Mount Judah Loop Trail

MODERATE 313 reviews
#3 of 145 trails in

Mount Judah Loop Trail is a 4.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Truckee, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,220 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

Directions from Truckee: Travel west on Hwy. #80 and take the exit to Old Highway #40 east of Donner Ski Ranch. From Hwy. #40 turn onto the road before the Alpine Skills Institute and begin the hike on the Pacific Crest Trail heading south.

1 day ago

The trail starts of fairly rocky and smoothed out again until you get closer to the top. Very nice scenery throughout the hike. View from the top is a nice payoff. No water so bring what you’ll need plus food. Did it in early July and saw lots of wild flowers. Well marked. Hard to get lost. It took us three hours with stops.

hiking
2 days ago

This was a fun hike with a friend. Lots of great views and the weather was perfect since we live in the valley. Nice day trip to get out of the heat and get in some fun exercise. Would definitely do it again.

14 days ago

Great hike !

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful hike! Good workout. Stunning views.

17 days ago

Beautiful!

hiking
18 days ago

Great views of the lake, easy hike

hiking
20 days ago

Nice enough hike with some good views of the surrounding mountains.

It is a single file track for most of the trail so some basic trail etiquette would make this hike more enjoyable for everyone. But no such luck. Yielding to uphill traffic, packing out dog poop or even a simple "hello" seem to be altogether foreign concepts on this trail. We did this on a Monday when it was relatively quiet, I would definitely not do this on a weekend when lots of people compound the trail etiquette issue.

The notable pleasant exceptions to the above we encountered were PCT hikers and a handful of very friendly Europeans.

Who this trail is for: people looking for a workout instead of their usual gym and do not care about hiking as such.
Who this trail is not for: Anyone looking for inspiration or who enjoys hiking. Keep looking elsewhere because you are not missing anything by skipping the Mount Judah Loop Trail.

hiking
21 days ago

Wonderful hike with beautiful views. Fairly easy and steady climb up to Mt Judah. We started at 6:30am to avoid the crowds and hot temperature. There were a ton of mosquitoes at the trailhead so be sure to bring your bug spray. Not much snow at the top (small patches here and there). Highly recommend Mt Judah and maybe tacking on Donner Peak along the way!

22 days ago

Third time hiking this trail yesterday, June 22. One of my favorites in Truckee - I’m a local. Views are stellar. Started at 7 am as it was going to be a hot day. Got very warm at the end. The trail is sun exposed. We had 3 dogs with us all in good shape and young but they went thru almost all our water. Leaving the trail around 12 noon we ran into people just starting the hike (in the heat of the day) with a 13 1/2 year old dog. Felt very, very sorry for the dog. Asked if they need the rest of my water. Said they had some by didn’t have a bowl. I gave hem mine - which is a collapsible. Folks: there is no water for the dogs on this trail and it gets very hot especially at the end when the dogs are tired already. Please remember to bring lots of water for your dog. And think about whether a 13 1/2 year old dog should even do this hike. Hope he made it.

1 month ago

Busy trail, but definitely worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Kind of technical first mile ascent, but great afterwards. Went last week and there was still significant snow! It was awesome!

The top was super windy (50mph) to beware on windy days. There’s no coverage up there.

5 months ago

Warning! In order to cross Sugar Bowl terrain during their ski season, a uphill pass is required. Even with an uphill pass, only some uphill routes are approved and unfortunately this is not one of them. I ran into a ski patrol while attempting this trail and was turned around. They told me to visit Sugarbowl.com and read the uphill policy for more information.

snowshoeing
5 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous! Park right off the highway as the road to the trail head is narrow and there is no closer parking. Trail was easy to follow the tracks until it crossed the ski runs.

snowshoeing
5 months ago

It’s a good hike , very moderate- not to hard . Views are great.

6 months ago

We did the loop counterclockwise. Micro spikes were definitely in order on some of the lower parts and all of the upper. Once over the summit and past the ski lift, the backside was too steep and unstable to try. Getting late so we came down the ski area in the woods. Treacherous in spots but at least there were trees to stop you (which we did not need).

trail running
6 months ago

I do not recommend doing the full loop in the winter. The trails up to Donner Peak are of medium difficulty and were mostly easy enough to follow people's footprints with some GPS confirmation. They were mostly covered in snow and a bit of ice, so I would recommend bringing some kind of spikes or snowshoes. I think this section would be good as an out-and-back during the winter months. If you plan to go up any side of Mount Judah, I would definitely recommend crampons and maybe even an ice axe in the current conditions. Following my GPS, I accidentally found myself on the trail to the east that runs parallel to the ridge. The whole south and east sides of Judah are pretty icy and slick, with no easy tracks to follow if you don't count the deer footprints.

hiking
6 months ago

Didn’t do loop however still a great workout. Few patches of ice but you can walk around them ( by doing a little bit of bolder hoping) Once you get near the top snow shoes really help

snowshoeing
7 months ago

We went November 18th. The mountain was covered in snow. Once we got to the top the trail was completely covered in snow so we just explored on our own and hiked back down under the ski lift. You will defiantly need snow shoes once you get to the top (we rented them for the week from rental shop where we live). If we didn’t have snowshoes and gps we probably would have turned around. The views are beautiful and the land that you can scale in snowshoes an awesome experience!

hiking
7 months ago

Took the hike early summer. Great hike all the way around

7 months ago

Great hike. Somewhat confusing junction after crossing over Judah when descending at PCT T-junction, not signed but take a right back toward sugar bowl to reach Donner Summit lot

hiking
8 months ago

We are not fond of the beginning (or end) portion of the trail which consists of rocky switchbacks on the face of the mountain but then it becomes a pretty reasonable trail. Lots of people and dogs. Beautiful scenery. Took us 3.5 hours but we are in our late 50s.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike. Moderate level. Would definitely do it again.

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail, first part is the most challenging. Great views at both Donner Peak and Mt Judah. Took about 2.5 hours (didn't stay at summit for long as it was very windy).

9 months ago

Beautiful hike. Some snow,
Ice and mud. The view at the top is amazing. It was a super cold day. 28 when we started. Super
Windy at the summit but so worth it.

9 months ago

Great hike. Wonderful views from the top. Left at 9:00am on a Saturday. We didn't see a sole until the split and then only a couple until we reached the top. Saw lots on the way down. Parking was also full at that time 1:00. (We're really out of shape ☺) It was a great workout for us!

hiking
10 months ago

Great round trip with some perfect trails for trail runners. Hi early though as this is a popular hike and gets super busy after 10am.

10 months ago

The begining of the trail is somewhat difficult as you walk on stones the loop after is easier, the slop is gently bringing you at 8200 feet, it is worth it for the view and different landscapes, our 10 years old, did it without a problem, even younger kids were able to do it, make sure you have the right equipment (shoes, water (there is not a lot of shades))

10 months ago

Absolutely beautiful views

hiking
10 months ago

Such a fulfilling hike. Please do not do when it is hot as it is mostly without shade. I met some amazing people. Please complete if you are working towards a higher elevation. My fav couple was I am guessing in their 60's and they rocked it! Love and Mother Nature rules! YOU can do it!

10 months ago

The hike has beautiful views the whole way up, but the vista at the summit ridge is easily he highlight.

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