Explore Cottonwood Creek Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Cottonwood Creek Hikes Map
11 hours ago

*pretty unpopulated trail in october- YEY!
*last bit of trail is a road that takes you up to the fire lookout station at the top. Views up there are wonderful!
*bring all the water you'll need- there isnt any on the trail.
*gorgeous views in the last mile and a half!

Nice views. Get to walk on some of the ski runs and good views of Sugar Bowl ski area.

We are new to hiking and in our 50’s-60, so this is for newbies like us. Loved the views and weather was perfect in October. We actually walked the path counter-clockwise, not knowing how this app really works, and just realized, late, that the path direction is on the app. Heading down the peek of Mt. Judah Trail back to Pacific Crest was slippery and steep, the trail was hard to recognize. Now that I see we should have ascended that way, it makes some sense. We’re learning and love adventure.

Awesome place to mountain bike! My 11yr old loves it. Start at Hoelter hall trail head to add some exciting downhill thru the trees, then one you cross the gate the trail seems like equal parts up and down thru out. Excellent beginner trail for sure with beautiful views at the end. On way back you can get on dirt road to skip going uphill thru the trees if you want.

The first 2 miles could be challenging for people who have knees problems because the trail was steep and could be slippery. We hike relatively slow with our dogs and it took us about 3.5 hours round trip.

Great hike!

7 days ago

Very crowded and when I hike I like to get away from people. I’ve lived in Truckee since ‘91 and have never done this trail as I had heard it was too busy. Rocky parts and uphill but not a difficult hike. Beautiful views! 2 hours and 12 minutes to do entire loop.

8 days ago

*There are some lengthy steep and rocky parts of the trail
*Great workout
*No water sources so bring plenty of water for dogs
*A lot of exposed/unshaded areas of the trail
*Took about 3.5 hours to complete the entire loop with several breaks
*Well signed trail; hard to get lost
*Nice views (lake, summit, trees, etc.)

Great! Especially hitting it just right for wildflowers! Views are magnificent. Good workout.

Oops!....I did it again......awesome day....

on Mount Judah Loop Trail

17 days ago

Beautiful! Amazing views. Great hike with older kids.

A beautiful October hike, with saturated colors, cool temperatures, and no other hikers. Although a relatively short hike, the climb provides good exercise if done at a brisk pace.


Beautiful! Good workout. Fall colors beginning and great views.

Start at Donner Ski Ranch and then go there afterwards for lunch, a beer and pie! We didn't go swimming, but it looks like you can swim in lakes 2 and 3 (Flora and Azalea). Plenty of photos in my recording in my account (still trying to figure this out but do I have to load my recording and photos here, too? Too much to reload if so). If you are looking for a nice, scenic, easy hike that allows dogs and has a great place to congregate afterwards, this is it!

beautiful views and amazing trail.

Pleasant beautiful loop, definitely go out to Donner point.

Amazing hike! Not easy but worth every step! Was a perfect day!

Beautiful, good workout, but it does end up being around 15.8 miles. The last 4 miles is a steep incline which isn’t the best if you’re fatigued from the first 11 or so miles.

1 month ago

Great hike

1 month ago

Amazing views!

The view at the end is everything.

1 month ago

Hiked with the kids... some rock scrambling which is just what they wanted! Great hike, well marked, good views.

Beautiful. Loved the variety of plants, trees, and wildflowers. Doing it again soon before the winter.

Went with some friends who are training for a Whitney Hike. We did this hike in reverse. Started at the Granite Chief trail and finished at the sugar Bowl. They needed the elevation gain. If you do it that way, your elevation change is double. The added bonus is the flatter exit back to the parking lot (we ended at the spot nearest the train tunnels)

Please be aware, Sugar Bowl academy is in the lower parking lot, in Sugar Bowl, not the upper lot directly across from the ski ranch. Also if you end early enough here is s snack shack, with frosty malted beverages, in the parking lot.

We hiked the trail Friday, Sept 9, 2018. We started early to beat the heat and hugged the dam, found the trail with little problem and hiked up past Lake Azalea. Good trail Great hike. We caught the PCT back to Hwy 40. Afterwards, we decided we could have avoided some of the hot sun by hiking out on the PCT and returning past the lakes.

Beautiful hike, about 50% shade, it is a little difficult finding the trail around the first lake but the map is super helpful! would definitely recommend this hike it has some breathtaking views!

Solo hike, started around 7am. Saw a bear about a mile in. Saw my first hiker (a PCT hiker) at 3.5 miles. Dropped down to Squaw Valley on the Granite Chief trail. Took six hours. Great views. The trip down Granite Chief was the most difficult on my knees being downhill and steep. Highly recommend.

I took the trail head in off of Old Donner Summit Road near Mary's Cabin. It's a nice hike with average elevation and is rocky for the first 1/4 mile and open then the trail flattens some and you have some nice tree covering. I recently had hip surgery and didn't have any trouble with this hike. I saw about 25 people through out the day and will do it again soon.

Short hike with a rewarding finish, beautiful canyon views. Hiked it in late summer so it was a bit dusty, but there's enough tree cover that you don't get too baked. During the spring I'm guessing this is aflame with wildflowers!

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