Donner Pass to Squaw Valley Via the Pacific Crest Trail

MODERATE 20 reviews

Donner Pass to Squaw Valley Via the Pacific Crest Trail is a 13.9 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Norden, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

13.9 miles
2,732 feet
Point to Point

dogs on leash




nature trips

rock climbing

trail running




wild flowers


Classic North Tahoe hike along the crest of the Sierra Nevada. Because much of the hike is pretty high elevation you have to wait until the summer to allow the snow to melt. There are a few sidetracks along the way if, such as Anderson Peak, and Ticker's Knob. There is no real trail to the peak or Anderson Peak, just some rock scrambling. The same with Ticker's Knob. After leaving Ticker's Knob you drop down to the westside of the crest to the headwaters of the American River. Then back up to the crest and down the Granite Chief Trail to Squaw Valley.

1 month ago

Great day today. Started off just after 8am. Nice time to start the day , never got too warm. Trail starts at the Sugar Bowl academy, very easy to find the PCT Trail head. Lots of shaded spots to have some lunch or a cat nap. Cross 3 streams for water fillups but those might be dry by the end of the month.
Instead of following Granite Chief trail that leads down to Squaw Valley Village, we followed the PCT around 2 more miles , ended up bush wacking a mile or so until we found ourselves at Squaw Valley High Camp. Here you can take a nice dip in the pool or free ride down in the Tram which is a great way to end a perfect day around. All and all with breaks and inclined, hikes around 2 miles per hr.

1 month ago

Hiked this on Saturday, June 30! This is a perfect time to hike this trail. Passed a lot of through-hikers, say hello! The wildflowers are perfect as well, lots are popping, and should be good for at least another week or two - so beautiful. Make sure to tag Tinkers Nob at the half way point. Only one snow patch while leaving Sugar Bowl, but you can easily walk around - and should be melted out this week is my guess.

11 months ago

Beautiful! Want to go again!

11 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous! Labor Day weekend - Due to late snowmelt all varieties of wild flowers were visible along the trail at all stages. 3rd time hiking this trail and it never disappoints. It's long, a full day activity and the downhill always feels like it lasts forever

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Hiked this July 3rd. Still quite a lot of snow. Bring ice picks or metal spikes, and good hiking shoes. Took us longer than previous time we hiked because of the snow.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Not much water along the way, especially late in the season. We did it with 2 dogs and 1 inexperienced hiker in a little over 7 hours. Shuttling cars can be a pain, but worth it.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Was blown away by the windflowers. This is the longest hike I've complete in one day. Felt great all day but the last climb to the top of emigrant peak kicked my butt. Views were amazing throughout the hike. Next time I will choose the granite chief cutoff the the base of Squaw valley.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Incredible views, wildflowers were abundant!

1 month ago

1 month ago

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9 months ago

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016