Current Trail Conditions at Tahoe Donner

By Christina Thayer, Trails Manager

It’s no secret that we’ve had QUITE a winter. Record snowfall provided for exceptional winter grooming operations on our Cross Country trails. Now that the sun is out and temperatures are rising, our summer trails are emerging from their winter slumber. Many of us have been chomping at the bit to feel the dirt underfoot, be it on bicycle, hoof, or sneaker. But, alas, fellow trail enthusiasts….Patience is our best tool for safe and sustainable trails.

Spring runoff from our winter is at an all-time high. Those snow packed trails may have running water beneath the surface, leaving them vulnerable to collapsing. Our creeks are running full and swift, with fragile side banks and compromised access to safe crossings. Please tread carefully and be mindful of water crossings.

Waterlogged trails are not only susceptible to damage, but need time to dry out for proper drainage. Ruts caused by tire tread and boots will act as channels and send water down the trail, worsening their condition and creating a maintenance checklist. Please stay off the trails and allow them to dry out.

In addition to high water and muddy conditions, we have an abundance of downed trees around both common areas and open space. Waterlogged soils and heavy snow loads caused weakened trees to bend, break and fall. Though Tahoe Donner land managers will be actively clearing debris as fast as possible, you’ll need to be aware of tree hazards and take caution. Broken trees are not limited to those leaning or found on the ground. Keep in mind that tree debris may be hung up in the trees above, creating ‘Widow Makers.’

Again, patience is the name of the game in the shoulder season. We’re anticipating a great year for new trail development and restoration efforts. If you find a downed tree across a trail within the Tahoe Donner trail network, please feel free to contact the Trail Department at trails@tahoedonner.com