Explore the most popular walking trails near Donner with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

the first part of the trail is good for all ages due to it is flat and just a nice walk through the old train tunnels. However the loop part is definitely for more experience and for people that are in shape. If you are not experience tour in shape you can still do the loop but be advised that it is climbing a hillside. But over all is was a wonderful hike and my group had a good time.

I love this hike! It involves the Donner train tunnels and the China wall of the Sierra! I love getting some history with my hike. Oh and don’t forget to see the petroglyphs near the bottom!

Started our hike at the west end of tunnel #6, just west of the ski area. Can’t imagine hand drilling and blasting with black powder and nitroglycerin. This tunnel system was in use until 1993 until the tracks were moved south. Great, historic hike. The graffiti varies from totally amateur to absolutely beautiful professional. Sad that it’s there at all, but a fact of life. Well worth the time. Take a flashlight-it’s very dark is some areas.

I try to take anyone who visits and wants a great hike with lots to see. History and great views everywhere. Fall is the best time with the views of the trees changing.

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!

25 days ago

Wonderful hike. Great scenery all the way to the top. When you get to the top though, there’s a path that was made with rocks, don’t follow it, keep going across the top of the mountain and that will take you to Lake Angela

love the old tunnels, not really a hike but one of my favorites none the less. a beautiful view of the lake in the middle of a tunnel turn out.

Beautiful day. Pristine blue skies. Fairly easy hike. Quick 20-ish min to Azalea, and only an extra 10 to Flora. Well worth it. Pay attention to your GPS to bounce off to the right to get to the lakes. Small column of stacked stones where the trail departs the PCT, but no sign. Great time spent outdoors, and an absolutely stunning area to explore. We will be back more than a few times, I suspect.

Tinker Knob and Anderson Peak: Donner to Tinker Knob on the PCT is an uncomplicated straight forward 7.5 mile (one way) hike that is mostly over light forest or open ridge with great views. The wind on the ridge was intense on much of our hike but was not a problem on the final, easy scramble to Tinker’s summit. Awesome 360 view from there. Nearby to the SW were Granite Chief, Needle Peak and Lyon Peak. Farther off we could see all the from Pyramid Peak and the Crystal Range south to Sierra Buttes and Mt. Lola north. Leaving Tinker, we returned to the saddle between Anderson Peak then walked over scrub and boulders to Anderson’s high point which is on the east side of the broad summit area. We returned only part way back toward the saddle before dropping down west to rejoin the PCT. Other than more strong winds and a weary climb back up to the ridge east of Mt. Lincoln, the return hike was relatively easy. Our swing up Anderson Peak and a short side trip to Benson Hut, located below the north face of Anderson, pushed our total hike distance to 16 miles with just under 3000’ of gain. This is a very nice uncomplicated hike, and unless you opt for the Anderson Peak add on, it’s all on an easy trail. It is a long hike, though, so be ready for some serious trail time—almost 8 hours for our outing.

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.

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!

I took the trail head in off of Old Donner Summit Road near Mary's Cabin. It's a nice hike with average elevation and is rocky for the first 1/4 mile and open then the trail flattens some and you have some nice tree covering. I recently had hip surgery and didn't have any trouble with this hike. I saw about 25 people through out the day and will do it again soon.

Beautiful views. Mostly covered (in tunnels)

1 month ago

THE TRAIL STOPS AT THE TOP! My friend and I reached the top from the South and spread out looking for a pass. We found nothing but steep rocky drops and cliffs. We picked it up a notch by making our own trail down to the valley and summited again from the North side.

It was a great hike with great views. But note that this map is not correct.

The hike was pretty boring for the most part. The tunnels were cool for a while, but kinda sketchy and they got old after a while. After that, the hike to the top was great. Steep, rocky, and loose made for an epic day. The views are the top were great!

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.

Great easy trail for kids and adults. Beautiful scenery. Not well marked at the 1/2 way Point but the trail goes off to the right for a shorter hike to the lake or left for a longer loop. Helps to keep the app running to make sure you stay on the trail.

There are no sign so keep your gps on. I didn’t pay attention to my gps and kept following the trail so we end up taking a longer trail that took us to Lake Angela then to Flora lake and back to our car. The view was great, the hike was easy.

great scenery great people working to maintain it

2 months ago

Very different hike with natural and urban elements. There was a lot more tunnel than we expected, with some breaks for beautiful views of Donner Lake. The tunnels were chilly even though it was 80 degrees out. Mostly gravel ground with some puddles. You’ll want a flashlight (phone flashlight is fine) for some sections. Each tunnel had a different style and there was some cool street art.

Really enjoyable hike. The highlight: incredible views and scenery!!!!

awesome view

Love it. It was so interesting. Next time I am taking my flashlight with me.

2 months ago

This trail is very different and interesting! Not difficult at all, with the most challenging part being a small climb up from the parking spot I chose, which was ~ 100 yards before the Donner Summit bridge on the way up Donner Pass Road. Don't miss the Petroglyphs on the way up! The path through the tunnels was a perfect way to take a break from the sun, and also the wildfire smoke that has been settling in the area every few days. The footing is mostly gravel, so even though dogs are allowed, it may be a bit tough on their paws. There are points in the tunnels where you will be in pitch blackness, so a flashlight is a big recommendation... especially to help avoid the puddles in some areas! Also, there are bats flying above, and the occasional mouse/squirrel/rat. I am a fan of street art, so I enjoy the graffiti... 80% of it is junk, but the other 20% is really great art!

There is no trail at top where there is a lot of exposure. We turned back and did not do the loop. It is a much longer hike that way.

Loved this trail! Great views, wildflowers and lakes.

Sunrise start meant I didn’t encounter anyone else until about 4 miles in (PCT hikers coming North). Highly recommend it. Incredibly peaceful, with beautiful overlooks and lower temps at that time. Also, I tracked this as about 14.4 miles from trailhead to Tinkers.

Easy to get to, fun, twisty trail through rocks and trees, and great swimming in Lake Flora.

2 months ago

Super fun hike. Cool to see all the artwork and graffiti. The tunnels are nice and cool on these hot summer days. Hike is not strenuous, I suggest going early because it gets pretty busy. A lot of bats on the trail today, but they kept to themselves! Great views of Donner Lake despite the smoke!

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

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