“A multi-use trail along Serena Creek gorge in Royal Gorge area of Donner Summit.”
— George Lamson
Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
A valid trail pass is required from the Royal Gorge ski resort for winter skiing.
This multi-use trail is a ski trail in the winter and a popular hiking trail in the summer. It winds south along the Serena Creek gorge south of the Serene Lakes community in the lodgepole/fir forest of the Royal Gorge open space area on Donner Summit. The trail is part of a network of trails that provide access to the open space area (see map for connecting trails).
The start of the trail connects to the Reindeer Trail
and it is the primary trail accessing the Point Mariah Trail
via the marked Whitney Bowl Trail (see map). It can be traversed in both directions and is open to hiking, running, and mountain biking in the summer and skiing in the winter. The trail is clearly marked by ski trail signs and rises and falls in elevation as it traverses along the gorge. During the snowy months, it is usually groomed for both Nordic and skate skiing by the Royal Gorge ski resort.
The nearest trailhead parking is at the Hoelter Hall Trailhead (no services) at the southern end of the Serene Lakes community.
Flora & Fauna
The trail cuts through a Lodgepole/Fir forest and during the summer is populated by a large collection of Sierra wildflowers. The forest is the home to deer, ground squirrels, bobcat, martens and the occasional mountain lion. Bears particularly like this trail because of the wild berry bushes that line the trail. Rattlesnakes have been sighted on this trail.