Hiking Info


The philosophy of the Tahoe Donner Hiking Club is HIKE YOUR OWN PACE.  However, as our hikes are group hikes, there may be stops in order for the hikers to regroup.   


The local hiking season typically starts in May and ends in October.


The hiking club has backpacking trips,  away trips and weekly hikes.  There are three different categories of weekly hikes, each taking place on a certain day of the week. See the Weekly Hike Comparison for a description of differences in weekly hike types.

Suggestions for and volunteers to lead any of our hikes – weekly,  away trips and backpacking outings – are always welcomed by coordinators.

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Backpacking Trips

Backpacking trips are planned throughout the hiking season. Typically they involve multiple days of hiking and primitive camping in the wilderness.  The Backpack Trip Coordinator has the ultimate authority to decide whether a hiker is prepared for the difficulty of a backpacking trip.  Periodically, a beginning level backpacking trip is offered to give hikers new to backpacking an opportunity to try it out.   Trips done in the past include:

Emigrant Wilderness
PCT – Bucks Summit to A-Tree
Bay Area (Skyline to Sea, Henry Coe State Park & Ohlone Wilderness, Pt. Reyes)
Siskiyou County (Gumboot Lake on the PCT and down the Sisson-Callahan National Recreation Trail)
John Muir Trail
Desolation Wilderness
Benson Lake Loop
Lost Coast
Virginia Lakes Trail to Yosemite’s Glen Aulin, across the Ten Lakes Trail, and out Lukens Lake Trail
Lassen National Park
Trinity Alps
Ruby Mountains
High Sierra Camps in Yosemite
Grand Canyon
Paria Canyon in southern Utah/northern Arizona

See Calendar  for current year’s trips.

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Away Trips

Away trips are a great way to combine hiking with seeing other parts of the state or country and even international locations.

Domestic Trips: Lodging options include both car camping and/or motels when possible. In the past we have visited a number of hiking spots in the Bay Area as well as state parks and national parks.   A nonrefundable deposit for the camping sites is taken when a hiker signs up for a trip.

International Trips: These trips combine hiking with sightseeing and culture. The club has hiked in Peru (Salkantay and Inca Trail), the Dolomites (Italy), Slovenia (Julian Alps), Patagonia (Chile and Argentina), Japan and Romania.

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Weekly Hikes

Weekly hikes are categorized by color as follows:

Green hikes are structured to progress at a slower pace and are generally less difficult than the blue hikes.  These hikes are typically offered on Mondays. 

Blue  hikes are structured to progress at a moderate pace and are generally shorter and less difficult than the black hikes. These hikes are typically offered on Wednesdays.

Black  hikes are structured to progress at a faster pace with distances generally greater than 10 miles.   These hikes are typically offered on Thursdays. 

Hikes in all three weekly groups are planned to progress from easier hikes early in the season to longer and more difficult hikes later in the season.  

Weekly Hike Comparison  

The following descriptions compares the various weekly hiking groups.
(Hiking Comparison in PDF)

    • Hike Day
      • Green: Monday + occasional weekend
      • Blue: Wednesday + occasional weekend
      • Black: Thursday
    • Drive to trailhead
      • Green: At leader’s discretion – generally under 1 hour
      • BlueAt leader’s discretion – generally under 40 minutes
      • Black:  At leader’s discretion
    • Hike Distance
      • GreenTypically 5-8 miles with shorter options for hikes > 6 miles
      • Blue: Typically 7-10 miles
      • Black: Typically 10 miles or more
    • Hike Style
      • GreenFrequent stops to regroup
      • Blue: Periodic stops to regroup
      • Black: At hike leader’s discretion
    • Recommended pace
      • Green1.5-2 miles per hour on flat trails
      • Blue: 2.0-2.5 miles per hour on flat trails
      • Black: 2.5+ miles per hour on flat trails
    • Food Breaks
      • GreenTypically includes a lunch stop
      • Blue: Typically includes a  short snack stop
      • Black: Typically includes a morning snack break and a lunch stop
    • Trail Conditions
      • GreenEstablished trails
      • Blue:  Typically on a trail, but may be narrow and rough underfoot at times
      • Black: Typically on a trail, but sometimes includes off trail and/or scrambling
    • Leader (always carries a radio)
      • GreenWaits at all decision points and at end of hike
      • Blue: Waits at all decision points and at end of hike
      • Black:  Marks turns with blue tape and/or waits for next hiker who waits, etc.
    • Leader’s Speed
      • GreenHikes at group’s pace
      • Blue: Waits for slower hikers
      • Black: Monitors group speed through conversation with sweep via radio
    • Sweep
      • GreenDesignated sweep + buddy
      • Blue: Designated sweep + buddy
      • Black: Volunteer sweep at start
    • Sweep Duties (always carries a radio)
      • GreenStays behind the last hiker
      • Blue: Stays behind the last hiker
      • Black: Can change during the hike
    • Group Size
      • GreenGoal is 20 or less; can be broken into smaller groups on the trail
      • Blue: To be reviewed if the group size becomes a problem
      • Black: To be reviewed if the group size becomes a problem
    • Timing
      • Green: Typically ends early afternoon
      • BlueTypically ends around 1:00pm
      • Black: Plan for an all-day adventure
    • Dogs  (See TD Hikers FAQ-dogs)
      • GreenIn accordance with  club and local rules and at leader’s discretion
      • BlueIn accordance with  club and local rules and at leader’s discretion
      • Black: In accordance with  club and local rules and at leader’s discretion.  Additionally, on long hikes that involve a car shuttle or spousal pick up/drop off dog owners need to arrange their own transportation if they wish to bring their dog.

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