Built in 1924 as a winter retreat for lovers of the Sierra Nevada, Hutchinson Lodge, originally named the Sierra Ski Club, is a rustic, un-staffed lodge situated in the woods next door to Clair Tappaan Lodge. It is enjoyed year-round by a variety of groups. Guests bring their own bedding, towels, toiletries, and food. The lodge has a fully equipped kitchen, two sleeping lofts with sleeping pads, showers, toilets, and a sauna. Two efficient wood burning stoves provide heat. Max capacity is about 25.
Dozens of winter activities are available on Donner Summit. Groomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trails start right out the front door. Several downhill skiing areas are in the immediate area with weekend shuttle service. Spring, summer, and fall activities include hiking, swimming in mountain lakes, biking on road and off road, and rock climbing. The Pacific Crest Trail is nearby and Lake Tahoe is just 25 miles away.
The nightly rate for Hutchinson Lodge is $30 per person with a minimum of $300 plus tax. A $300 security deposit is required upon check-in to cover any damage and cleanup not done by the departing party. Snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals are available next door at Clair Tappaan Lodge.
Reservation requests for the winter season are accepted via mail or email prior to November 1st, whereupon all requests on file are processed in lottery fashion, with Sierra Club groups and work party participants given priority. All requests must include check-in date, number of nights, number of anticipated guests, and contact info.
Hutchinson Lodge is 2.3 miles east of Interstate 80 (exit 174) on Donner Pass Road, just west of Clair Tappaan Lodge. When there is no snow, Hutchinson is accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicle; otherwise guests must walk about 100 yards uphill from the parking lot.