Winter Trailheads + Backcountry
Castle Peak represents the craggy and most prominent mountain top just north of the summit of Donner Pass on I-80. Although it does have a bit more approach, the terrain surrounding the summit of Castle offers everything, from steep spines on the north side, to sunny corn slopes on the south side - even an overnight shelter at the Peter Grubb Hut near Castle Pass. This trailhead represents some wonderful access for a multitude of winter users. Make sure to buy a pass (before you get here!). Drop your friends and gear, then find the Donner Summit Sno-Park parking lot on the south side of I-80 (at the end of Bunny Hill Dr.).
Hikers, skiers, snowshoers and those just looking to experience winter can be found playing in the sunshine here atop Donner Pass. Some of the best lines for skiing from this trailhead can be found on Castle’s north and south slopes.
Distance: 1.5 - 2.0 miles of approach before beginning the climb
Elevation: Total elevation change of around 1800 feet, 800-1000 feet of skiable terrain
Trailhead: Castle Peak Rd/Boreal exit off of Donner Summit, make sure to park at the SNO-PARK (south side of freeway)