The Donner Creek Trail follows along a creek, crosses several small waterfalls, and offers glorious mountain views.

The Donner Creek Loop Trail is a moderate, 5.2 mile loop hike. Just outside of Clayton, California, this hike is perfect for Bay Area residents. The trail is open year-round, and the waterfalls are particularly impressive in the winter. 

This trail is open to horses but not dogs. 

Trail directions: Follow Donner Canyon Road from the parking area until you reach Hetherington Loop. After about 1.8 miles, turn left at the Cardinet Oaks Road, and follow this road across Donner Creek and up a steep section to a junction with the Falls Trail on the right. This trail leads down to the falls on Donner Creek and continues on to the Middle Trail, which then loops back down to the Donner Canyon Rd.

Photos: Tom Hilton and Stephanie Falzone

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sun protection
  • Trail map
  • Sturdy walking shoes or trail runner
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RT Distance 5.2 Miles
Elevation Gain 1322 Feet
Activities Chillin, Camping, Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Groups
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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