Donner Peak Trail

MODERATE 11 reviews
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Donner Peak Trail is a 3.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Norden, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

3.7 miles 1010 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

- Snowshoes can be useful along this route as deep snow can persist here into late spring and beyond.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Steady incline the entire way and a bit rocky in some areas. Views at the top were gorgeous. Didn't see many folks on the way up...ran into several on the way down. Once you get to the peak there is an opportunity to connect to another trail and add an additional couple of miles to your hike. Recommend!

hiking
2 months ago

I actually thought this trail was fairly easy, so I'm surprised it is rated as moderate. There was a point where it was a steady uphill for a brief stretch, bit the terrain was relatively flat most of the way. The summit provides a beautiful view of Dinner Lake. I also enjoyed the woodsy part of this hike!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike! Started at 7am which was perfect, only a couple other hikers on the trail at that time. It was somewhat confusing because you actually turn onto the Mt. Judah Loop Trail from the PCT, but continue up to Donner Peak as oppose to doing the loop unless you want to. This app was really helpful. Only downside were the plethora of extremely invasive yellow jackets on the peak. They made eating less than enjoyable. So we didn't stay on the peak as long as we would have if it wasn't for the rude bees!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. Start early to beat the crowds. Nice 360 degree view from the top. The sign in box was missing this time. Only 4 stars because most other people on the trail were loud hikers.

5 months ago

OMG. I have hiked many places, this has to be one on the best. Nice incline, not too bad. The wild flowers were outstanding. Love it, I will return
Enjoy

hiking
6 months ago

This is a game of finding the trailhead.

The Pacific Crest Trail sign is a very very small road sign on Sugar Bowl road, about one mile before you reach the Sugar Bowl resort. turn left and the first parking lot is where the trailhead actually starts.

If you are heading out of Sugar Bowl, it is about 1 mile away, the first road sign on your right. Since the road sign is only painted on one side, you would see only the back of the sign. So slow down and look at it, then turn right. First parking lot.

If you pass the first parking lot, and keep going, you will find the second parking lot, with two buildings that seem to be abandoned. That's where this app mark as the starting point of the trail.

Without knowing better, I started from the second parking lot. The first sight overlooking Donner Lake is great. But I believe this is not the right path. The trailhead should be the same as Mt Judah loop or the PCT trail head.

Anyway, according to this map, I was walking in the creek, and not on a trail. So my shoes do get wet. I couldn't proceed half way through as it just didn't feel right that I am walking in the creek. I headed back out and started again from the first parking lot. But couldn't proceed too much as snow still cover the trail at this time of the year (early June).

Well, will try again later. It has been fun just exploring the area and knowing the various paths.

hiking
1 year ago

Lovely views from the top. Very rocky the first mile or so- definitely wear supportive shoes with a good grip. Parked on old donner pass road and found the trailhead from there.

2 years ago

nice uphill hike, rewarding views, great breeze. peak tends to get crowded. Did hike with 3yr old on my back also our 12&7 yr old kids...continued on to mount Judah loop. insane amount of wildflowers towards the end of June. kids loved it,,, is kinda hard starting out then gets easy

2 years ago

Great trail, great area! This was a nice, not too hard hike. The recommendation given here to go up to Donner Peak is good advice. It is well worth it. Note that this deviation is not signed, so you'll have to be alert (and pay attention on the way up, so that you can retrace your steps on the way down).

2 years ago

Climbed this trail on New Years! It had been over a month since the last snow, but the snow was still pretty deep - totally bare ground in some places, but up to your knees in others. The snow also made it kind of hard to find the trail sometimes, but the map on the everytrail app helped a ton! Beware that donner summit road doesn't get plowed, so best to park on one of the plowed roads and walk to the trail head. Totally gorgeous. We had a great time!

3 years ago

Maybe it was me but we couldn't find the trail head from these directions. We ended up parking by Sugar Bowl and then climbing Mt. Lincoln following the cat track/road up to the top. We had a nice hike but the terrain wasn't particularly varied since it was a ski resort. On the other hand, it had great cell coverage if we got in trouble when we climbed down the back way over the lava.