Short Hike at Donner Lake

3.5 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by The Outbound Collective

Distance: 3.5 miles. Easy, flat trail. Scenic Donner Lake. Historic landmark.

This is a super relaxed hike in an area with a ton of history. Stop by the museum before or after your hike to learn about the Donner Party, the Transcontinental Railroad, and local Native Americans

Park at the Donner Lake and Memorial State Park Visitor Center and walk west towards the lake. Cross the bridge and follow Donner Creek towards the lake, then head left for what would be a counter clockwise route around the lake. After about a mile along the shore, look for and follow the trail heading left into the woods. This will lead you through a calm forest all the way back to the parking lot.

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Okay. Wish We Had Bikes

I'm not sure I liked this as a walk. It went along some day-use area of the creek offshoot from the lake where there were crowds of people swimming. I guess I just didn't enjoy the scenery as much. If we had bikes, it may have been a fun and quick trip.

Great For Trail Run

Ran this trail a lot in college. It was my go to spot. Unless it was the summer weekend, too crowded.

🥈 Contributor

over 4 years ago

Great beginner snowshoe

My family went out here for our first snowshoe ever! It was great. No elevation gain, relatively flat, perfect for beginners. We brought the dogs along after getting the OK from the rangers. Seem to be more relaxed about dogs in the winter time! Highly recommend for a nice winter afternoon.

Gorgeous and low key

One of my favorite little hikes in the Tahoe area. It was the best low key loop to do while I was pregnant. Beautiful, scenic and easy.

Gorgeous snowy hike along Donner Lake. Low-key for a great photo walk.

Stay Nearby

Truckee, California

Mountain Home With Deck & Stunning Views

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Family reunions and group getaways will love this contemporary 4BR/3BA moun...

From $316/night

Truckee, California

Skislope Truckee Vacation Cabin

This warm cabin will make you feel at home, the moment you step inside, with an open concept living area a beautiful deck, and back yard, for those summer nights under the stars, this vacation Cabi...

From $1,099/night

Truckee, California

New Listing! Elegant Home, Tahoe Donner Amenities

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. Bookings at this home include a 24-hr buffer between guest stays. •Located j...

From $233/night

Truckee, California

Beloved Tahoe Donner Ski Chalet W/ Private Hot Tub

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Nestled in the pines, this 3BR/2BA (plus loft) home is a consistent favorit...

From $209/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Ski and Snowboard Northstar

    Northstar California, previously known as Northstar-at-Tahoe, is located near the north shore of Lake Tahoe and is home to over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain. The resort is known for its laid back atmosphere coupled with high-end luxury accommoda...

  • Catch a Sunset at Donner Lake

    In the northwest corner of Donner Lake, there are public docks run by the Truckee Donner Recreation & Parks district. It's free to lay out your towels and hang out, but there is a fee for launching boats on the ramp. Come over in the late afte...

  • Cross-Country Ski to Drifter Hut

    Set out from the Tahoe Donner Cross Country center in Truckee at 6,650 feet elevation. Day passes range from $12 to $34, depending on time of day and skier age, and provide access to over 100 kilometers of groomed trails. Leaving the day lodge, th...

    9.6 miles 980 ft gain

  • Mt. Judah Loop Trail

    A wonderful hike in Lake Tahoe is the Mt. Judah Loop Trail that offers sweeping views of Donner Lake and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains on the North Shore. As a resident on the North Shore, many of my recreational activities favor this ...

    5.5 miles 1700 ft gain