Historic Donner Pass Trail

EASY 107 reviews

Historic Donner Pass Trail is a 5.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Donner, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1095 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

cave

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

An easy, unique, yet beautiful hike through multiple segments of tunnels with openings throughout the trail that offer views of Donner Lake. Along the walls of the tunnels is a graffiti artists playground. Graffiti line the walls from the beginning to the very end.

hiking
22 days ago

Went in December and this trail was not fun. Almost the entire tunnel portion was iced over and treacherous.

The views were still amazing though and I would love to go back in the summer.

I love this trail! The graffiti art is spectacular, as is the view

this was a very neat trail!!! so many BEAUTIFUL views!!!! today was the perfect weather not too hot and not too cold!!

hiking
3 months ago

I have mixed feelings about this trail. 50% is walking through dark tunnels. While I thought it was interesting and unique (something I had never done before), it got old pretty quickly. It's dark, and the path is not exactly comfortable (bf and I rolled our ankles a couple times). That being said, the views of the surrounding area are pretty spectacular. Once you reach the end of the tunnels, you walk for a bit on rocky, leveled ground for a bit. Then, you make a right and hike up to the peak. The top was amazing. Beautiful views and a perfect spot to rest/eat. So, just keep in mind you'll be walking in the dark for quite a while (it was about 1.5 hours total for us), but the views up top are amazing!

4 months ago

Great trail! We did the loop trail... we went out through the sheds (spooky! Take a light) and looped back (steep uphill made us break a sweat) and returned on top of some of the snow sheds. A bit sketchy but great views and very interesting!

hiking
4 months ago

Cool dark graffiti covered tunnels. Great views of Donner lake. Many side-adventures for brush crashing and rock scrambling.

walking
4 months ago

Awesome for kids.

hiking
5 months ago

Didn't expect 1.5 miles in old RR tunnel. Bring phone or flashlight. It can be dark (and boring).
If you press on and continue the loop (very steep and long) you will be rewarded with some fantastic panorama views.

5 months ago

Great historical hike and if u have time go to end and follow trail trail back on top of tunnels. Some places difficult to continue but doable. Boulders and scrabble and if u are going back on top go left before u drop down to mt Judah trail. This will bring u on top of ridge and back to last tunnel.
A Light is helpful in tunnels.

hiking
5 months ago

Walking, hiking, geocaching, and beautiful views!!! One of my favorite walks ❤️❤️

5 months ago

It was amazing I loved it

hiking
5 months ago

So much. Rain added to the adventure plus 1 missed turn. Wear sturdy shoes. Lots of loose rock and shale.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

As a "hike" there isn't much to this. That being said, going through the tunnels and looking at the graffiti is fascinating and enjoyable. This would be a great outing with kids!

walking
6 months ago

This is a must do.. entrance is in the overflow parking for Sugar Bowl.. Its an easy hike but entire trail is pebbles, definitely wouldn't recommend tennis shoes, my feet were pretty sore by the time we were done. and a flash light as a couple of the tunnels have some dark areas. . About 3/4 way in the road is washed out and you have to climb down and up on loose dirt. . and BRING A CAMERA!!

walking
6 months ago

barely made it through 1section of tunnel and was turned back by police saying it's union pacific land now and that we were trespassing... will try again later

6 months ago

great hike for the summer! very easy kid friendly was almost like air conditioning with the wind blowing and the water from the snow

walking
6 months ago

Fun interesting and mostly flat walk/hike through old train tunnels, nifty graffiti and lovely views of Donner Pass and Lake. Bring a headlamp and Tevas, lots of water from melting snow (nothing deep). Trail is washed out about two miles in between tunnels - we were hiking later in the day so turned back. Nice hike for a hot day because of the cool shady interior!

walking
6 months ago

Highly recommend bugspray! Aside from being eaten alive in the areas outside of the tunnels, it was a really nice trail. There's a lot of art and graffiti on the walls. The tunnels are pleasantly cold and you can hear the snowmelt and the bats in them.

6 months ago

Great trail fantastic views. Washed out about 2 miles in, passable with a bit of caution. We turned around.

Someone left a message about a found GOPRO. Armand Myburgh, this may be yours. Couldn't find a way to connect to you. The message posted on the gate says to call 916.847.6506. Hope it's yours.

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