Donner Lake Run

Photo cred: Ming Poon

2021 Winter Update

Now that the snowpack has grown, the Lake Run has been experiencing its first descents of the season. With the usage has come complaints from community members of private property trespassing, trash left behind, and illegal parking. As such, we thought it would be a good idea to remind folks of the following:

In order to ensure the continued support of the Parks Department, it is imperative that the backcountry community acts in good faith to the neighborhood homeowners and follows the following principles when accessing public lands below Donner Summit:

Please see the linked CalTopo Map of the Lake Run for detailed information on entry and exit points, in addition to zones that should be avoided.

Respect the neighborhood homeowners (Figure below shows only legal descent route.)

Legal entry and exit points

Respect your backcountry partners and yourself

-Know the avalanche conditions
-Take an AIARE 1 class
-Bring avalanche rescue tools including beacon, shovel, and probe
-Avoid avalanche terrain during elevated avalanche risk days

Help Preserve Access

In order to ensure the continued support of the Parks Department, it is imperative that the backcountry community acts in good faith to the neighborhood homeowners and follows principles outlined in the recently published Backcountry Tips and Etiquette by TBA. Please be respectful of homeowners, respect private property, and always practice leave no trace ethics. If you encounter any issues, please report them to TBA by clicking this link or emailing info@tahoebackcountryalliance.org.

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Overview

Descending from the historic Donner Summit skyline, the Donner Lake Run is one of the most picturesque backcountry ski descents in Tahoe. Known for its exciting terrain, copious snow, and stunning views of Donner Lake, Truckee, and the Mt. Rose region, the Lake Run has become increasingly popular with backcountry users.

The Issue

During the winter of 2019-2020, the Donner Lake Woods Homeowners Association (HOA) approached the Tahoe Backcountry Alliance (TBA) and Truckee Donner Land Trust (TDLT) about an increase in illegal parking throughout the neighborhood at the west end of Donner Lake. Monitoring the zone, the TBA and TDLT determined that much of the increase in parking citations stemmed from winter backcountry users on the Lake Run.

TBA Proposed Solution

Through a joint collaboration, the HOA, TBA, and TDLT proposed a solution in which the Donner Lake Woods HOA donated a parcel of land to the TBA and TDLT to construct and manage a year-round, public trailhead and parking area. Channeling users through one entry and exit point with public parking, the Lake Run Proposal aims to mitigate illegal parking issues, reduce unintended backcountry user crossings on private land, and create a safe, legal access point to public lands.

The Voice Of Tahoe’s Human-Powered Winter Backcountry Community.