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Published on June 20, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

Information provided by

Tahoe Donner

Will the Nature Loop Trail (both North and South) be open this summer?

The Nature Loop North (0.8 miles) will remain open this summer and connects Northwoods Clubhouse to Trout Creek Recreation Center. The Nature Loop South will remain closed for the entire season, under major construction to replace the broken boardwalk and bridge. PLEASE STAY OFF!

Are beaver ponds visible from any trails?
Recent heavy storms have flushed the beavers to other locations along our creeks. As they return, beaver ponds can be seen along the Nature Loop North and the Alder Creek Trail at Fjord Street. Please remember that the Nature Loop South is closed during the 2018 season.

How do I get to the Euer Valley Loop, and where do I park?
The Euer Valley Loop can be started at Alder Creek Adventure Center. Be sure to park in the parking lot and not at the end of Alder Creek Road. There are many trails leading down to Euer Valley and several unique loops can be created.

What trails are recommended for mountain bikers?
Advanced riders – Take Cinnamon Twist into Euer Valley. Connect a loop via East and West Mustang Sally over Crabtree Ridge and return along the Sidewinder Trail. Climb out of the valley on Cinnamon Twist or S. Euer Valley Road. Another option is climbing Sundance to Hastings cutoff to Andromeda, all double track. Connect to Hawks Peak trail, finishing off the climb with 360 degree views of Euer Valley, Truckee and more. From the top drop down onto to Upper Mother lode, with techincal and exposed corners this is an adanvanced decent. Bear left at the first junction, cross Everest and continue the descent onto Middle Mother lode, a flowy trail littered with features. Finish on lower Mother Lode and connect to either Hidden Gem or Fools Gold completing the full descent into the Euer Valley.

Moderate riders – Ride down Cinnamon Twist and turn west on S. Euer Valley Road. Cross at Coyote Crossing and take Sidewinder back to the eastern side of Euer Valley. Climb out of the valley on Cinnamon Twist or Euer Valley Rd.

Beginner riders – Keep in mind that you will have to ride your bike uphill to return out of the valley. Take Alder Creek Road down into Euer Valley. Ride around on various dirt roads to make your own loops.

How can hikers descend into Euer Valley?
Many single-track and double-track trails descend into Euer Valley. If traveling in groups larger than 2-3, consider using the dirt roads such as S. Euer Valley Road, N. Euer Valley Road, Broken Spoke and Crabtree Road. Be wary of mountain bikers when traveling on single-track trails surrounding the Euer Valley. They are quite popular.

Are equestrian riders allowed on single-track trails?
At this point, equestrian riders are allowed on all trails at Tahoe Donner. However, single-track trails are preferred by mountain bikers, whose speed can spook horses. To separate these two user groups, designated equestrian preferred trails are not recommended for mountain bikers. Please remember to communicate with other trail users about the best way to pass each other on all trails.

How can I access the East Perimeter Trail and where should I start if I want to hike the whole thing?
The East Perimeter Trail is 7.7 miles long, making it accessible from a number of different neighborhoods and trailheads. Check the map for access points closest to your desired start. If you wanted to hike the whole thing, you may need to set up a car shuttle – or hike 15.4 miles! To do this, park a car at Alder Creek Adventure Center and head north along Alder Creek Trail or Pony Express. The start of the East Perimeter Trail is located at the yellow gate found at the end of Alder Creek Road. DO NOT PARK HERE. Follow the trail to the terminus at Northwoods Clubhouse. 

What trails are recommended for a short, family-friendly hike that’s good for young children?
Park in the McGlashan Road cul-de-sac and walk out along McGlashan Road. This out-and-back trail intersects the future Donner Lake Rim Trail. (1.2 miles round-trip)

Park at Alder Creek Adventure Center and walk along the creek toward Tahoe Donner Campground. (3 miles round-trip)

Park at Alder Creek Adventure Center and choose any of the dirt double-track roads around the home range to create a variety of loops. (mileage varies)

Park at Alder Creek Adventure Center and walk out toward the Euer Valley along Pony Express toward the Moondance Hut. Stroll around Lion’s Leap. (1.5 miles round-trip)

Park at Glacier Way Trailhead and walk to the scenic overlook picnic table for epic views of Donner Lake. (1.6 miles round-trip)

Park at Northwoods Clubhouse and take the Nature Loop North to Trout Creek Recreation Center. (2.6 miles round-trip)

What trails are recommended for beautiful view destination points?
Glacier Way – Take the trail to the overlook point above Donner Lake. Continue up the Donner Lake Rim Trail to access the Drifter Hut vantage point. (length?)

