Big Valley draws inspiration from Yosemite Valley, right down to the distinctive purple wildflowers. The 7.5-mile valley is surrounded by granite mountains, which largely prevented European settlement of the area until the 1849 Gold Rush.
The New York Historical Society/Hulton Fine Art Collection/Getty Images
Donner Falls in Red Dead 2 derives its name from several locations in the Tahoe region.
The Donner Party crossed the Sierras in winter 1846-7, becoming trapped for months. The pioneers resorted to cannibalism, and only 45 of 81 survived the journey.
Like its Red Dead 2 counterpart, Strawberry was a resort town along the Pony Express stagecoach route, which became Highway 50. Just south of Lake Tahoe, Strawberry's Lover's Leap peak has long been a popular draw for hikers and climbers.