Saturday hikes will be on Saturday, September 15th, and will begin and end at Sugar Bowl Ski area located on Highway 40 on Donner Summit. Choose one of the seven hikes listed below. Guides lead groups of approximately 15–20 people to interpretive spots giving detailed historical information focused on emigrant and area history.

Donner Party Hike

Retracing the steps of the Donner Party

In the afternoon enjoy music by Richard Blair, a hamburger lunch and a presentation on the history of Donner Summit from local historians.


Registrations will be opening soon so make sure to check back.

Meet at Sugar Bowl Ski Area Mt Judah lodge on Highway 40 (Soda Springs exit off I-80.) Times are listed below.

Groups of hikers will depart once an adequate number has gathered. Note, departure times are estimates and reflect the range of departure times. Your return time will vary based on departure and hike choice. Put on your hiking shoes, choose a hike and explore Truckee’s history.

Moderate, 2.5 miles round trip

New for 2018, this hike will take guests on a circumnavigation of historic Donner Pass, often called the most historic spot in California. 

Talks will include Donner Pass and its importance as a passage through the Sierras from prehistoric times to the present and area history.

Meet up 8:00 – 8:30 am.


Moderate, 4.5 miles round trip

This hike will take guests up to Donner Peak and experience Coldstream Pass. This hike should not be confused with the old Coldstream hike offered in years prior. 

Talks will include Coldstream Pass, Pacific Crest Trail and area history.

Meet up 8:00 – 8:30 am.


Moderate, 4- 6 miles round trip              
Explore the railroad snowsheds. Find out about tunnel 6 and the amazing men that laid the tracks. Pass by the china wall and learn about the engineering feat.

Meet @ 8:00 – 8:30 am.



Moderate, 4 miles
Hikers skirt by Lake Van Norden with stops to see rock with mortars and other remnants of emigrants passing thru.

Meet up 8:00 – 8:30 am.


Moderate and about 3.5 miles in length
Explore Dutch Flat Donner Lake Wagon Road and the Lincoln Highway. Pass petroglyphs, roadside billboards and the China Wall. Find out where and why these roads were built.This hike is one way. Hikers will be bused back to Sugar Bowl Mt. Judah lodge.

Meet @ 8:00 – 8:30 am.


Moderate/Strenuous, 6.0 miles round trip
Hike elevation: Start is 7100 feet; Mt. Judah 8200 feet
Hike up the Pacific Crest Trail to see views of Donner Pass, Coldstream Pass and Roller Pass where emigrants were forced to winch their wagons up a 35-degree granite slope. Continue up to the top of Mt. Judah and on to Donner Peak before descending back to Mt. Judah lodge.

Meet @ 7:30 – 8:00 am.


Moderate/Strenuous, 6 miles round trip              
Enjoy incredible vistas seen by emigrants as they passed through the High Sierra years ago. Discover hidden alpine lakes while exploring Donner Summit.

Meet @ 7:30 – 8:00 am.