Clair Tappaan Lodge is a historic, rustic mountain hostel nestled in the woods near Lake Tahoe, California. With accommodations for up to 80 guests, our lodge is the perfect home base for year-round recreation and relaxation in the Sierra Nevada. The friendly, casual atmosphere, proximity to endless outdoor recreation opportunities, and affordable nightly rates make Clair Tappaan the perfect rustic getaway to the Truckee-Tahoe area.

Clair Tappaan Lodge was built by a dedicated group of Sierra Club volunteers in the early 1930s. Today, guests continue the tradition of adventure and exploration on Donner Pass, much like the pioneers before them. With such a rich history and a wide-variety of programs, the Lodge has played an important role in introducing people to the outdoors and providing a safe and friendly environment in which to do so.

Situated at an elevation of 7,000 feet on historic Donner Summit, the Lodge is a charming spot from which to explore the riches of the Sierra Nevada. The area receives the highest average snowfall of the entire Sierra Nevada range, making the Lodge a favorite amongst cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Several downhill skiing areas are in the immediate area. When the snow melts in the spring, a whole new world of adventure and exploration is unveiled. A network of nearby trails offers miles of hiking and provides access to fishing streams, remote meadows and peaks, and crystal clear lakes. The well-known Pacific Crest Trail is only a mile away and can be reached right out the back door of the lodge. The Donner Summit area is great for both road and mountain biking and is also widely known as a rock climbers’ mecca.

For those who are really adventurous, the Lodge is a great starting point for a multi-day trek to one of the four Backcountry Huts in the region. If you want to explore the mountains in the winter but don’t want to dig a snow cave or carry a tent, our backcountry huts may be perfect for you. 


Our Lodge was built by hearty Sierra Club volunteers in 1934.  The volunteer spirit continues to run deep at Clair Tappaan.  During our scheduled Volunteer Work Weekends, volunteers can stay for free.

Is the volunteer spirit strong within you? Join the Clair Tappaan Lodge Support Team, a group of volunteers charged with planning and implementing programs and work parties, publicizing the lodge and its activities, recruiting additional volunteers, and setting policy goals for the Lodge.