Donner Lake Rim Trail: Johnson Canyon to Trout Creek


Route Type


Added by Sonya L

Hike or bike with Donner Lake and valley views. This trail is an out-and-back, but can be shortened to as far as you'd like to go.

A perfect Sunday hike on your way back from a weekend at Lake Tahoe. Exit I-80 at Donner Lake and take the dirt road on the north side of I-80 to a large parking lot. A mild climb followed by a set of tougher switchbacks leads you to great views from Donner Ridge.

Although adventuring out on the Donner Rim trail is easiest during the spring, summer, and fall, with the right equipment, it can also be a blast during the winter. Pack your snowshoes and head out on this trail for an entirely different perspective of Donner Lake! If you go in winter, please remember to check current conditions and bring appropriate additional avalanche gear if needed (shovel, beacon, probe) and have familiarity using it. 

Additional Acces Points:

  • Castle Peak Trailhead
  • Glacier Way Trailhead
  • Trout Creek Trailhead
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Mountain Biking



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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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