Hawk’s Peak – Tahoe Donner’s highest point has 360-degree views. (length?)

Mustang Sally – The peak of both the West and East Mustang Sally Trails can be found on United States Forest Service (USFS) property, connecting the two. The peak has erratic boulders with views of Hawk’s Peak and Euer Valley. (length?)

Where are the best places to park when using trails? 
The best place to park for trails is in Tahoe Donner’s designated parking lots and trailhead parking areas. Do not park along side streets or in front of locked gates, dog waste stations or private property. The following parking places are suggested:
Alder Creek Adventure Center
Northwoods Clubhouse
Trout Creek Recreation Center
Glacier Way Trailhead
Teton Way Trailhead
Downhill Ski Resort

Are dogs allowed on Tahoe Donner trails?
Dogs are welcome on all Tahoe Donner trails. Leashes are required on all paved trails and trails located around public amenities, homes and city streets. When off-leash, your dog must be under voice command. Refer to the “Dog Etiquette” section on Tahoe Donner’s Trail Map for rules and regulations. Popular trails for dogs include:
Glacier Way Trails
Double-track trails heading to Euer Valley
McGlashan Road area
Overland Emigrant Trail along Alder Creek
All double-track trails surrounding Alder Creek Adventure Center

What trails are most popular for wildlife sightings?
Wildlife sightings are random and unpredictable. Most encounters happen in Euer Valley and Crabtree Canyon.

How do the trails get their names? 
Many of the trails started as cross country ski trails in the winter, with loops developed for ease of navigation and themes created for various zones. Tahoe Donner has continued this tradition, considering the trail user type or difficulty of terrain when naming new trails. Popular theme zones are Western (Mustang Sally, Fool’s Gold, Mother Lode, etc.), equestrian (Giddyup, Rawhide, etc.) and dog-centric (Dogs in Space, Dogonit, etc.).

What’s the best trail to take to get to Crabtree Canyon? 
Hiking – Take Pony Express to Euer Valley Road, cross Prosser Creek and turn left on Crabtree Road.

Biking – Take Alder Creek Trail to Cinnamon Twist, cross Prosser Creek and head up East Mustang Sally. From the USFS property, connect to Crabtree Canyon Road for a steep descent through the canyon. Alternatively, you can look into Crabtree Canyon from the peak and then drop back into Euer Valley via West Mustang Sally. (This is a difficult black diamond ride.)

What trails are recommended for seeing the changing colors of the leaves?
The Aspen Trail is very short and easily accessed from Alder Creek Adventure Center
Euer Valley is beautiful year-round
Alder Creek Trail has deciduous trees that exhibit fall colors
Overland Emigrant Trail leading to Stampede Reservoir has stunning vistas

What trails are the best for families, groups and people with baby strollers?
Double-track trails or dirt roads are the best, specifically those labeled as green (easiest). It’s best if large groups and slow-moving strollers stay off single-track trails, as they are frequented by fast-moving mountain bikers and joggers. Double-track trails and dirt roads also allow for large groups to spread out and chat without walking single-file. Favorites include:

Glacier Way Trailhead – Walk out to the overlook on this relatively flat road. (1.6 miles round-trip)

McGlashan Road – Walk amongst old-growth trees and glacial boulders. (1.2 miles round-trip)

Teton Way Trailhead – This gradual climb winds its way to the Glacier Trailhead. (4.4 miles round-trip)

Alder Creek Adventure Center – There are endless short loops made possible by the winter cross country trails behind the center. Many choose to head out on Pony Express to the Moondance Hut or meander up to the Sundance Hut via multiple different trails. Each of these options is around 2 miles or less.

What bike riding trails are suitable for the whole family to go on, including little ones?
The same trails listed above are suggested for family rides or young riders. Avoid fast-moving single-track trails unless riders are fairly competent.