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Mt Judah & Donner Peak, Tahoe National Forest

Scale two great Northern Sierra peaks in just one short day-hike.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 5.5 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview:  Stunning views await you on this hiking trail and snowshoe route in the Northern Sierras, which takes in two separate peaks in just... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

It's just four miles from the Soda Springs exit of Interstate 80 to the head of our trail.

Drive past Sugar Bowl ski resort (past both an initial parking lot and main entrance) and turn right at the next cluster of buildings just up the road. An old road behind the buildings leads to the trailhead, and Pacific Crest Trail signs should reassure ... More

2. [JCT] Sugar Bowl

Leave the Pacific Coast Trail at this point, heading upward onto the Mt. Judah Loop Trail.

If you're taking the full 5½ mile loop trail then this is the point to which you'll be returning to and closing the loop. Since snow cover can make wayfinding difficult, you may want to take note of this place to help you make your way back here.

3. [JCT] Donner Peak Trail

Located at the saddle of the two mountains, bear North East to check out the views from Donner Peak before returning and heading up Mount Judah.

Mount Judah is the peak on which sits a reflective panel structure (answers on a postcard please to Trailspotting HQ explaining to us what this is for).

4. Donner Peak

From Donner Peak enjoy the magnificent views over Donner Lake and Tahoe National Forest.

If you're hiking earlier in the season, it might be around this point in the hike that you'd like to decide whether to continue with the loop trail or double-back depending on the snow conditions and the equipment you've brought with you.

If snow is making... More

5. Mount Judah (8,234ft)

From the top of the North face of Mt Judah the ridgeline guides you to the highest point of the mountain (8,243ft).

If this area is in deep snow and you are not familiar with conditions like this, we recommend returning the way you came. Should you decide to proceed, then be careful of cornices where snow has been blown into shapes that overhang... More

6. [JCT] Pacific Coast Trail

Take a right turn at this junction and head along the Pacific Coast Trail in the direction of the trailhead. Follow a route which heads through the trees, parallel with Mount Judah, before slowly descending and tracing a route around and then through the trees.