Donner Creek Loop Trail

MODERATE 337 reviews
#1 of 62 trails in

Donner Creek Loop Trail is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Clayton, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1161 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

no dogs

Beautiful hike along creek, multiple cascades, mountain views. This loop trail is a great short hike that allows you to escape into the wilderness for a few hours. Donner Creek Falls consists of a series of four separate cascades falling off the peaks of Diablo. During the winter months and after a good rain, the waterfalls are rather impressive. From the parking area, walk along Donner Canyon Rd to Hetherington Loop (1.0 mi). After about 1.8 miles, turn left at the Cardinet Oaks Rd., and follow this road across Donner Creek and up a steep section to a junction with the Falls Trail on the right. This trail leads down to the falls on Donner Creek and continues on to the Middle Trail, which then loops back down to the Donner Canyon Rd.

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful hike! Much of it was shaded, and the terrain wasn’t too difficult.

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful hike. Made it to the trail head (or dead end of a residential road) pretty late morning, but it was still cool enough out that we weren't boiling throughout the hike. Starts out quite mellow, would recommend doing clockwise/going left when you approach the split for the loop, contrary to how the app directs you. Despite the steep bits, little kids were still doing this trail so it's not terribly strenuous. Great views, overall would do it again!

hiking
26 days ago

Completed today to accomplish a early morning hike. Truly rewarding morning experience... very pleasant and filled with greenery... Moderately difficult- doable with kids. There is section which needs more effort to climb otherwise a beautiful hike. You will walk alongside of a creek most of the time and the sound from the stream will give you a soothing effect

hiking
27 days ago

This hike is a mini version of the Mt. Diablo waterfall hike. It will save you about an hour of hiking and also eliminate the “Second” elevation climb if you are getting tired and don’t wish to complete the waterfall hike. See my review on Mt. Diablo waterfall hike for more details

hiking
1 month ago

Such a beautiful hike! My favorite hike in the area! So much to see on this trail! Heard bullfrogs, tons of birds, saw beautiful wild flowers, and wild turkey. The rushing of the water sounds on your right is amazing. Passing through watery paths were pleasantly unexpected. Bring good shoes or hiking bits because of the water and mud. You will not be bored!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing trail with waterfalls, creeks, spectacular views. Started at Regency trailhead, Donner Canyon Road, Fall Trail, Middle Trail, and Back Creek Trail, 7.1 Miles, elevation gain 1,555 feet, moderate hike. Lot of shades and wildflowers.

1 month ago

Fantastic, lots of wildflowers, waterfalls, and soooo green.

hiking
1 month ago

Went March 31, 2018. Beautiful hike, even without waterfalls, but glad they were there! Spring seems like it might be the best time to go. It’s not hot yet, the waterfalls are going (if we have rain), and there’s a ton of wild flowers! Saw some turkeys, butterflies and heard frogs. Great spring hike. Everything was green. Great views of city below too!

2 months ago

Beautiful hike! Loved seeing the waterfalls. We went in March and it was muddy most of the way but still lovely. We went clockwise and there was lots of steep uphill spots. Would like to do it again. Round trip from street to loop and back was almost 7.5 miles.

2 months ago

very beautful

hiking
2 months ago

Visited on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It's a wonderful hike with multiple tiny waterfalls on the way. We did the loop anti-clockwise and found it to be moderately challenging. There are certainly a few sections of steep climbing, but nothing very strenuous. If you're visiting Mt. Diablo park, this should definitely be on your list of hikes!

hiking
2 months ago

Love it! Basically it’s Cardinet Oaks Road all the way (approx 30 mins) to the point where you can turn either left or right for the loop itself. I suggest going clockwise. The Falls Trail is my favorite.. then the second - and last part - of the loop, Middle Trail, can be challenging for some. Can be muddy!

walking
3 months ago

Awesome views of the mountains and of Clayton from a high altitude. Definitely worth the 30-45 min. drive it was an awesome activity on a beautiful Saturday afternoon!

4 months ago

Awesome hike with my family! We weren’t expecting steep uphill and downhill segments but that made it all the more satisfying. There are a few points where the trail has been repaved for ease but we took the normal parts which added an extra taste of adventure!

hiking
5 months ago

It was an amazing hike with some great elevation. Decided to turn it into a trail run and did a 15k. Would def go back and explore more with more time to spare.

6 months ago

Very lovely climbs, views and paths except for Falls Trail . That trail is hard scramble and seems to disappear over boulders. Use this trail with a GPS app to stay oriented!

7 months ago

Cbvucvdi

hiking
8 months ago

challenging and enjoyable

hiking
9 months ago

Great Trek! Hiked it with our 4.5 and 2.5 year old kids...rigorous workout as my wife and I had them on our backs for 6 miles and took 3 hours. If your looking for a good workout and your kids are that age Go For It, if not then leave the kiddos at home.

10 months ago

Great hike. Look for the indian grinding stone at the beginning of the Hetherington Loop Trail. very cool history.

hiking
11 months ago

I ended up stumbling onto the waterfalls by accident after getting lost on the Bruce Lee trail.
Had I known about this app then, I would have not had to go 2 miles in the wrong direction.
The incline is seriously straight up. I ended up going around on some tiny, rarely used trail with lots of obstacles to be cleared and a ton of mostly harmless wildlife. The bad part was that I had to then hike down the incline on my way back. I nearly tumbled down the hill twice. Wear thick pants or jeans and long sleeves.

hiking
11 months ago

Awesome hike!! The incline was for sure a challenge. My girlfriend and I intended on doing the full loop, but decided to take "falls trail" which led us to the waterfall and lots of beautiful creeks. There were so many beautiful things to see. we were lucky enough to even spot a deer. There was lots of poison oak, but we were able to get through it with no problem. feet got a little wet, so be sure to not wear shoes you don't mind messing up. hiking boots would for sure help you out a lot on this trail. Flowers were blooming, we saw lots of butterflies, ladybugs, caterpillars, & turkeys. You are going to love this hike!! We will be back again. This app was a HUGE help along the way. The app found our location and navigated us through the trail. when ever we got off track, we were able to see it on the map.

hiking
11 months ago

Wonderful hike. Moderate is good rating. Flowers in bloom right now are amazing. Falls are pretty but not flowing as strong anymore from spring rains. I would have liked to have a hiking stick in several places.

hiking
Monday, May 22, 2017

Good trail! Man that incline was no joke nor were the narrow trail at some point! Those views though are definitely worth it! The water falls/ streams were great and provided cool water to cool off with! Will definitely do this again!

hiking
Friday, May 19, 2017

That hill though! This is my favorite road/trail for a quick, intense climb. Easy to loop around to Mitchell Canyon for some added miles. Wide fire road mainly (meaning there are no snakes hiding in the grass or on the rocks!!), The Falls Trail however is very narrow, rocky and slippery. When the falls are going they are worth every slippery step!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

So beautiful. Moderate to hard. Great views. Flowers water peace!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Very enjoyable mid-May, my 9 years old daughter was able to do it, pathways sometimes very narrow, but perfect overall.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Nice views and wildflower, waterfall is nice! Make sure to turn on GPS - easy to get off the trail into other trails.

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

I didn't get to the falls but the hike was amazing!!I saw plenty of animals and met wonderful people along the trail.. I am going back so I can make it to the falls! I did a total of 4 miles

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

A lot longer than expected to complete, beautiful views and scenery. Wear good comfortable shoes and bring a lot of water. Great hike.

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