Explore the most popular skiing trails in Tahoe National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Started our hike at the west end of tunnel #6, just west of the ski area. Can’t imagine hand drilling and blasting with black powder and nitroglycerin. This tunnel system was in use until 1993 until the tracks were moved south. Great, historic hike. The graffiti varies from totally amateur to absolutely beautiful professional. Sad that it’s there at all, but a fact of life. Well worth the time. Take a flashlight-it’s very dark is some areas.

I try to take anyone who visits and wants a great hike with lots to see. History and great views everywhere. Fall is the best time with the views of the trees changing.

Tinker Knob and Anderson Peak: Donner to Tinker Knob on the PCT is an uncomplicated straight forward 7.5 mile (one way) hike that is mostly over light forest or open ridge with great views. The wind on the ridge was intense on much of our hike but was not a problem on the final, easy scramble to Tinker’s summit. Awesome 360 view from there. Nearby to the SW were Granite Chief, Needle Peak and Lyon Peak. Farther off we could see all the from Pyramid Peak and the Crystal Range south to Sierra Buttes and Mt. Lola north. Leaving Tinker, we returned to the saddle between Anderson Peak then walked over scrub and boulders to Anderson’s high point which is on the east side of the broad summit area. We returned only part way back toward the saddle before dropping down west to rejoin the PCT. Other than more strong winds and a weary climb back up to the ridge east of Mt. Lincoln, the return hike was relatively easy. Our swing up Anderson Peak and a short side trip to Benson Hut, located below the north face of Anderson, pushed our total hike distance to 16 miles with just under 3000’ of gain. This is a very nice uncomplicated hike, and unless you opt for the Anderson Peak add on, it’s all on an easy trail. It is a long hike, though, so be ready for some serious trail time—almost 8 hours for our outing.

hiking
1 month ago

The gondola ride was 45 pp. plan on spending the day bring you suit to jump in the hot tub. Plenty of trails and check out the PCT

walking
2 months ago

Very different hike with natural and urban elements. There was a lot more tunnel than we expected, with some breaks for beautiful views of Donner Lake. The tunnels were chilly even though it was 80 degrees out. Mostly gravel ground with some puddles. You’ll want a flashlight (phone flashlight is fine) for some sections. Each tunnel had a different style and there was some cool street art.

Love it. It was so interesting. Next time I am taking my flashlight with me.

walking
2 months ago

This trail is very different and interesting! Not difficult at all, with the most challenging part being a small climb up from the parking spot I chose, which was ~ 100 yards before the Donner Summit bridge on the way up Donner Pass Road. Don't miss the Petroglyphs on the way up! The path through the tunnels was a perfect way to take a break from the sun, and also the wildfire smoke that has been settling in the area every few days. The footing is mostly gravel, so even though dogs are allowed, it may be a bit tough on their paws. There are points in the tunnels where you will be in pitch blackness, so a flashlight is a big recommendation... especially to help avoid the puddles in some areas! Also, there are bats flying above, and the occasional mouse/squirrel/rat. I am a fan of street art, so I enjoy the graffiti... 80% of it is junk, but the other 20% is really great art!

Sunrise start meant I didn’t encounter anyone else until about 4 miles in (PCT hikers coming North). Highly recommend it. Incredibly peaceful, with beautiful overlooks and lower temps at that time. Also, I tracked this as about 14.4 miles from trailhead to Tinkers.

hiking
2 months ago

Super fun hike. Cool to see all the artwork and graffiti. The tunnels are nice and cool on these hot summer days. Hike is not strenuous, I suggest going early because it gets pretty busy. A lot of bats on the trail today, but they kept to themselves! Great views of Donner Lake despite the smoke!

hiking
2 months ago

Just to clarify, this is a review for the Thunder Mountain Trail, which this app calls the “Squaw Valley Trail.” The entrance for the trail is hard to find, but once you find the trail signs, those are accurate and will lead you the whole way to the top of High Camp. However, the trail was overgrown in many places which is annoying for trail running. Furthermore, the trail doesn’t take a direct route to the summit so although it may seem like it’s going to nearby Squaw Peak, it does go to High Camp. If I were just trying to go to High Camp, I’d recommend just walking the Summer Road.

2 months ago

Fun hike, tunnels are nice and cool, and if you’re paying attention you can spot some interesting features regarding their.construction. My wife is a 4th grade teacher and the China Wall is a fascinating piece of early state history. Views of Donner Lake are outstanding. A great family outing!

hiking
2 months ago

Great views of Donner Lake with interesting graffiti in the tunnels. Feels air conditioned on a hot day!

hiking
2 months ago

A very cool trail! Bring a headlamp or flashlight. The views are gorgeous and there is some interesting artwork along the way.

hiking
3 months ago

What an awesome place! Easy 5 mile walk through thrilling dark tunnels with great artwork! I wish I brought a flashlight but my iPhone flashlight did the job by keeping us out of the few shallow puddle, but some parts got really dark and would have been nice to have a brighter light. I will definitely be returning!

on Donner Tunnels

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful!

