Coldstream Canyon - Trail Running

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This trail run is located just outside of Truckee, making it a quick 7.4 mile workout with rewarding views.

Written by

Jill Sanford


7.2 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

19.9 miles


2 of 5 diamonds

This 7 mile run features some climbing and uneven trails, but is a pretty reasonable climb for most conditioned trail runners.

Time To Complete

1 hours

This will take anywhere from about 50 minutes to an hour and twenty minutes, depending on the pace of the runner and how used he or she is to the elevation.


Spring, Summer, and Fall

This trail run is best during the shoulder season and is usually inaccessible during the winter.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits




This 7.4 mile run takes you up from Donner Lake and into the hills behind the state park on the east end of the lake. You will gain 221 feet in elevation throughout the trail run, so expect to climb but also to be able to take in the flora and fauna of the Truckee landscape.

What Makes It Great

Aspens and pines provide welcome shade along the climb through Coldstream Valley, which is located just outside of Truckee near Donner Memorial State Park. Other highlights of the trail include wildflowers in the spring and views of the Sierra crest. The proximity to Donner Lake also provides you with a place to cool off and take a quick dip if running in the summer months gets too warm. 

Run through the state park and follow an old road as you begin your steady uphill climb. After about a mile, you will see a single track veering off to the left. Take this trail and begin your serious uphill push. 

After a series of switchbacks, you will hit a dirt road. Continue to the left for about a 100 yards before turning right onto a side trail that again climbs steadily to the highest point on this run. Begin your descent on the steep trail down to the railroad tracks. Cross them and continue on to the gravel road that will bring you back to the state park. 

Who is Going to Love It

This trail is a relatively steep trail located just outside of town, making it ideal for the average trail runner or someone looking for a quick workout. 

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

You can park inside Donner Memorial Park for a fee, or find free parking past the entrance to the park on the side of the lake along Donner Pass Road. From I-80, take exit 184 and turn right on Donner Pass Road. Follow signs to the state park.


Donner Lake

39.321937, -120.264253

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