Horseshoe Curve

To gain elevation on the westbound climb from Truckee to Donner Summit the tracks extend into Coldstream Canyon, doubling back to the opposite side of the canyon on a sweeping curve known as Horseshoe Curve.  There were once sawmills and a pulp mill at Horseshoe Curve, and a station near the curve called Stanford, named for Leland’s brother A.P. Stanford who owned one of the mills.


In days before arrival of the railroad, some immigrant wagon trains followed a route up Coldstream Canyon to a crossing of the Sierra south of Donner Pass.