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Donner Peak Trail

MODERATE 114 reviews
#15 of 190 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

trail running

walking

bird watching

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
3 days ago

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

hiking
bugs
7 days ago

hiking
10 days 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.

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

hiking
bugs
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
1 month 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
1 month 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
3 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
3 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
4 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
6 months ago

snowshoeing
8 months ago

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

hiking
9 months ago

An amazing hike with fantastic views at the summit.

hiking
11 months ago

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

11 months ago

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

Monday, August 13, 2018

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

hiking
Sunday, July 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.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Easy to moderate hike. We did it at 4pm and it was hot on the way up, but beautiful. View at the very top is gorgeous. But if a scramble to get up there. And there's a hidden geocache!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Great trail off I-80. Some hard switchbacks at the beginning but it’s overall short to get to the peak and view of Donner Lake below. You can continue onto Mt. Judah but it was not worth it to me.

hiking
Saturday, February 03, 2018

hiking
Sunday, January 07, 2018

There is some ice at first and deeper snow as you climb, but the views are great! If you stick the to gps you can stay on he trail up and back. The trail gets creative with the snow cover.

hiking
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Includes about a mile of unshaded switchbacks and small rock climb at summit. Awesome views. Was somewhat crowded on an October weekday - this is a school trip for Donner Tahoe kids!

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