Donner Peak Trail is a 3.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Norden, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length3.8 miElevation gain882 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingSnowshoeingForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeRocky
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Tips

You will need snowshoes for this trail in winter! Road to the trailhead is not plowed regularly and so you may need to park at Summit Haus.

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

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Reviews (726)
Photos (1,412)
Activities (696)
Completed (1,601)
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Bill Clements
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 14, 2021
HikingSnow

No trail. No people. No wind. Solid ice. With micro spikes and ice axe went straight up and straight down. Clear. Warm. Beautiful..

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Katie Bodet
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 2, 2021
Hiking

Giving this trail a 4 because we absolutely loved it when we did it in October without snow, but recently did it in snowshoes and it was not so enjoyable! There is absolutely no marked trail when covered in snow. We went mid-week so could not really see any ones tracks and ended up having to walk sideways on the mountain! We made it to the peak but it was no easy feat even following AllTrails!

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Michelle H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 28, 2021
Hiking

Great snowshoeing trail. Completely snow covered. Deep powder throughout.

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Tyler Horst
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 28, 2021
SnowshoeingNo shadeSnow

Trail is hard to find in the snow but it's a great spot to roam around on snowshoes even if you don't make it all the way to the peak.

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Jason R
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 28, 2021
Snowshoeing

Beautiful weather and views. Moderate uphill. Parking can be difficult on weekends at Summit Haus. Vista from Donner Peak definitely worth it. Snow crunchy but soft in shade. Snowshoes needed to get to peak.

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Paromita Dubey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 27, 2021
Hiking

Awesome trail!! Lot of snow!!

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Austin Lawrence
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 19, 2021
Hiking
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Ryan Wilkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 10, 2021
Hiking

This time of year, this is a difficult hike, but worth it.

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Ted S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 8, 2021
Snowshoeing

Don't let the lack of recent reviews fool you (see AllTrails, this is why you need a trail log and not just reviews), lots of people have been up lately and established a solid skin track & snowshoe path... which will last right on up until the next storm next week. Parking is a pain on the weekends with the small lot. Be sure to check the rules wherever you park if you cant find a lot spot. For an easier climb, head down the road behind the donner building to the official trailhead and make wide turns. For something more fun, head more directly up the hill. Either way, be avy aware and know the conditions, there are plenty of signs of recent slides and more than a few cornices. The boulders around Donner Peak are nicely snowed over and easily hiked up right now, skin tracks went extra wide to avoid unclipping. Snowshoes are definitely helpful, especially as things warm up mid day. All in, quick, moderate day with a great view.

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Charmaine Tejada
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 30, 2021
SnowshoeingSnow

snow i

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Kaylyn Sims
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 20, 2021
Hiking

check out my recording! its hilarious. couldnt find the trail to save our lives. we snowshoed (micro-spikes would have been better) and the views were amazing. theres a downed tree in the trail a half mile before you get too Donner peak ridge

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Barry Timko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 17, 2021
HikingIcyOff trailSnow

Took the tunnel to the first exit. Went back and got on top of the tunnel. From there tried a line but not enough snow coverage. Went back down and found a good line to just below the summit. Ice and hard snow. Crampons and ice axe were 100% needed. Most climbs doesn’t necessarily need them but this did.

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Megan Murray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 10, 2021
HikingIcySnowWashed out

Went right after a lot of heavy snowstorms so the trail was not clearly marked. If you’re following the trail and using GPS, I’d recommend not doing the first switchback as it was very narrow, steep, and we watched someone fall and injure themself. Id use the less steep route off to your right which will get you back on the trail. As you go up, you’ll see someone’s cabin below.there were a good amount of people out with us, all oof whom were trying to do the same trail, but ended up turning around. We didn’t summit as we lost the trail. Snow shoes are a must.

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Jennifer Teu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 2, 2021
Hiking

Had to turn back due to weather.

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Thomas Iida
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 31, 2020
Hiking

Absolutely need snowshoes.

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ken moua
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 28, 2020
Hiking
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Scott Fulton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 25, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScrambleSnow

Hike this today (Christmas Eve). I was expecting that we would park at the actual trailhead, but as it turned out that road to the trailhead is not plowed regularly and so we parked at Summit Haus. Trail starts out with a lot of switchbacks, and then eventually straightens out some. My friend and I tried to snow hike it as much as we could until the post-holing became unbearable, and then we put on the snowshoes. It was about a 4-hour snowshoe hike.

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Julie Pen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 13, 2020
SnowshoeingGreat!IcySnow

Stunning views of the mountains and Lake Tahoe.

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Solace Sonder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 12, 2020
Hiking

Not sure this can be summited without snowshoes as of Dec 2020. Towards the top mile there is 2 to 3 foot snow. Beautiful summit, VERY ICY. I'd recommend having microspikes on hand. Gorgeous solitude.

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Anuj Menta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 9, 2020
Hiking

A very pretty hike. full of snow but still very warm. Recommend poles and cleets and longer shoes

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