Donner Summit Trail

Location: Truckee, CA (Part of the Pacific Crest Trail!)

Distance: 4 miles

Type: Day-hike; Out-and-Back

Rating: Easy-Moderate

Permits & Fees: There is no fee for parking and no permit required for this hike.

Parking: Parking is located off of Old Donner Summit Road. Driving directions can be found here.

Preparation: Sunscreen and water are a must; most of the trail is exposed.

Dog Friendly? Yes.

The Hike:

Please refer to the information on the Mt. Judah post. The first portion of this hike follows along the same trail.

After parking off of Old Donner Summit Road or in the small lot, walk towards a small sign that reads “PCT”. This sign points to the official start of the trailhead, marked by this sign:

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Continue on the trail for a little over a mile. Note that this portion of the hike is made up of steep and rocky switchbacks.

The first fork in the trail is marked by this sign:

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Take a left at the sign, and continue on the trail. There are a few points that appear to be additional forks in the trail, but remain to the right at each one. The next official fork is marked by another sign that reads “Mt. Judah Loop Trail” with an arrow pointing to the right. Stay to the left and begin the climb towards the peak of Donner Summit. Note that it is the closest peak to the left. Once at the top, these views will come into sight (watch out for overly friendly critters):

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Mt. Judah can be seen from Donner Summit:


Take the same trail back towards the trailhead, or continue on the Mt. Judah Loop Trail to access Mt. Judah and extend the hike by an additional 2 miles.