Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Three Lakes From Donner

MODERATE 92 reviews
#32 of 193 trails in

Three Lakes From Donner is a 3.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Truckee, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.6 miles Elevation Gain: 357 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

snow

hiking
9 days ago

this was a really fun hike. an unpaved road till you get past the reservoir. after that tranquil lakes, nice 0place for a picnic, lots of off shoot trails to explore. only lost the trail a few times, but easy to get back on track. we even got a view of donner lake and found excalibur.

hiking
1 month ago

Not a well marked trail so it is easy to split off on other trails. The AllTrails app/map was very helpful. The trail terrain was relatively easy. I did a 5.2 mile loop with a parallel trail to the east that was a tad more challenging. A cold beer at Donner Ski Ranch afterwards is a nice bonus.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail is very hard to follow between Angela and Flora lakes! We ended up off trail quite a bit, but it made for a great adventure. To repeat what others have said, you cannot swim in Angela! Because of this, we decided to start the hike on the back side out of Tahoe Ski ranch so that was the first lake we passed. That way, our destination was a lake we could swim and play in. We still had one significant snow patch to cross but other than that the trail was clear. Mosquitoes are so thick! Being lots of bug spray! Having a beer on the patio of the Donner Ski Ranch following this hike was a huge bonus!!!!

hiking
closed
2 months ago

Numerous No Trespassing signs within the first half mile make you feel kinda unwelcome. Lake Angela is the primary water supply so they don’t want people or dogs in there. Maybe the other dotted trail that runs parallel off to the right that is open.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

Not my favorite hike in the area, but Flora Lake is such a great place to swim and picnic! We stayed a few hours and hung out. The trail around Angela Lake is very hard to follow! Mosquitos are insane right now so bring bug spray!!

hiking
2 months ago

Not well marked at all.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

This was a great hike! Had our five year old so didn’t make it all the way. Would have been five stars but the mosquitoes were insane! Got eaten alive. :(

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful day. Make sure you use this app to track the trail as some of trail is under water so you need to go around and climb rocks to get back on trail. Once we got out to third lake a lot of people camping out there. Was great hike though. I live up here but first time doing this one.

hiking
muddy
over grown
scramble
snow
washed out
4 months ago

Beautiful but very slow going as the trail is currently mostly covered with snow or melt off

hiking
6 months ago

Our favorite trail from last summer, can’t wait to hike it now (taking snow shoes) beautiful views!! Also when it’s hot swimming is a blast ;)

hiking
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Start at Donner Ski Ranch and then go there afterwards for lunch, a beer and pie! We didn't go swimming, but it looks like you can swim in lakes 2 and 3 (Flora and Azalea). Plenty of photos in my recording in my account (still trying to figure this out but do I have to load my recording and photos here, too? Too much to reload if so). If you are looking for a nice, scenic, easy hike that allows dogs and has a great place to congregate afterwards, this is it!

hiking
Saturday, September 08, 2018

We hiked the trail Friday, Sept 9, 2018. We started early to beat the heat and hugged the dam, found the trail with little problem and hiked up past Lake Azalea. Good trail Great hike. We caught the PCT back to Hwy 40. Afterwards, we decided we could have avoided some of the hot sun by hiking out on the PCT and returning past the lakes.

hiking
Friday, September 07, 2018

Beautiful hike, about 50% shade, it is a little difficult finding the trail around the first lake but the map is super helpful! would definitely recommend this hike it has some breathtaking views!

hiking
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Hiked this trail early August started about 8 am to avoid the heat. The only real spot where the sun was blasting on us was the first section to the first lake, after that there’s ample shade till the third lake. Beautiful views and great hike overall and the trails were clean.Keeping track and staying on trail can get tricky because of all the cuts leading to the PCT nearby. I didn’t download the map but I have solid cell service during the hike making tracking way easier. Was pretty busy by the time we ended our hike late morning. I’d do it again next time I’m in Donner.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A leisurely hike out 3 Lakes Trail followed by a more strenuous loop back on PCT. Great day!

Friday, July 06, 2018

If I could add the photos I took to help you on the trail I would post it. 1. Park at the Donner Ski Ranch. 2. Walk up the skii hill access road. 3. You will come to a fork in the road, take the road on the right which should go past a tiny house with natural gas tank near it. 4. You will come to a water tank and garage, follow the road that hugs the building. 5. At the dam continue to follow around to the right side of the lake. 5a. The trail is not strictly hugging the lake but you can wander around further ahead past where you first find the dam. 5b. The trail is there somewhere and once you find it you are good to go. Enjoy!

hiking
Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Beautiful views, but once you get to the first lake the trail runs underwater, and it is very difficult to find an alternate path.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Lovely and great views of the river and the lakes. Happy I went with the dog. Great early morning hike!

hiking
Sunday, June 17, 2018

Beautiful spot, but much of the trail is under water and challenging to find pass arounds. The app really doesn't help much at all. Still, we enjoyed our day.

hiking
Wednesday, January 03, 2018

This trail was amazing! It was beautiful and full of beautiful sights. However, I would not call it moderate, more of a Hard level.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

If you like taking photos of beautiful scenes with a reflection in water then this is your hike. However, go very early (730) before any breeze starts. Now the bad news. I couldn’t find nor stay on the trail unless I used the app. The problem was getting to places where amazing photos could be taken but the trails go every which way. I felt like I was looking for Pokémon only it was the trail. Also, boots are a must.

hiking
Sunday, October 29, 2017

There are two ways to access this trail. The easiest is to start at Donner Ski Ranch and keep all their buildings to your Right. Hike up and past the concrete dam that is the south east end of Lake Angela. Keep Lake Angela on your left and follow the trail The more difficult access is from what used to be Sugar Bowl ACADEMY AND The PCT. THE Pc

hiking
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Park at Donner Ski ranch and walk up the ski hill to meet the trail. Hard to find the path but once past the first lake it was a great hike. Everyone's advice below helped a lot! Pretty key to bring your phone to use the app to stay on the trail. Don't be afraid to wander a bit as there's some beautiful views of Donner lake as well.

hiking
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Parked at Donner Ski Ranch, beginning of trail was access road till we got to construction workers at new water tank that forced us to go around their work area. This required trailblazing for 1/2 mile. The trail around lake 1 is not obvious but was fine with program to keep repositioning to trail. But the trail turned into a gem at the north end of lake 1 and remained obvious all the way to lake 3. On the return trip we went cross country for 1/4 mile to east from north end of lake 2 to join PCT. PCT was a real nice return route with great views of Donner Lake and surrounding mountains. Definitely return to this trail again

Friday, July 14, 2017

Started from Donner Ski Resort. Without Ap it would have been hard to find trail. Once on it it was an amazing hike

backpacking
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Beautiful trail. The snow melt and the high water levels make the trail a little hard to follow, but once a flora lake, you'll be happy you stuck to it.

Load More

Featured Trails