Looking for a day hike to get you away from the crowds and provide you with some gorgeous views along the way? Look no further than the Frog Lake Overlook Trail. Barely a 10 minute drive from downtown Truckee, you’ll be amazed at how removed this trail feels from the hustle and bustle of some of the more crowded areas around town.
Parking for the trail can be found at the Donner Pass Rest Area Westbound, along with restrooms and the trailhead itself just a few steps away from the parking area. To the lookers right of the restroom building, the trailhead begins as the Summit Lake Trail.
After starting out on the Summit Lake Trail, you will cross the PCT just about a quarter of a mile from the trailhead. Continue following the Summit Lake Trail until its’ intersection with the Donner Lake Rim Trail at about mile 1. Though the trail itself does not change, you are now on the Warren Lake Trail, which may additionally be marked on maps as the Frog Lake Cliffs trail.
The trail winds up several gullies, gaining elevation while heading towards the backside of Castle Peak. After roughly another mile, the trail begins to break out above the tree line with excellent views back across Donner Summit and looking up towards Castle Peak. Head up the trail another half mile, and you’ll be able to see the rise of the Frog Lake Overlook to your right. If you’re following a map, there is a right turn marked as the Frog Lake Cliffs Spur that will ascend the final 100 feet or so to the overlook. This spur is a clear departure from the trail and is difficult to miss. Once you crest the top of the Frog Lake Cliffs, you’ll be rewarded with some spectacular views of the lake and the Euer Valley.