Donner Summit Canyon is a 3.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Truckee, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length3.6 miElevation gain547 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashHikingSnowshoeingForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeBridge outRockyScrambleSnow
Description
Waypoints (2)

Donner Memorial State Park charges a fee for parking. For more information, please visit https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=503#:~:text=What%20is%20open%20now%3F,Parking%20is%20%2410.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (254)
Photos (203)
Activities (244)
Completed (441)
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Nicolas Laplume
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 22, 2021
Hiking

Plenty of snow, mostly well packed, but some areas where hard to hike

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Sarah Audrey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 23, 2021
Hiking

Snow is pretty well packed the whole way. Just need a pair of good boots. Bit deeper when you do the rest of the loop—put on snowshoes for that part to make easier. Beautiful day out. We were the only ones at the trailhead.

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Dave Russell
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Hiking

Mostly well marked. Avalanche across the trail toward top.

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Rita Ros
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 8, 2021
SnowshoeingIcy

Beginning about 2 km nice trail in snow, off side soft up to the knee. But kids enjoyed. The loops trail was not very much walked, so too deep snow, were not able to do it:(

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Jasmine Moshiri
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 5, 2021
Hiking

Was great out there! Needed snowshoes to go further than about a mile. Beautiful!

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Dan Cloutier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 17, 2021
Hiking

snow was pretty crusty, but snow shoes and spikes really helped on the icy bits. beautiful views of the lake from the top.

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Megan Elliott
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SnowshoeingIcy
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Thien-Y Hoang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 9, 2021
HikingGreat!Snow

Loved this trail! Only saw a few solo hikers during the trek up to the viewpoint/picnic area, a few of them wore masks. My dog loved running around in the snow. Saw one man slowly skiing down which was interesting.

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Reed Thompson
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Mountain biking
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Tim Barnes
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SnowshoeingSnow

Absolutely amazing. Felt like walking around the North Pole. We got out there a little late, so the sun went behind the mountain about an hour after we arrived, so didn’t make it beyond the vista point, but the whole trip was incredible.

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Santiago Prieto
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Hiking

Very panoramic while snowshoeing

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Donnie Gilliam
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Hiking
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Sho Balkian
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 20, 2020
Hiking

The trail was gorgeous. There was new snow from two days ago so we were the first footsteps, but all in all east to follow the direction base on the record via AllTrails. Super doable, took us about 1:15 trudging through the snow. I had my normal hiking boots and my friend had his sneakers on, although I wouldn’t suggest anything les than hiking boots right now, while there’s snow.

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Rhett Bushman
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Hiking

great snow hiking trail

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Kim Ramirez
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Hiking

Nice views at look out point and return north side.

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Jelly-N-Wack Thorpe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 1, 2020
Walking

This is a great trail. As the old wagon trail, it is wide and gradually slopes to the viewpoint overlooking the west end of Donner Lake. The last 100 yards and after the creek washout/watershed is fairly rugged and rocky. But you can do it! Just watch your step. There is a picnic table at the top/lookout. Limited parking at the trailhead. Dog friendly. Couple this with the Donner Tunnels trail and you’ll have a great day of awesome hiking and uniquely spectacular views.

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Erin Brodwin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 29, 2020
HikingRocky

Beautiful looped trail. Loved hiking this with the pup in late October and seeing all the golden and orange leaves. My favorite part of the trail is the way back — it's through what looks like a dried stream bed with lots of rocks. Feels like you're on a little secret trail with the wind whistling through the leaves. Did the loop once in reverse and then back the other direction to get a real feel for it! Definitely recommend for families and dogs, but be mindful of the rocky areas.

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Lex Kollar
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Hiking
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Amy H
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Hiking

Loved this trail - perfect for a fall day. Nice shaded trail on the way up then opened up at top with awesome views of Donner Peak and back to Donner Lake. In sun coming down from top then cool back at the base. Friendly people along the trail too.

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Grant Harvey
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Hiking

Great hike with beautiful views of Donner lake. Great for all skill levels.

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Matthieu Vincenot
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Hiking
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Linda Greer
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HikingGreat!

The road up to the trail is marked as “Road Closed” but if you drive past you can get to the trail head. The trail is well marked up to the top where you have a beautiful view of the lake BUT to continue onto the rest of the loop is not well marked and gets really narrow and overgrown. Our little dogs did good. They provide poop bags and a trash can so you can clean up after them too. Sadly several people bag the poop and then drop the bag on the trail. Good trail and we will do it again.

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Stacey Legay
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Mountain biking

Pretty and fun to see history. Many trail options

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Alicia Garcia
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loved this trail! stunning views of the lake, just difficult enough to count as exercise but perfect for a relaxing afternoon.

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Minna Jung
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 26, 2020
HikingRocky

Beautiful hike with gorgeous aspects at the top. Upper loop got a bit rocky and steep: if you have wonky ankles like me, you might want to bring hiking poles for descent. Also be careful of poison oak on upper part where trail gets narrow—most of the trail is pretty wide.

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Jonathan Lee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
Hiking

Nice though I could not figure out any trails coming off the highest point to continue on to Mt Judah.

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Trey Munson
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Hiking
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Whitney Kukulka
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Hiking

Nice morning hike. Not too challenging but broke a sweat - with beautiful views. Donner pass road is closed past the parking lot to this trailhead - originally planned to do Judah mtn. But can’t access via donner pass road right now

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Cecile Boucheron
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

A good easy trail leading to Donner Pass. I recommend continuing all the way up to the petroglyphs (drawings from native Americans carved in the rock) - you can find a pin for them on Google Maps.

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