Lake Tahoe, CA

Donner Lake Loop

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An easy-to-follow 7-mile loop around Donner Lake, which is at the northern end of Lake Tahoe, near Truckee. The loop comprises South Shore Rd. on the southern part of the lake, and Donner Pass Rd. on the northern shore. You’ll be running on the road for the whole loop. It is rolling hills, especially on the backside of the lake.

Two good places to start are Donner Memorial State Park, which is 3 miles west of Truckee (where S. Shore Rd. meets Donner Pass Rd.), or West End Beach. The better lake views and bike lane are on Donner Pass Rd.. South Shore Rd. is the quieter section, but has no shoulder and there only spotty lake views, as there are homes on the lake along most of the road. The full loop is exactly 7 miles. If you only want to do a section, we recommend Donner Pass Rd.

Add-Ons: Dirt trails in Donner Memorial State Park. Can also run up Donner Pass Rd. toward the Donner Summit, but it is very challenging and can have a lot of traffic during the summer months.

Essentials
  • 7 mile loop. If a shorter section is preferred, we recommend Donner Pass Rd.
  • 346 feet
  • Donner Memorial State Park or West End Beach
  • Parking in either area