Donner Pass Lakes & Boreal Ridge Loop is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Truckee, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
The name of this hike is a little misleading, and difficult to confirm on other maps. The first half (PCT from I-80 to Donner Pass) is beautiful: views are gorgeous, trails are clearly marked, and the skill level is enjoyably challenging. Picking up the "trail" south of where it ends at Donner Pass proved to be a bit of a challenge. Once we found it (thank goodness for GPS and cell service), the second half seemed to only be unmarked ski resort service roads, which split off several times. It's almost like someone with ski resort knowledge just tagged this (not-so-short)cut onto the end of the PCT section to get back to the car a different way. Glad we persevered, despite feeling (and getting) lost and being given wrong directions by several parties. Not sure the second half is worth it, but I can't recommend the first half enough--stunning!!!
The first part of this trail (clockwise) along the PCT is really great. Great views, pretty plant life. However, the hike from where the loop meets Donner Pass Rd back to the parking lot is not very fun at all. It just goes up one of the Boreal ski runs to the top where the ski lifts stop and then back down. I mean, if seeing a ski resort without any snow is interesting to you then by all means, but for us it was not worth the hike. My advice for this trail would be to hike clockwise from the start to Donner Pass Road then turn around and go back the way you came.