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

Snow Shoe Map

definitely more easy than moderate. the 5 miles really just fly by because the trail is flat and there are lots of things to look at. the waterfall is beautiful! once you reach it, you can continue on to mt rose (another 5 miles total) or turn around and head back. there are a lot of people on the trail, but i wouldn't call it crowded--if you like your solitude i would recommend starting around 7 or 8am; if you like saying hi to people on the trail then start later. there was a nice breeze so we didn't notice the heat even though we got a later start.

5 stars for first half. 2 for last half (going clockwise from rest area) I do not reccomend doing the "loop". its not really a loop, I think it's just some guy recorded his hike and called it a loop for alltrails. once you get to the back end of Boreal or condos I think, turn around. The rest is exposed, hard up, hard down on a 4 wheeler dirt road. Thankfully it wasn't too hot today, but there is virtually no shade this way for the last 3 miles. the Trail was perfectly easy to follow so nice to this point. I really do not think the last part in Boreal is a trail. it's not marked and I got "in trouble" for walking on the property with my dog. So, save yourself the frustration i had and turn around when you get to the Donner Summit Resivour.

Love this trail. Started at 7:00 am. On the way down, there were a lot of other hikers making their way up. Next time it will be up on Mt. Rose.

Easy trail with waterfall at end. Beautiful meadow with flowers.

on Donner Lake Rim Trail

1 month ago

I followed the advices and went on the real trail, not the dirt road. Definitely better, well worth it!

1 month ago

Nice, fairly easy hike. Minimal elevation changes. Well kept trail. Great views the first 3/4 mile or so, then more forested. Beautiful falls at the end.

1 month ago

Uphill almost all the way. Well marked until you hit dusty Jeep road, then it isn’t. A loud motorcycle joined me for the dusty Jeep road part. Some parts of hike are lovely with great views of Donner Lake. I didn’t make it all the way to Summit Lake - too much dusty hot up up up. Some freeway noise for about half of hike.

Fun trail with Beautiful views of Lake Tahoe and Reno. 50% of trail still snowy on 6/10/18 but easily doable with the right shoes

3 months ago

Still under snow when we arrived. Didn’t have the gear for snow hiking. Will try again later in summer.

9 months ago

Marked as moderate but it was a pretty easy hike. Took around 3 hours to complete and that's cause we took our time.

Great views of Donner Lake. Also side trails to Flora Lake provide for a cool swim.

The actual trail, as opposed to the dirt road, is accessed from the trail head near the sign. The trail is far superior to the dirt road. Very nice views , gives a nice perspective on the local way points of the PCT -- Donner Peak, Anderson Peak, Tinker Knob. Will do this again!

Great trail! Well signed, not too steep, beautiful waterfall!! We hiked a clockwise loop using the lower dirt road going out and coming back on Galena Falls trail. Approx 6 mi loop in about 3 hours.

11 months ago

GREAT hike!! The TH was a bit misleading. Make sure you pull over 500 ft BEFORE the TH in the Mt Rose Summit Parking Lot. Trail begins on the south side of the parking lot behind the bathrooms. Nice trail, dog friendly. Couple of narrow places, but overall a wonderful experience and hike!

The first part of the hike is great. The trail is well marked and the scenery is beautiful. Skip the second part. You're guessing the entire time trying to find a trail. Eventually you make it to Boreal and are just looking for the quickest way back to the car. Once you reach the half way point at Donner pass road, turn around and go back the same way you came.

11 months ago

Almost all in the sun. Was a tad more difficult than moderate. I would suggest taking the bike trail verses this one

Friday, June 30, 2017

Good workout, as the entire way to lake is uphill. Didn't care for dusty jeep roads to get there. Pretty exposed on the way up, so bring water, sunscreen, hat. Minor amounts of snow near the top on 6/30. Pretty lake. Lots of bugs in the shade, so wear bug repellent!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

we did it on 7/16. we hit snow at 6000ft the last 1/2 mile from summit lake. we were able to get to lake.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Still snowy when I did this hike on 5/28. Couldn't do the entire route because of the snow. I definitely want to return and do the entire hike.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Origianlly my plan for this day was to do a hike to Azaleal Lake, but without snowshoes, it wasn't possible today. I ended up driving to Donner Memorial Park and walking the trails and beaches within the campground. There was no snow and the water was absolutely breathtaking. Can't wait to come back and enjoy the beach, lake, and streams in the summer. Very easy- no hills- more of a (beautiful) nature walk. The dogs loved playing in the water.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

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!!!

Monday, September 05, 2016

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.

on Gin Flat Loop

Saturday, January 16, 2016

I backpacked this trail during January of 2016, over the course of the 3 days that we backpacked this trail it snowed 3.5 feet. If i was rating this trail while we were there, it would be in the negatives, it was quite difficult pulling a sled while trailblazing in 4 feet of fresh powdery snow. But now that I look back on it, it was a really great experience, even though while we were there it was completely miserable, it helped me realize how fortunate I am with everything that I have. I highly recommend to take this trail in the snow, it will be quite miserable while your there, but it will be a good experience in the end. I don't know what it will be like when you go, but when we went it was blizzarding for the first 2 days, making it close to impossible to get to our actual destination (which we didn't) and leave our tents for the whole second day (except for me and another person, because the tent eventually got boring) and also making us realize how much we wanted to be home (now that I look back on that, I wouldn't have gone home, it was a great experience), but the best everyone has is being self reliant enough to grow in harsh conditions and calmly call this moment enjoyment. When it comes to gear for this trip, choose your gear very wisely, it can mean the difference between life and death. Also keep your stuff dry, I cant emphasize that enough! Overall this trail is a great experience and very beautiful, worth the experience!

Monday, July 11, 2011

pretty. But seems to be more popular with the mountain bikers.
Trail can be confusing at times, as there are numerous junctions with other, old use trails. Summit lake is nice destination for a picnic.

Trailhead is well marked off donner lake road. Follow metal stenciled signs to donner rim trail.

trail running
22 hours ago

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