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Hole in the Ground Loop

  4.0 ( 3 ) Favorite


16.3 mile 26.3 kilometer loop


Ascent: 1,939' 591 m
Descent: -1,942' -592 m
High: 8,051' 2,454 m
Low: 6,459' 1,969 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 24% (14°)


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Trail shared by Jco25 Colby

Amazing views and alpine lakes.

Jco25 Colby

Features Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


The views begin early on and continue throughout this High Sierra classic. The trail varies from smooth dirt among pines to decomposed granite amongst boulders above treeline. There are options to visit beautiful alpine lakes by taking short connector trails.


Hole In The Ground begins at a trailhead approximately 1/4 mile north of the I-80 Boreal Ski Resort exit. There is a large sign and map at the trailhead for your reference. The trail begins climbing switchbacks on smooth dirt through a pine forest. You'll ascend above treeline while traversing Andestite Ridge until coming to a high point with a lookout across Castle Valley to Castle Peak.

The trail then descends among large granite features. At the 5.2 mile point from the trailhead, there is an option to take the end of the Sand Ridge Lake Trail on the left to Sand Ridge Lake, a 1/4 mile connector well worth the view.

After continuing on Hole In The Ground, you'll cross a forest service road and at the 10 mile mark, there is another connector to the right providing access to Lower Lola Montez Lake which is 1/10 of a mile off the trail.

After this, the trail quickly descends on loose, rocky terrain with large step-downs built from railroad ties. At the bottom of this section make a left on a gravel road and follow it for approximately 1 mile to another short section of trail leading to Sheritt lane, a paved road.

In order to return to your starting point, you'll have to travel just under 5 miles on road. Take a right on Sheritt, you'll end up at a fire station where you have the option to park and shuttle or continue to Donner Pass road to return 5 miles to Boreal Ski Resort.

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Jun 25, 2019
Gideon Chadwick

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 3 votes


in Royal Gorge


  4.0 from 3 votes
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77 Views Last Month
3,527 Since Apr 6, 2015



Castle Peak
Aug 27, 2018 near Truckee, CA
Castle Peak from Andesite ridge
Mar 31, 2015 near Truckee, CA
Lower Lola Montez lake
Mar 31, 2015 near Truckee, CA
Perfect path (on Hole In The Ground Trail) that makes you feel like you're in the backcountry
Apr 9, 2015 near Truckee, CA
Castle Peak through the trees on Castle Valley Road.
May 19, 2019 near Truckee, CA
Castle Peak across the open meadows surrounding Castle Valley Road.
May 19, 2019 near Truckee, CA


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