhanging test pieces for experts, and splitter cracks and sport routes for all skill levels. Next to Yosemite, Donner Summit was home to many of the best rock climbers of the 70s and 80s. Many national and world-class climbers still use Donner Summit as a training ground.
With support from the Access Fund and local climbers, the Land Trust has stewarded and provided public access to the property, minimized environmental and visual impacts from climbers, built new trails and trailheads, provided informative signage, and protected nesting peregrine falcons in the area. The Land Trust has built a new access trail to provide safe, sustainable access to the cliff, completed in 2018.