Use the utility road for the initial ascent. Beautiful view on the road up. We lost the trail once the road met the lift at the umbrella bar. We went straight but I think we should have gone to the right at that point. We turned around before the final summit climb because we saw a cougar cub and didn’t want to scare mama. If you follow the path on the map, your descent will be straight downhill on a black diamond ski run. Beautiful view but tough not the knees.

Awesome.

walking
4 months ago

Nice walk. Make sure to bring a flashlight. Some nice artwork.

No visible trailhead or trails after bushwhacking for about 45minutes at this time.

Very hard to find the trailhead. you can just walk up the mountain until you find the path/utility vehicle path and then go from there. Very scenic and wonderful pix over looking the lake. we couldn't make it to the summit since we didn't pack any ice brackets for our shoes. we got to a little under 4 miles when we couldn't go any further.

Took my girl and my dog out here after a friend told me I should check it out. So glad I did. You basically hike the ridge all the way to squaw valley and it has amazing 360 degree views. Challenging but well worth it

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Waste of time totally! Trails are difficult to fine, almost no signs - we got stopped on the trail at big flow of water impossible to over pass because no bridge .... we are experienced trekker but here we lost patience looking around ; we came back down to the car and left. Ski stations do not focus on trails but definitely more skiers . Thank god there are much other trails around lake tahoe to explore without searching

I liked this. It was peaceful & not busy. Annoyed at the people I did see had their dogs jumping all over my kids. Keep dogs on a leash out of respect for others please!

no marking of trails

hiking
Sunday, December 25, 2016

I visited years ago in the summer, taking the tram up to do some exploring on the mountainside. I definitely remember the gorgeous views above South Lake Tahoe.

hiking
Saturday, October 08, 2016

After a long four hour drive up from San Francisco, my father and I decided to do a short evening hike before Mount Rose the subsequent morning. We have skied at Squaw often, thus we decided to attempt to climb it in a different light- without any snow.

Turns out there was some snow. Some, of course, simply meaning remnants from last weeks' storms placed on the shadiest spots of the slopes up to Squaw Peak. The earlier storm also rejuvenated, or at least bolstered, one of the creeks heading up (see Photos).

This trail is not well trafficked. It's overgrown at times with washout on the rockier sections. Additionally, there are non-paved (wood shavings and/or fine gravel) roads that offer a safer, more established route to the summit. Thus makes it relatively difficult to navigate, though.

This trail is a steady incline regardless of the route you take. It's not strenuous, but be prepared to climb ~1,700 feet in a little over three miles. I personally recommend hiking poles to help with the rockier, looser sections of this trail.

Additionally, there exists cable cars (operational until 5 P.M on select days) available to take you down from the WildFlower Café. My father and I arrived at the top a little after sunset, and we were generously granted with a private ride down in a cable car. Amazing!

The views are the real pearl of this hike, cable cars or not. The outlook from the WildFlower Café is unrivaled by many others in the area. Lake Tahoe is visible over a stretch of mountains. There's snow at the Wildflower Café despite it being only October.

This is a great hike to test your navigating skills, endurance, and to capture great views. If you have the time (it only takes an hour, granted that you take a cable car down) I heavily recommend hiking it. Another bonus is that the creeks here are active, only if temporarily. Have fun!

hiking
Sunday, August 07, 2016

The proper name of this trail is the Thunder Mountain Trail and that is how it is marked locally. The trailhead is just west of the Expedition lift. Not sure of the track shown.
The trail is the shortest but steepest route to High Camp

hiking
Tuesday, August 18, 2015

One of the most magnificent trails I have ever been on. lots of beautiful scenery every step, with plenty of places to stop by for a refreshing dip in pounds. it is for certain a challenge but a rewarding one once finished.

hiking
Monday, August 25, 2014

Parked near the bottom of Ski Run Drive and hiked straight up the road, onto the mountain. I only hiked about 1.5miles up and it took me about 40mins. Beautiful once you reach the top.

skiing
Monday, June 10, 2013

This is the BIG one, with something like 20 square miles of skiable terrain. I really love Heavenly. It straddles Nevada and California. There is plenty of terrain for every ability level. Most days there is beautiful sunshine and the other days provide a major snow dump.

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