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Johnson Canyon Overlook via Glacier Way Trailhead

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Tahoe Donner Trail System

Johnson Canyon Overlook via Glacier Way Trailhead is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Truckee, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length3.9 miElevation gain410 ftRoute typeOut & back
kid friendlyCross-country skiingHikingMountain bikingNature tripsSnowshoeingRunningDog friendlyForestViewsWildflowersWildlife
Description
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Tips

A casual hike in the Tahoe Donner area with scenic views of Tahoe Donner Lake, Johnson Canyon (also known as Negro Canyon), and the surrounding areas. Great for kids. This hike starts on Glacier Way Road off of Skislope Way. You start on Glacier Way trail before taking a right onto the Donner Lake Rim Trail. These trails are within the Tahoe Donner Trail System which is within the Tahoe National Forest.

* Great for hiking or mountain biking. * Easy trail options for kids

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (585)
Photos (368)
Recordings (563)
Completed (861)
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Chad Donnay
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Hiking
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Cheyene Keniston
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HikingSnow

This trail was amazing. Hiking friendly. I went on 3/3/21 and it was snowy but totally doable. Great trail to snowshoe and back country ski/snowboard. I was only wearing snow hiking boots this time and did sink in a couple times to the knee at the top of the mountain, but again totally doable and a great adventure. The view was worth it, so beautiful. Glory to God. Have fun guys!

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Kimberly Marie
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Hiking

Beautiful trail. Well trafficked, packed snow most of the way until you pass Donner Lake. We did fine with crampons but others had snowshoes.

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Christa Seyler
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SnowshoeingGreat!IcyNo shadeSnow

Trail is packed snow, a bit icy. Totally doable with just micro spikes. Even just hiking shoes would be okay. Don’t need snowshoes unless going off the trail. Great trail, great views, not a lot of shade though so wear sunscreen and a hat. Happy trails!

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Ariel Sultan
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Hiking

Gorgeous views and great hike for dogs.

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Nicole Martel
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Hiking

Beautiful area. Snowshoes not needed for the first mile or so. Tons of families, children sledding, and off-leash dogs in that first mile. Definitely need snow shoes after that. Trail was pretty much buried after that. We made our own to get to the top. Extremely windy and cold at the top, a lot of skiers up there. Beautiful views

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Laura Stene
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SnowshoeingGreat!Snow

Great trail! Beautiful views of Donner Lake. We saw a few people on this trail, but only in brief passing. Highly recommend snow shoes and poles! While these aren’t always needed on some more heavily trafficked trails in the area, we were sinking as we got further into the trail. We made the mistake of just using our poles and leaving the snow shoes in the car. We still made it up about 1/2-3/4 of the way, and saw beautiful views, but I was almost up to my hip in snow a few times.

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Nicole Sharkey
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Hiking
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Arianna Amore
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Hiking

A perfect trail for snowshoeing after fresh snow!

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Hannah Wirth
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HikingIcy

Beautiful views, but hiking in the snow is strenuous. Kept sinking in thigh deep and trail is not super clearly marked. Next time I’d definitely bring snowshoes. Excited to come back though in the summer.

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Eryn Slankster
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Hiking

not a bad winter hike, but my snowshoes were ALMOST useless mostly dead weight. the husband only wore his for maybe 10% of the trail. I dont think it was worth carrying the weight!

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Chason Grinnell
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Hiking
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Candace Bryant
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SnowshoeingSnow

Followed the trail on the way out and then came back on the Far East trail. Could get away with just boots for the first half but snowshoes would be needed for the second half.

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Myle Tran
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Hiking
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Aiste Brackley
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SnowshoeingGreat!Snow

Great trail for snowshoeing. Busy for the first half mile but then hardly any people around. Spectacular views and plenty opportunities to explore further away from the main path.

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Noah Lopez
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Hiking

Good hike today. Trails cross all over the place but it’s pretty easy to navigate through. Snow is pretty packed in spots but still fun on snowshoes. Lots of traffic.

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Rachel Lucas
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Hiking
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Gretel V
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SnowshoeingGreat!

Great family friendly snowshoeing trail with mountain top and lake views. Halfway through is a picnic bench for a lunch/snack break. There are cross country skiers as well as sledders sharing the trail.

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Amanda Reed
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Hiking
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Ben Toots
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Mountain bikingGreat!
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Mark Mizicko
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SnowshoeingSnow

Did this beautiful path on snowshoes with my wife and our dog on Friday, 12/18. The first mile was packed enough that most people were not wearing snowshoes, but beyond that mile, only 1 or 2 people had been through the area since the midweek snow, so it was too deep and soft to move forward without snowshoes or skis. The views were incredible, with views of the the Martis Valley, Donner Lake, the mountains to the west, and eventually to another valley running approximately North to South. On snowshoes, the going was difficult in several sections after the first mile, and at times it felt like we were in "over our head" as my wife indicated. It was strenuous, but the views and overlooks were spectacular. The only caution is that in several sections you can hear the low noise of travel on I-80, but I'll do this again for sure.

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Kristen Kilroy Thiry
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Hiking

Beautiful views, fairly easy trial. Used Yaktrax for traction in the snow/ice and recommend. Also used trekking poles with baskets for added support. Very easy, well packed trail until a mile in, then it gets a little less traveled and not as packed. Did sink quite a bit in certain places so watch your step!

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Tricia Popky
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SnowshoeingGreat!

Wonderful winter trail with picturesque views! Currently a little icy in areas. Kid and dog friendly!

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Michael Chapman
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Hiking

This place is bad ass, wish I brought some sleds.

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Natalia D
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Hiking

Nice easy hike for great scenic views

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