Donner Peak Trail

MODERATE 162 reviews
#16 of 195 trails in

Donner Peak Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back 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: 3.8 miles Elevation Gain: 882 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Snowshoes can be useful along this route as deep snow can persist here into late spring and beyond.

hiking
1 month ago

I and my dog had great time on this hike my dog love going with me on this hike♥️♥️♥️ beautiful view around this hike which Is make this hike more. Attractive that was my sec time and love it♥️♥️♥️

hiking
2 months ago

Quick solid hike. Steep and Slippery with lots of loose rocks during the first 1/4 mile. After that it’s smooth sailing. The view at the top is epic!

hiking
2 months ago

Low difficulty, high reward trail! Trail is easy to follow til nearly the end. Just head strait up to the top when the trail gets ambiguous. The views at the top are fantastic! Looking forward to doing this in snow shoes this winter.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

SUCH a cool trail! Did it 3 times over the last 3-4 weeks. Saw almost no one on a weekday evening, but can get a little crowded on weekends and a lot of the trail is single track. Super rocky on the way up, but my 67 and 73 year old in laws did it with poles. My Husband and I did it without poles and had no problems, and our little dogs had no problem either. Half the trail is all uphill and half is all downhill. Views at the end are definitely worth it though! Stunning. There is some shade, but a lot of the trail is exposed. A lot of wildflowers. There is a dirt parking lot at the top that you can park in, or you can drive through it and park off the street closer to the trail. Half the trail is the PCT which is really cool! Views for most of the trail and a little water and snow in early-mid August.

hiking
3 months ago

i enjoyed the hike! Not many people, well shaded and not too difficult. Nice viewpoint of the surrounding lakes.

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Enjoyable hike with nicely built trail. One of the most crowded trails I’ve hiked in the Tahoe Basin. Other nearby peaks (Devil’s, Snow Mountain, etc.) offer similar, if not better, types (distance/elevation) of hikes but with out the crowds.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike. Donner Peak was an easy, quick extension, well worth the views. We went clockwise around the loop and missed the trail up the ridge toward Mt. Judah; we ended up on a parallel lower trail and were not equipped for the snow, so we turned back, missing the southwest portion of the loop.

hiking
4 months ago

Ended up completely off route and will have to go back and do the actual trail

hiking
bugs
4 months ago

this was a beautiful hike. the views are epic and it's always nice to walk a portion of the PCT.

hiking
bugs
snow
4 months ago

This is a nice hike with a beautiful view of Donner Lake. Don’t forget the mosquito repellent as they are starting to bite the second you get out of the car! There is a late season snowfield we had to cross near the top which is harder to get down without sliding, but with some bushwhacking the steep part is avoidable.

hiking
4 months ago

Waterproof shoes will help, most of the snow has melted except for a couple spots at the top.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
4 months ago

We hiked this trail a week ago on Saturday July 6, 2019. A lot of the trail had snowmelt runoff water running across and down the trail. There was a section of the trail with snow cover for several hundred yards which made for slow going, but not enough to need show shoes. Wear shoes that you don't mind getting wet.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
5 months ago

Well that was fun! Snow in many places from the parking area to the top, mostly in the open areas, but firm enough to walk on. No snowshoes needed, but poles would have been good. Trail was a stream bed for a good part of the frontside switchbacks. Once you hit the ski area at Mt. Judah Loop, the trail disappears under the snow. GPS is your friend! But the view from the top..... Oooh. Aaaah.

snowshoeing
no shade
snow
6 months ago

Fun quick snowshoe hike in the afternoon. Still much soft snow left from the parking lot to the top, so it’s good to have snowshoe and poles for a little more while. Limited shade, don’t forget a hat and sunscreen especially in the afternoon when west side soaks up more sun!

hiking
7 months ago

Gorgeous view but wouldn’t recommend for small children 4 and under unless you have a carrier. Our older kids were fine (9&7) but it was stressful with the little ones (very steep in areas).

snowshoeing
7 months ago

Steep and challenging snowshoe to the top! Poles are a must. Ran into two people without poles and they had a very difficult time. Had to turn around because the weather got nasty. Wind was too strong and visibility was poor. Will come back on a clear day.

hiking
snow
10 months ago

snowshoeing
11 months ago

Great winter trail for snowshoeing. Incredible views and can get some very deep powder.

hiking
Mon Nov 05 2018

An amazing hike with fantastic views at the summit.

hiking
Sat Sep 15 2018

Hiked with the kids... some rock scrambling which is just what they wanted! Great hike, well marked, good views.

Sun Sep 02 2018

Spectacular view from top. Interesting “layered” granite rock formations. First trail section is steep and rocky.

Mon Aug 13 2018

Great hike to take in the meteor shower, some of the trail branches off, but the mobile signal is good.

hiking
Sun Jul 29 2018

Beautiful spot. Views get better and better as you ascend. I’m not in very good shape so the elevation was quite a challenge for me, but I made it! Lots of good rocks to use as rest stops and to enjoy the views along the way. Will definitely go back.

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