Donner Lake Triathlon

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The Donner Lake Triathlon is held at West End Beach on Donner Lake in Truckee California.

Truckee is one of those places that you'll want to live if you don't already. Noted by the editors of National Geographic Adventure as one of the worlds top ski towns, Truckee also offers those who love the mountains and outdoors with endless summer adventure opportunities.

Donner Lake is 2.7 miles long and 1/2 mile wide. The water is clear and clean with a maximum depth of 328 feet. West End Beach, operated by the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District, serves as the main venue. A sandy beach with majestic views of the surrounding Sierra Mountains awaits you.

Review summary

2 Reviews
  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere


Ariana M
"This was my first ever Olympic triathlon (having only done a sprint before) and..."


Chris S
"It would be quite hard to put on a bad event in this area as it's an amazing..."
See all reviews

How to enter the Donner Lake Triathlon

  1. Half Iron 70.3 Triathlon

    Triathlon: Swim 1.2mi, Bike 56mi, Run 13.36mi
    Event passed
  2. Olympic Triathlon

    Triathlon: Swim 0.9mi, Bike 24.8mi, Run 6.67mi
    Event passed
  3. Sprint Triathlon

    Triathlon: Swim 0.25mi, Bike 6mi, Run 2mi
    Event passed
  4. Half Aquabike

    Other: Swim 1.2mi, Bike 56mi
    Event passed
  5. Olympic Aquabike

    Other: Swim 1.5km, Bike 24mi
    Event passed
  6. Kids Triathlon 11-12

    Triathlon: Swim 0.2km, Bike 3km, Run 2km
    Event passed
  7. Kids Triathlon 9-10

    Triathlon: Swim 0.1km, Bike 3km, Run 1km
    Event passed
  8. Kids Triathlon 7-8

    Event passed
  9. Olympic Aquathlon

    Other: Swim 1.5km, Run 6.5mi
    Event passed
  10. Kids Triathlon Age 6 & Under

    Triathlon: Swim 0.025km, Run 1km, Run 0.5km
    Event passed
  11. Olympic Duathlon

    Duathlon: Run 4mi, Bike 24.8mi, Run 6.5mi
    Event passed

Donner Lake Triathlon routes

To be eligible for a "senior ticket", you must be at least 62 years old. For a youth ticket, you must be between the age of 8 and 18.

Event Details

What’s Included

Included with your race fee will be...

    Barbecue Lunch with beverages
    Official T-shirts and hats from the events
    Professional timing equipment
    Access to onsite medical staff if necessary
    A finisher's medal
    Awards for the top three finishers in each 5-year adult age group
Raceday Logistics

Friday July 19th:

    5:00 - 7:00 pm: Sprint and Kids Triathlon pack pick-up and registration

Saturday July 20th:

    7:00 am: Sprint Triathlon starts
    8:30 am: Kid's race packet pick-up
    9:15 am: 11-12 year-old triathlon starts
    9:30 am: 9-10 year-old triathlon starts
    9:45 am: 7-8 year-old triathlon starts
    10:00 am: 6 & under triathlon starts
    10:45 am: Sprint Awards
    4:00 pm: Sunday races' briefing and athlete meeting
    2:00 - 5:00 pm: Registration for the Sunday events

Sunday July 21st:

    7:00 am: Half Triathlon/Half Aquabike/Half Aquathon begin
    7:10 am: Olympic Triathlon/Olympic Aquabike/Aquathon Relay begin
    7:20 am: Duathlon begins
    8:00 am: Alpine Freshwater Swim Begins
    10:30 am: Alpine Swim awards
    11:00 am: Olympic event awards
    12:00 - 2:00 pm: Live concert
    2:30 pm: Half event awards

Volunteering is a great way to support your racing habit. All volunteers (17 years & older) earn $10/hr of racing credit that can be applied to any Big Blue Adventure event. After you volunteer at an event, you will receive an email including your unique volunteer code. This code will allow you to apply your credits earned when you register for your next race online.

If you are part of a club or group, we have a special partnership program which includes special discounts, free race entries, and depending on the type of organization, financial donations.

Complete the Volunteer Form on the Big Blue Adventure website to sign up to volunteer at upcoming events! Make sure to select which events you are available for.


