Spring, Summer & Fall

long lakeAs the seasons change, Clair Tappaan Lodge offers a variety of exciting opportunities for outdoor fun. Discover wildlife and wildflowers on our Nature Trail in the spring. Play volleyball, practice yoga, or roast s’mores in the summer and fall. Build a snow cave or explore the region by snowshoe or skis in the winter.

  • CTL Nature Trail – Learn while you explore on our 1.5 mile self-guided nature trail loop. Come by our front office for a guide.
  • Day Hikes – Hiking is probably the single coolest activity there is on Donner Pass. Dozens of world-class trails originate at or near the Lodge, including the world famous Pacific Crest Trail.
  • Backpacking – Hundreds of miles of breathtaking trails pass right through our area, providing endless options for first-time backpackers and expert trekkers alike.
  • Rock Climbing – Donner Summit is home to world-class climbing. Traditional, sport-climbing, and bouldering opportunities surround us in all directions and can be easily reached by foot or by car.
  • Mountain Biking – Beginners enjoy tours around Donner Lake and Truckee, while more advanced riders challenge themselves on trails like Hole in the Ground and Negro Canyon.  Check out the Lake Tahoe Bike Map.
  • Cycling – You can’t beat the road biking in the Truckee-Tahoe area. No tour of the area is complete without a climb to the top of Donner Pass for sweeping views of Donner Lake and the Sierra Crest.
  • Kayaking – Rent a kayak and enjoy lunch on Donner Lake or drive to some of the more remote, alpine lakes in the area and have it all to yourself.
  • Whitewater Rafting – Take a guided tour down the Truckee or American River, led by outfitters like Tahoe Whitewater Tours, IRIE Rafting Company, and Tributary Whitewater Tours.
  • Swimming – There’s nothing more exhilarating than taking a dip in an alpine lake or river in the High Sierra. Dozens of swimming holes surround our Lodge, including Flora Lake and Long Lake.
  • Fishing – Anglers can enjoy a variety of fishing opportunities on the Summit, from fly fishing granite-lined creeks to relaxing on a dock or lake shore. Rainbows, German Browns, Lahontan Cutthroats, and Brook Trout are some of the more common species found in the area.


Grooming the xc trails home Weather in the High Sierra is simply amazing. Spring brings colorful wildflowers and gushing waterfalls, the mid-summer sun warms lakes and rivers, mountains light up with fall colors, and winter storms transform the region into a snowy playground. It’s no wonder outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world choose the Truckee-Tahoe area for their vacation!

  • The Clair Tappaan Winter Trail System – Clair Tappaan Lodge guests as well as the general public can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding on our groomed winter trail system. Trail passes for non-guests are $15 per person, per day.
  • Cross-Country Skiing – Nordic skiers have several options in the area, starting right here at Clair Tappaan Lodge. With 14 km of groomed trails starting from our front yard, an onsite rental shop, and free trail access for guests, our trail system offers a variety of challenges for all abilities. To experience the largest XC trail system in North America, try Royal Gorge XC Ski Resort right down the road.
  • Snowshoeing – Ready, set, snowshoe! There are endless areas to explore on Donner Pass. Discover red fir forests, massive boulder fields, and incredible vistas, all beginning right out our back door.
  • Skiing & Snowboarding – We’re surrounded by ski resorts! Donner Ski Ranch is right next door and offers beginner and intermediate terrain on 505 skiable acres. For those looking for a bigger, more challenging downhill experience, Sugar Bowl is directly across the street and offers 1,650 skiable acres. Boreal Mountain Resort and Soda Springs Resort are also just a few minutes away.
  • Backcountry Skiing – The ski and splitboard touring around Donner Summit is some of the best in the Sierra. Several easy-to-find trailheads access terrain like Castle Peak, Basin Peak, Andesite Peak, Mt. Judah, Donner Peak, Mt. Lincoln, Anderson Peak, and dozens of other “secret zones.”
  • Sledding & Tubing – Kids and parents agree, sliding down a hillside on snow is awesome! Choose from several slopes on our property or drive down the road to Soda Springs Resort, Boreal Mountain Resort, or Donner Ski Ranch for lift-accessed fun.
  • Snow Biking – Jump on a fat bike and try out one of the most popular new winter toys. Available for rent at Royal Gorge XC Ski Resort.
  • Snow Kiting – Skiers and snowboarders alike can harness the power of wind and fly across Van Norden Meadow. Available for rent at Royal Gorge XC Ski Resort.

For more great information about the different activities on Donner Summit, please check out Donner Summit Association’s website .