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Donner Peak Trail

MODERATE 88 reviews
#15 of 191 trails in

Donner Peak Trail is a 3.5 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: 3.5 miles Elevation Gain: 941 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
bugs
snow
7 days 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
8 days ago

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

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
9 days 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
24 days 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
2 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
2 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
3 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
5 months ago

snowshoeing
7 months ago

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

hiking
8 months ago

An amazing hike with fantastic views at the summit.

hiking
9 months ago

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

10 months ago

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

11 months ago

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

hiking
11 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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!

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Fun hike with several great lookout points to see donner lake and the sierras. Steep, rocky steps at start (a bit harder for our dogs), but then even elevation throughout the rest of the hike.

hiking
Saturday, September 02, 2017

Nice hike! Do it in the morning. Gets crowded and more sunny later. First part is very rocky. Plenty of dogs on trail.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Did this one today as we came off Mt Judah...easy climb up to some beautiful scenery!

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Absolutely beautiful!

hiking
Sunday, October 09, 2016

Great hike! Steady incline the entire way and a bit rocky in some areas. Views at the top were gorgeous. Didn't see many folks on the way up...ran into several on the way down. Once you get to the peak there is an opportunity to connect to another trail and add an additional couple of miles to your hike. Recommend!

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