Pacific Crest Trail to Mt. Lincoln is a 6.3 mile heavily 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 best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length6.3 miElevation gain1,430 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingCross-country skiingHikingNature tripsRock climbingSnowshoeingRunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeBugsRockySnowHistoric site
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Tips

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. Moderate climb from Donner summit on HWY 40 along a portion of the PCT. Trail features beautiful views as well as options to hike up to other peaks and access to granite Chief Wilderness if you continue on the PCT to Tinkers knob. At the top of MT Lincoln you are treated to panoramic views of the area including a distant view of Sierra Buttes. Can be combined with Judah/Donner peak trails.

Soda Springs General Store is just a few clicks west on 40. During Certain seasons a Porta Potty is near the trail head.

Keep your eye open for Sierra Snow Plants in spring but be aware they are illegal to pick. Trail can have deep snow well into June. Lake Mary area is private property, abide by posted signage.

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Reviews (64)
Photos (846)
Activities (63)
Completed (347)
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Santiago Prieto
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Hiking

End of Jan Snowshoeing

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Ryan Judson
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Hiking

Great view. Lots of snow. Had a great time.

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E C
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Hiking
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Matt Tellas
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Hiking
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Mike Siders
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HikingNo shade

Nice trail! I really like this stretch of the PCT and once you get up closer to Lincoln and the valley starts to open up the views are pretty great. When you get to the top of Mount Lincoln, there is a ski lift up there but still some really nice panoramic views. There’s one section right before the summit where snow is covering the trail but you can go around it. Generally I wouldn’t say it’s hard at all but I had a baby carrier in with my 7 month old in it so that made it a little more interesting to navigate around. Looking forward to doing this again and pushing on to Anderson Peak next time. Ample road parking but gets pretty crowded. We got there late (baby makes it hard now) around 930 and pretty crowded. Fortunately didn’t see many folks once we passed the Mount Judah junction and most people courteous with social distancing and/or wearing a face covering. Pretty good climb, switch backs right off the bat, then it levels out and it’s pretty chill. As mentioned, the final push to the top is fairly steep and lose gravel in sections but very doable. Recommend!

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Honorio Saldana
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HikingNo shade
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Eric Finch
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HikingSnow

Well maintained single track trail. Lots of wildflowers. Final push to the top of Mt Lincoln is pretty steep. I would recommend bringing hiking poles for that stretch.

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Barry Timko
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Hiking

Some snow on trail. Lot of people start early.

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Craig Leach
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Hiking

Great hike to do on its own or to combine with the Judah loop and Tahoe Peak. Amazing views all the way through. At 3.4 in there’s a sign educating on historic passes that happened, go another hundred yards past the sign where there is an obvious out of place boulder and enjoy expansive views. Then hike up the hill and continue on the PCT. Today i went 2.4 beyond Mt Lincoln (where this trail technically ends) and kept going on the PCT. There are no bad parts on any part of this trail system. And it’s extremely difficult to get lost, as the trails all connect.

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Sarah Adkisson
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HikingRocky
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Sasha Reber
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I forget to record twice after breaks, so add at least 2 miles and 500 feet of elevation gain.

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Scott Gylling
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HikingSnow
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Robert Paul
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Hiking
First to Review

One of many beautiful hikes in a great system of trails around Donner Summit.

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Jeremy Schmitz
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Hiking
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Amy Kurtz
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Hiking
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Cressida Fuzie
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Kevin N
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Hiking
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Erin Dando
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Hiking
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Mike Terronez
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Hiking
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Emily Bower
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Hiking
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Jason Throne
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Hiking
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Christal Potter-Tosch
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Hiking
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Sara DeLaney
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Hiking
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Lauren Morales
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Hiking
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Zachary Jarvis
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Sam West
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Hiking
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Caitlin Rinehardt
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Sarah S
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Hiking
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Rod Raub
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Bird watching
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Tony Munoz
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Hiking
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