Do the races sell out?

Yes, many of our events are set up for a maximum number of participants and therefore do sell out. Register early to save your spot and to pay a lower registration fee. Fees are increased on a tiered basis as the event date nears.

Adventure Racing

Most of our AR events offer many team sizes. For example you could race as a solo, 2-person, 3-person, or 4-person team. Additionally there are often options to set up your team as all-male, all-female, or coed.


There is an option a select events to race and be scored as a team. For example you would run and receive an individual time. Your time would be combined with, for example, 5 other times of your teammates and the total elapsed time would be the time used to rank your team against other teams. Also, if you have more than five team members we score the fastest five times and the other times drop out.

Are there cut-off times?

Yes, in some of our events there are cut-off times. For example the Half Distance Triathlons have cut-off times. Visit each events schedule page for additional information

Do you offer an elite/pro wave or division?

Occasionally depending on the demand. However, usually the events offers age group, Athena, Clydesdale and relays divisions only. There is no prize money.

Do you rent out wet-suits?

We don’t have onsite wet-suit rentals. We recommend Synergy Wet-suits. They provide wet-suit rentals. Click here for more information.

What is USA Triathlon?

USA Triathlon is the governing body of the sport of triathlon in the United States. They sanction and insure our Triathlon events.

What are the temperatures of Donner Lake and Lake Tahoe?

The conditions on Lake Tahoe change throughout the seasons. We have found the following link, from UC Davis (who does research in the area) to be a good resource with up-to-date water temperature. One note to consider however, is their temperatures may be a bit colder than what a swimmer would feel on the surface. Typically the water temperature in Fahrenheit is 69 degrees Fahrenheit in Donner Lake.

Questions & answers

Get answers from our team or a member of our dedicated community.

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Donner Lake Triathlon weather forecast

Foggy in the morning.

Predicted highs
Predicted lows

Meet the organizer

Donner Lake Triathlon reviews (2)

4.7 out of 5 stars

  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere
  • Did the Olympic Triathlon in 2019

    It would be quite hard to put on a bad event in this area as it's an amazing location. The lake is a great temperature for swimming, the bike course is up a pretty challenging hill but its a great ride, and the run is around the lake in one loop which is nice. Cant be helped by the organizer but the roads on the bike course are not in great condition, a lot of freeze-cracks, but apparently this is being fixed soon. Also, by the time you get to the run the temperature has really built up making it a pretty challenging combination of hot and high-altitude. Nice atmosphere after as access to lake-side for beer and bbq.
  • Did the Olympic Triathlon in 2019

    This was my first ever Olympic triathlon (having only done a sprint before) and I absolutely loved it. It’s such an amazing place for a triathlon, the lake is so beautiful, particularly with the sun rising over the mountains when you arrive. We drove from San Francisco for the weekend and it was so much fun staying in Truckee. The organisation was great, there were tents by the lake for sponsors and kit shops, seamless registration and pack pickup. I only gave it a 4 star because there was some confusion of which buoy to swim to at the start, but other than that it was great. The lake is really not cold at all, some people didn’t have wetsuits on and the water is amazingly clear. They had marshalls on paddle boards who were very helpful. The transition area was very easy, this race is a good size for a beginner. Big enough for awesome atmosphere and afterparty, but small enough to feel really looked after.

    Everyone was so friendly and people passing you on the bike would always say ‘good job’. There was a great vibe amongst the racers and lots of camaraderie. The first part of the bike course is stunning, the hills are big but so worth it for the view and the descent. Look out for cracks in the road though, there are a few but even so, I loved this bike course. I didn’t expect the run to be a little hilly, it was tough although that’s probably just because it was in the last few miles and I was ready to finish! You run 1 loop of the lake for the Olympic and 2 loops for the Half. Hats off to anyone doing the half as you run right by the finish line and past people celebrating to do your second lap.

    Not only do you get a free race photo, but you get a free burger/hotdog/veggie burger and a beer at the end. The finish line atmosphere was so great, and afterwards we just jumped straight back into the lake to cool off. I can’t recommend this race highly enough. I’ll definitely be back next year 🙌🏼