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Forest Service Ridge Trail

Intermediate
 3.0 (1)

A trail along a volcanic ridge that borders the scenic Donner Summit Valley and Serene Lakes watershed.


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Map Key

1.3

Miles

2.0

KM

87%

Runnable

7,321' 2,231 m

High

7,035' 2,144 m

Low

285' 87 m

Up

134' 41 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

This trail traverses the prominent volcanic ridge that separates the scenic Donner Summit Valley and the Serene Lakes basin watershed. It is part of a network of connecting trails that access the Donner Summit open space area. While the trail can be done in either direction, it is easily accessed from the east end of Tamarack Way in Serene Lakes.

The trail intersects the Switchback Trail on the east side of the Serene Lakes community. The trail starts with a moderately steep climb up the west end of the ridge. In the dry summer months, the tread of the trail can be quite loose and slippery. Once at the top of the ridge, the trail follows the rocky ridge east through a sparse forest of Lodgepole, Fir and Western White Pine. In early summer, the ridge is covered with wild Pink Star Onion followed later by Mariposa Lilies and Sulphur Buckwheat. There are great views of the Donner Summit Valley and Sierra Crest to the north and the Serene Lakes basin to the south.

The trail ends at the east end of the ridge and connects up to the Claim Jumper Trail and Bogus Basin Trail. This trail is completely exposed with very little shade and can be quite warm in the summer months. It can also be quite windy.

Flora & Fauna

The trail cuts through a Lodgepole/Fir/Western White Pine forest and during the summer is populated by a large collection of Sierra wildflowers. The forest is the home to deer, ground squirrels, bobcat, martens, coyotes, bears and the occasional mountain lion. There is a wide variety of Northern Sierra birdlife.

Contacts

Shared By:

George Lamson

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#11

in Royal Gorge

#27710

Overall
  3.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#11

in Royal Gorge

#3,322

in California

#27,710

Overall
11 Views Last Month
99 Since Dec 31, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

The Serene Lakes basin looks gorgeous and deep blue from the Forest Service Ridge Trail.
Dec 31, 2016 near Truckee, CA
When the snow makes it tough to hike during the winter, the Forest Service Ridge Trail serves as a nice cross-country ski.
Dec 31, 2016 near Truckee, CA
Hikers traverse the Forest Service Ridge Trail near Donner Summit.
Dec 31, 2016 near Truckee, CA

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