Mt. Judah Loop
ElevationAscent: 1,228' 374 m
Descent: -1,227' -374 m
High: 8,216' 2,504 m
Low: 7,077' 2,157 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)
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“A beautiful day-hike that visits both Donner Peak and Mt. Judah.”— Eric Ashley
Ahead, the trail enters the bottom reaches of a mature stand of trees that open onto a cleared ski-run. Take the trail to the left at the fork to follow the easy grade of the Mt. Judah Loop Trail as it heads toward Donner Peak.
In about three-quarters of a mile the gradual climb pulls up to the intersection with the Donner Peak Spur — it's a short detour and worth a bit of a scrambling and extra distance to checkout the vantage point.
From there, follow an an old jeep track that leads through a wet area that produces excellent wildflowers in the spring and early summer. Keep heading toward the saddle and then climb up the northeast face of Mt. Judah.
On the way up, enjoy the striking views of Mt. Rose, Truckee, Donner Lake, and Coldstream Canyon. The trail makes its way along the crest of Mt. Judah, providing even better views of the surrounding peaks. Past the crest, the descent gently connects back with the Pacific Crest Trail just past Roller Pass. Turn right onto the PCT to make your way back to the trailhead.
Alternatively, for those looking for a longer route, an additional 12.2 miles can be added by following the PCT: Echo Lake to Highway 80 (Donner Summit) to the south until it connects with the Granite Chief Trail which will continue down to Squaw Valley. This route makes for a 15.7 miles point-to-point hike that is recommended as a shuttle.
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Land Manager: USFS - Tahoe National Forest Office