Donner Ski Ranch, California

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Donner Ski Ranch in California and Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 750ft/229m, total trails 52, closest airport 45mi/73km, lifts 8, and more. Donner Ski Ranch is a family owned and operated ski area located on the Donner Summit, just off I-80 on Highway 40 near Norden, California northwest of Lake Tahoe. Donner Ski Ranch […]

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Donner Ski Ranch in California and Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 750ft/229m, total trails 52, closest airport 45mi/73km, lifts 8, and more.

Donner Ski Ranch is a family owned and operated ski area located on the Donner Summit, just off I-80 on Highway 40 near Norden, California northwest of Lake Tahoe. Donner Ski Ranch has been offering an affordable winter experience dating back to its origins in 1937.

The ski area was originally founded by Jerry Ellis who installed the first rope tow on the mountain. The ski area went through a period where visits were down and then a new owner, Herstle Jones appeared with a new vision for the future. His first order of business was to add a T-Bar lift and a new day lodge where skiers could take a break from the slopes and hang out with friends.

New improvements continued with the addition of a new chairlift which made access to the 7781ft/2372m summit and the incredible views easier than ever to experience. Donner Ski Ranch today features front-side and a back-side terrain for skiers and snowboarders.

The ski area has a cone-like terrain layout where you can travel in any direction once you reach the summit. A little-known fact about Donner Ski Ranch is that it was one of the first ski areas in the United States to allow snowboarding before it became popular.

Today, Donner Ski Ranch is still true to its humble beginnings and it is big on providing a family-friendly atmosphere free of all the unnecessary side attractions.


On the Slopes

  • Donner Ski Ranch has a diverse selection of terrain that will provide a great experience no matter your ability level. Chairs # 2 and 3 on the back-side, give you access to some beautiful advanced terrain, like The Gully, Powder and Bumps, and Vanishing Point along with the great scenery, as you make your descent.
  • There is no official terrain park at the Donner Ski Ranch but do not let that stop you, as the natural terrain, when you least expect it, will give you that terrain park feel.
  • Donner Ski Ranch wants you to have a good time on snow, and with their dedicated snow school instructors and selection of programs, such as Learn-to-Turn suitable for all ages and group or private lessons, you’ll receive the necessary skills to enjoy a great day on the slopes.

Off the Slopes

  • As nightlife and an extended shopping dining experience are limited, the town of Truckee only 10mi/16km east of the ski area provides a greater selection of options for lodging, dining, and shopping.
  • The Donner Ski Ranch day lodge has a rustic feeling and is the central spot where you can sit outside on the wraparound deck and enjoy the sunshine. The day lodge has a retail shop, café, bar, equipment rentals and ticket office.
  • The Lytton Lake Lodge on the back-side is a place to enjoy and few drinks and even a relaxing dining experience.
  • Snow-Tubing is a popular family-fun activity at Donner Ski Ranch. There is a dedicated moving carpet to allow you more time to enjoy the thrill of sliding downhill and creating those lasting memories. Passes are sold in 2-hour blocks.
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Mountain Information

Current Status: Closed

Mountain Essentials

Vertical Drop:
750 ft / 229 m

Base Elevation:
7031 ft / 2143 m

Summit Elevation:
7781 ft / 2372 m

Skiable Area:
505 acres

Average Snowfall:
396 in / 1006 cm

Trail Map

Snow Report

Weather Conditions

Mountain Terrain

Total Trails: 52

Beginner: 13 (25%)

Intermediate: 26 (50%)

Advanced: 13 (25%)

Expert: 0 (0%)

Terrain Parks & Pipes: 0

Snow Cross: No

Super Pipe: No

Half Pipe: No

Jib Park: No

Services

Ski & Snowboard School: Both

Rentals & Repairs: Yes

Parking:  Free

Retail Shops: Yes

Children’s Ski Programs: Yes

Women's Ski Programs: No

Adaptive Ski Programs: Limited

Childcare: No

Day Lodges: Yes

Restaurants: Yes

Distance from...

Nearest Airport:
Reno NV , 45mi / 73km

Nearest Major City:
Reno NV, 41mi / 66km

Nearest Town/City:
Truckee CA, 10mi / 16km

Mountain Operations

Season Dates: Dec 23 to Apr 1

Skiing & Snowboarding: Both

Open Days: Open Daily

Hours of Operation:
9:00am to 4:00pm : Hours maybe subject to change.

Night Skiing: No

Lift Ticket Prices

Webcams

Lift Information

Total Lifts: 8

Triple Chairs: 1

Double Chairs: 5

Surface Lifts: 2

Lodging

Mountainside: Yes

Within 20mi / 33km: Yes

Closest Airport(s)

What our Convenience Rankings™ mean

Reno-Tahoe Intl Airport  (RNO)
Distance: 45 mi / 73 km
Ranking: Most Convenient

Sacramento Intl Airport  (SMF)
Distance: 99 mi / 160 km
Ranking: Least Convenient

Contact Info

Central Reservations: N/A

Direct Phone: 530-426-3635

Snow Phone: 530-426-3635

Helpful Links

Official Ski Resort Site

Mountainside Lodging

Nearby Lodging

Tourism Site

Local Transit Service

Local Transit Map