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.

DISTANCE
13.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,732 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

16 days ago

Oops!....I did it again......awesome day....

1 month ago

Amazing hike! Not easy but worth every step! Was a perfect day!

1 month ago

Beautiful, good workout, but it does end up being around 15.8 miles. The last 4 miles is a steep incline which isn’t the best if you’re fatigued from the first 11 or so miles.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful. Loved the variety of plants, trees, and wildflowers. Doing it again soon before the winter.

hiking
1 month ago

Went with some friends who are training for a Whitney Hike. We did this hike in reverse. Started at the Granite Chief trail and finished at the sugar Bowl. They needed the elevation gain. If you do it that way, your elevation change is double. The added bonus is the flatter exit back to the parking lot (we ended at the spot nearest the train tunnels)

Please be aware, Sugar Bowl academy is in the lower parking lot, in Sugar Bowl, not the upper lot directly across from the ski ranch. Also if you end early enough here is s snack shack, with frosty malted beverages, in the parking lot.

hiking
1 month ago

Solo hike, started around 7am. Saw a bear about a mile in. Saw my first hiker (a PCT hiker) at 3.5 miles. Dropped down to Squaw Valley on the Granite Chief trail. Took six hours. Great views. The trip down Granite Chief was the most difficult on my knees being downhill and steep. Highly recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

It's Tinker Knob, not
ticker's Knob. Check the top map.

3 months 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.

hiking
3 months 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.

hiking
Monday, September 04, 2017

Beautiful! Want to go again!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

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!

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