California 89 Hike of the Week - Donner Summit Canyon

California 89 Hike of the Week - Donner Summit Canyon

By: Bella Gotts Comments: 1

Donner Summit Canyon is a low-moderately trafficked loop trail located near Truckee and Donner Lake. It features beautiful wild flowers, lush forest, tons of streams, waterfalls, meadows, bridges, and stunning views of Donner Lake and of the Old 40 summit. The dirt path is perfect for trail running, a hike with the dogs, or a way to escape the more commonly known and heavily populated trails in Truckee.

Odds are, you probably haven’t been on this trail yet! It was truly put to the test since we went on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, when it would likely have more people. We were shocked at how peaceful and empty it was!

Take Donner Pass Road past Donner Lake and head up old 40 for about .5 mile until you see signs on the left.

Donner Summit Canyon

Check out the AllTrails Map! We HIGHLY recommend using the AllTrails app with the map, or at least taking a photo of the map at the trail head. It can be easy to get lost and there are many ways to get up/down.

The signage throughout the hike was very easy to follow. Here is the first trailhead sign/terrain – you can’t miss it! 

The first sign you'll see, and gate to go through...

Donner Summit Canyon

Follow the sign below and go right at the split to the bridge...

Donner Summit Canyon

Donner Summit Canyon

Follow the signs through the meadow and to the second bridge.


You can snap incredible photos anywhere along this trail next to the waterfalls and streams.

Donner Summit Canyon

Donner Summit Canyon

Comments (1)

Posted on 2019-08-16 16:16:14
Love it!! I just discovered and did the Donner Summit Trails (by Boreal/ Woodward) Beautiful stunning views of meadows, mountains, streams and the lake at the top. My kids were riding Woodward, and mama got her hike in.. #winwin. Keep up the great posts, thank you!
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