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.

Photo: Daniel Hoherd, Javier Velazquez-Muriel, melfoody

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Water
  • Layers
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RT Distance 3.5 Miles
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake

Reviews

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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.

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.


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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