Donner Lake Rim Trail

Donner Lake Rim Trail

The Donner Lake Rim Trail trail is being built by the Truckee Donner Land Trust with volunteer labor. When complete, it will make a 23-mile loop through the high country surrounding Donner Lake. 

Currently 15 miles are complete, with nine of them open to bicycle use. Bikes are not allowed on the six-mile segment shared with the Pacific Crest Trail, making this section particularly attractive to DogTrekkers.

Often overlooked because of its proximity to Interstate 80 is Johnson Canyon, which surprises with its shady spots, aspen groves and wildlife. 

Johnson Canyon is located off the Donner Lake Interchange. The trail begins on Wendin Way, just behind a gate about 100 feet behind the Donner Lake Rim Trail signboard. Turn left on the trail and begin a gentle climb for about 1.5 miles, to the junction with the actual Donner Lake Rim Trail. A right turn here will take you up a series of switchbacks to Donner Ridge, offering spectacular views as the reward for a very stiff climb. A left turn will take you through often open country with great views, and on to Summit Lake (about 3.5 miles further.)

There is no water here, so be sure to bring your own. And as always, please pick up after your dog.

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