Donner Lake was a nice stop on week long trip paddling Nor Cal. The lake sits at about 6000 ft above sea level and is, for the most part, cold. However at mid-day the water is just right for a swim. Much to my surprise there was almost no boat traffic and very little activity, kind of nice. The lake also has plenty of public launch ramps and docks to put in from with no day use fees. Best part of the lake is the water clarity, and Donner pass over looking the lake. One place worth mentioning is a restaurant called "the Kitchen", had the chance to paddle the 7 miles of shore line and finish it off with a great lunch.
Small general store and plenty nice waterfront hotels
No day use fees, and it's free for lakeside parking.
Small boat launch fees, and parking fees if you use parking lot.
Located just south of Truckee, CA off of Highway 80.
Local handout called "Tahoe Summer" free...