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.

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike. Impossible to get lost. Did the loop (some snow on the descent) and just to add to the fun we walked on top of the snow sheds on the way back.

Great however it is covered in ice now. fell and hit my chin. Be careful!!

This is one of my most favorite trails. I always go counterclockwise. Be mindful of the time of year you're going - because it crosses through Sugarbowl, you'll need an Uphill pass to stay on the trail during ski season.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing! Super snowy and icy, perfect for snow shoeing and you can do the tunnels if you have yaktrax or poles and are willing to take your time and be okay with a few slips here and there.

I love this hike year around! We have gone in everything from stormy and white out to hot and sunny weather. Sitting where you can see Donner Lake and eat lunch is a treat. I have missed the turn to the lakes which is not marked and advise using GPS. It is my favorite place to take beginners and kids.

The trailhead was a little tough to find-it was not the Judah lot (unless I missed it) as noted. We parked in a lot directly across from Donner Ski Ranch. There was a gate and then a tunnel almost immediately. It was pretty icy and flat. Definitely bring a headlamp and dress warmly. There was snow on the ground and the wind made it pretty cold. I would love to come hike this trail in the spring or summer, but I enjoyed going in winter. There are some beautiful views of Donner lake and some pretty incredible graffiti art.

Fun walk with the kids. Great views, we did not do the loop. Walked in and out

Couldn’t find the trailhead and got my car stuck in the snow with chains on

Took my girl and my dog out here after a friend told me I should check it out. So glad I did. You basically hike the ridge all the way to squaw valley and it has amazing 360 degree views. Challenging but well worth it

hiking
4 months ago

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

Went in December and this trail was not fun. Almost the entire tunnel portion was iced over and treacherous.

The views were still amazing though and I would love to go back in the summer.

snowshoeing
5 months ago

I didn't expect much snow but did need the snowshoes after the first .5 miles. First part was pretty packed and iced up from snow park sleds.
We were the only tracks after the first mile. Lots of frozen water and great scenery.
Seems as the trail is better marked on the return. The lake is nice but no swimming, fishing, or dogs. This lake is a public water source.
Great hike with the snow.

I love this trail! The graffiti art is spectacular, as is the view

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.

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

This is an awesome day hike. You get to summit Donner peak and look down over Donner Lake and the surrounding area. Then you continue up over Mount Judah, parts of which overlap with the old emigrant trail. See an Emigrant Trail sign on the top of the ski slopes near the PCT intersection. Very nice hike!

this was a very neat trail!!! so many BEAUTIFUL views!!!! today was the perfect weather not too hot and not too cold!!

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful area with 4 lakes and small melt ponds hidden in the granite.

I have mixed feelings about this trail. 50% is walking through dark tunnels. While I thought it was interesting and unique (something I had never done before), it got old pretty quickly. It's dark, and the path is not exactly comfortable (bf and I rolled our ankles a couple times). That being said, the views of the surrounding area are pretty spectacular. Once you reach the end of the tunnels, you walk for a bit on rocky, leveled ground for a bit. Then, you make a right and hike up to the peak. The top was amazing. Beautiful views and a perfect spot to rest/eat. So, just keep in mind you'll be walking in the dark for quite a while (it was about 1.5 hours total for us), but the views up top are amazing!

hiking
7 months ago

meant to do another trail. was okay. went in September and was windy and cold. about 37-40 degrees. bring warm clothes during this time of year

hiking
8 months ago

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.

Great trail! We did the loop trail... we went out through the sheds (spooky! Take a light) and looped back (steep uphill made us break a sweat) and returned on top of some of the snow sheds. A bit sketchy but great views and very interesting!

Beautiful hike! Shade for warm days and great access to lakes to swim. Easy access...hardly anyone out there today so we felt like we had the place all to ourselves.

great trail with loads of shade. lovely lakes.

Cool dark graffiti covered tunnels. Great views of Donner lake. Many side-adventures for brush crashing and rock scrambling.

walking
8 months ago

Awesome for kids.

hiking
9 months ago

Didn't expect 1.5 miles in old RR tunnel. Bring phone or flashlight. It can be dark (and boring).
If you press on and continue the loop (very steep and long) you will be rewarded with some fantastic panorama views.

Great historical hike and if u have time go to end and follow trail trail back on top of tunnels. Some places difficult to continue but doable. Boulders and scrabble and if u are going back on top go left before u drop down to mt Judah trail. This will bring u on top of ridge and back to last tunnel.
A Light is helpful in tunnels.

Walking, hiking, geocaching, and beautiful views!!! One of my favorite walks ❤️❤️

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