Explore the most popular hiking trails in Donner Memorial State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Easy to find. Trails were nice -- amazing view and I nice place to take a walk to.

I love this hike! It involves the Donner train tunnels and the China wall of the Sierra! I love getting some history with my hike. Oh and don’t forget to see the petroglyphs near the bottom!

great easy hike. went end of September. beautiful views. you walk past where the Donner party wintered. Makes you think

hiking
16 days ago

Stunning panoramic views almost throughout. Super quick and easy trail, great for kids or beginners. Easy to find and easy parking. Loved this little hike, will go back.

hiking
25 days ago

This forest has been hit hard by the drought. Lots of dead and downed trees along the hike. So this trail is not about the journey, but the destinations: the huge boulders along the way were mind-boggling! The large pond at the end of the trail is worth exploring - it's beautiful. That said, I do not recommend this hike, because the point is the journey, not the destination. We decided to circumvent the same miserable forest on the return and cut through the campgrounds to return via the lake pathway. A bit longer, but a much more pleasing return. I would not do this hike again.

walking
26 days ago

We walked this trail in mid Sept so we almost had the trail to ourselves. It’s definitely a glorified “park” trail, but it was still very nice. Mostly wooded with a few open spots and all flat. There are restrooms and benches along the entire trail. I’m sure if we had walked this during the crowded months, it would have a different feel. Good for walking your dog and getting some exercise but if your looking to do a mountain trail hike, this isn’t it :)

love the old tunnels, not really a hike but one of my favorites none the less. a beautiful view of the lake in the middle of a tunnel turn out.

Beautiful views. Mostly covered (in tunnels)

The hike was pretty boring for the most part. The tunnels were cool for a while, but kinda sketchy and they got old after a while. After that, the hike to the top was great. Steep, rocky, and loose made for an epic day. The views are the top were great!

Walked with 3 kids (7, 6 and 3) 3 year old in ergo. Definitely dusty so plan on cleaning feet afterward! The view was worth the whining on the way up - the kids even agreed and were in much better spirits on the way back

great scenery great people working to maintain it

Really enjoyable hike. The highlight: incredible views and scenery!!!!

Great hike up to the highest peak along the ridge with amazing views down to Donner Lake, BUT be cautioned that there is no clear trail from peak at 7.1 mile all the way to 8.1 mile. It is a steep downward scramble that requires some bushwacking and rock scrambling. That one mile took us almost 2 hours trying to follow the All Trails “red line” that was really not a trail.

Nice trail, bring your GPS. We went clockwise around the loop, and when we hit the dead end of jellystone bike trail had to bushwhack for maybe a mile or so. There are also private property signs.

Easy trail with great overlook! Not much shade coverage so bring a hat and/or sunscreen. Plenty of parking with a port-o-potty and picnic area.

An easy hike that is different. I did the hike on a hot day so the cool temp in the tunnels was a welcome relief. Views of Donner and surrounding areas are spectacular!

Loved the views on this easy walk! However, the rocky trail bothered our dogs paws and lack of much shade had them scrambling for each tree... Was only 80° out, but quite warm in the sun for them I guess! Would do again, but earlier in the morning and leave the pups at home!

Easy enough for my senior dog to join me. Beautiful views! Location of trail head is very accessible and the parking lot has some shade. Big bonus that other great trails cut off from this one.

Great trail with a beautiful overlook of Donner Lake!

Amazing view of Donner Lake!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful view at the scenic lookout! Not a hard hike and very nice trails!

scenic, good for visitors to the area.

Really amazing hike if your looking for something different. Easy walk through the tunnels and awesome views of Donner Lake. Drive up to the trail head is also a great drive.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy short hike. Was a bit confused as to where the hike started so we had to walk up a road for a good while until we found the trailhead. Once we got out to see the lake it was worth it. Saw very few people on the hike which was nice but a lot of people on the beach, but it was Saturday so I didn’t really expect any different. Very pretty views of the lake and creeks nearby.

We loved this hike. Took the whole family! Grandma and grandkids. It was a very unique hike and cool to see some history too. But yes as people mentioned, bring a flashlight or headlamp for kids would be helpful.

hiking
3 months ago

Walking through the old train tunnels was a bust for us. View after not worth the effort. Suggest yo try another hike

What a neat and unique hike through historic train tunnels! The parking lot is located across the street from Donner Ski Ranch. It’s a sizable lot with plenty of parking. You walk through a series of tunnels. A few tunnels are dark and damp, so flashlights would be a good idea. The graffiti art adds an interesting touch to the hike. In between tunnels, you’re able to enjoy terrific views. Dog and kid friendly, too.

Easy hike to a spectacular view of Donner Lake! Gradual incline through pretty wildflowers. Most of the trail was sun exposed, so a hat and sunblock are a good idea. Really great hike for kids. Ports potty available at the trailhead as well as doggie bags. Plenty of parking in the trailhead parking lot.

Ok, first off this trail, going the whole loop, is NOT 5.4 Miles. We followed the map and it was a little over 7 Miles. The loop itself is not flat, it climbs pretty high and then comes down pretty steep. I would not consider this easy. That said, it’s gorgeous! Beautiful views throughout the whole trail and the uphill vistas at the end of the loop were worth it. Things to consider: bring a flashlight, the tunnels are dark. Also, wear big repellant because the mosquitos at the top of the hill are everywhere. If you choose to just go out and back, it’s totally flat and there are some pretty awesome views. The railroad trail continues on and eventually meets up with the new tracks. There is a cool spot where the new line emerges from the hillside below you on the road. There are also several small waterfalls in that area.

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