Hike Castle Peak at Donner Lake off Hwy 80, (3.0 hr from WC)

 DIRECTIONS & WHERE TO MEET:

To the Castle Peak hike staging area: Take the Boreal/Castle Peak exit from I-80 at Donner Summit. Go east along the frontage road on the north side of the freeway. Park where the pavement ends. We will meet at the trail staging area which is located where the paved road ends.

 

NOTE: This hike as well as Sunday's hike is considered very difficult due to the steepness, rugged terrian and elevation with elevation gains.  You must be able to keep up with the group.  You MUST bring plenty of water, snacks and your own first aid supplies.

With its three turrets reaching above the landscape, Castle Peak (elevation 9,103) is one of the icons of Donner Summit.

Visible and easily accessible from nearby Interstate 80, the Castle Peak area offers miles of hiking and biking trails and back country skiing opportunities. The area is accessible via the north side of Interstate 80 at the Castle Peak exit along a rugged dirt road that also provides access to Andesite Peak and the popular mountain bike trail, Hole-in-the-Ground. Trails are often under snow until the beginning of July. Once exposed, the trails cross over slabs of glaciated granite and pass wildflower lined streams. Multiple trails offer hikes for all skill levels.

To summit Castle Peak, take the Boreal/Castle Peak exit from I-80 at Donner Summit. Go east along the frontage road on the north side of the freeway. Park where the pavement ends. From the pavement end, follow the dirt road about ¼ mile to the south end of Castle Valley. Bear left and up, keeping Castle Valley on your right. At about a mile from the end of pavement the road forks; take the left, upward branch. About ½ mile further, you will see signs for the Hole-in-the-Ground (mountain biking) Trail on the left. The road ends at the base of Castle Pass. Climb 200 vertical feet to Castle Pass, where the trail on your right makes an obvious ascent to the top of the peak. From here there are two options: Head east to the final leg of the Castle Peak hike which, while not technical, is quite steep with loose volcanic rubble. Hikers who summit Castle Peak are rewarded with panoramic views that include most of the Lake Tahoe peaks, Donner Lake, Sierra Buttes, and (on a clear day) Mount Lassen.

Vertical Gain or Loss: 1,303 to summit Castle Peak

Trail Distance: 3 miles one way to Castle Peak from Castle Peak trailhead parking area;  

Join or login to comment.

  • Jujubees

    If you are interested in doing more Sierra hiking, you should check out the meet-up groups in the Lake Tahoe area....they have some great hikes and paddle (kayaking) trips planned for the summer..... I signed up to get updates on Tahoe hikes...to add to our calendar.

    May 28, 2013

    • frank

      thanks for the info. i already signed up for the loch one:-) thanks for organizing it again.

      May 29, 2013

    • Steve

      Judy, Thanks for this and everything else you do. I usually do several trips into the Sierras each summer. I will join the group on as many as I can but there are also places I want to see and photograph in the High Country so I will not be able to make all the hikes.

      May 30, 2013

  • frank

    judy, these are beautiful pictures. all these wild flowers and scenries just ask for more hiking in tahoe region. let's do more of these hikes in tahoe while these flowers are still alive.

    2 · May 28, 2013

    • Jujubees

      Thank you Frank...yes the flowers are just blooming and are gorgeous...we saw lots more of your phlox on Sunday. Skip is picking your glasses up from Connie and bringing them to the Thursday Rim hike.. I will keep them in my car for the next time we see you....

      May 28, 2013

    • frank

      thank you judy. would you please keep them in your car and i will get it on one of these hikes. i am not sure i can make the one on thursday.

      May 29, 2013

  • Steve

    Wierd, I uploaded my Photos but Now I cannot see the ones that were uploaded before me by others???

    May 27, 2013

    • Jujubees

      there are two albums for the hike....mine with Connie's photos and yours and Kathy's.

      May 27, 2013

    • Steve

      Duh! Thanks

      1 · May 28, 2013

  • Steve

    Fantastic Outing! Thanks to You All, especially Terri

    May 27, 2013

  • frank

    Thank you all.
    Judy, no worries just please bring it to next hike. Sorry about the inconvenience.

    May 26, 2013

    • Jujubees

      not an inconvenience at all. I will keep them in my car for when I see you next.

      May 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Frank, Connie had them and was going to give them to Judy to bring to you.

    May 26, 2013

  • frank

    Just wondering if anybody find a pair of sunglasses last night. If you did please let me know. Thanks

    May 26, 2013

    • Jujubees

      Yes we did...Terri is getting them to me through Connie and will keep them in my car until the next hike or when you want to get them

      May 26, 2013

  • frank

    It was great group of people to hike with. thanks for the great day.

    May 26, 2013

  • frank

    Judy, Thank you for organizing this great hike. It just beautiful.

    1 · May 26, 2013

  • Jim

    Great group today all day! Beautiful weather, hiking, food after, friendly people & very good social.

    1 · May 25, 2013

  • Stephanie

    Carpool?? I would like to carpool with someone.... I can meet up anywhere. Please let me know if anyone is interested.

    Steph

    May 20, 2013

    • Jujubees

      Stephanie..MJ is interested in car pooling for the day. She isnt signed up yet. I will let her know that you want to car pool.

      May 21, 2013

    • Stephanie

      I am going to carpool with Nadesdye. Let me know where MJ lives... We can try and coordinate something. Thanks!

      May 22, 2013

  • Steve

    Are some of you camping out overnight and doing both hikes?

    April 26, 2013

13 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create your own Meetup Group

Get started Learn more
Allison

Meetup has allowed me to meet people I wouldn't have met naturally - they're totally different than me.

Allison, started Women's Adventure Travel

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy