News Flash

Donner Pass Road Rock Fall

Posted on: July 3, 2023

Donner Pass Road Rock Fall Update 3 - 7/03/2023

DPR -  western road closure and unstable rock face

A portion of Donner Pass Road (Old HWY 40, approximately one mile west of Donner Lake) remains closed through the end of July 2023 to traffic, including recreational activities, due to a potentially unsafe rock fall.

Following a 40-ton rock mass that fell into the roadway earlier this month, Nevada County Public Works found that additional rock masses in the area were also shifting. Geotechnical experts NV5 and Woodard Geotechnical Services confirmed the safety risks that prompted the continued road closure by identifying new fractures and evidence of recent movement in the rock mass. Geotechnical assessments on the potential for additional rock fall are underway as they analyze options to stabilize the slope.

Next Steps

Public Works is working to reopen the roadway as quickly as possible; however, the impacted portion of Donner Pass Road will continue to be closed to traffic and recreational activities for the public’s safety until geotechnical assessments are completed, the slope is stabilized, and repairs to the road, guardrail, and retaining wall is completed. Many recreational opportunities and access to local businesses or restaurants remain available above and below the closed area.

Residents can view the road closure location on Public Works’ Road Conditions and Closures map at and find updates on Nevada County Public Works Facebook. Public Works will provide an update as additional information becomes available. Meanwhile, please stay out of the closed area per signage at both ends of the road closure.

Help Nevada County Public Works respond to issues on County-maintained roads:

• Website:

• Phone: (530) 265-1411

• Emergency: Report emergency road issues by calling 911.

Facebook Twitter Email