Coon Canyon north of Donner Summit on I-80 near Soda Springs.

    Basin Pk. Paradise L. Warren L.
Coon Canyon
    Castle Peak - I-80

Other Maps: Soda Springs Area | I-80 north to Hwy 49 | Donner Summit Trails | Aerial View | Flora Lake | Basin Pk. Paradise L. Warren L.

head north to the ridgeline between Castle Peak and Basin Peak. From here, head northwest along the ridge until you find an obvious descent line at about 8,700 to descend into Coon Canyon. Be wary of cornices along the north side of the ridge, which has vertical cliffs and is exposed to high winds from the southwest.

Official Trailhead South of I-80:
Take the Boreal/Coon Canyon exit from I-80 at Donner Summit. Go east along the frontage road on the south side of the freeway, pass the Boreal Motel, and park in the PCT trailhead area at the end of the road (0.3 mi.).
The trail leaves east from the parking area, (300 yds) passes a junction which connects to the eastbound I-80 rest area and joins the Glacier Meadow Loop Trail, (1/4 mi.) take trail to the right off the Glacier Meadow Loop Trail, (200 yds) meets the PCT at the edge of a meadow. Head north on the PCT. After a few hundred yards, the trail enters a pair of culverts taking you under I-80. Continue north to a four-way trail junction and take the trail east toward Summit Lake.

Trailhead North of I-80: (Closed in Winter)
Take the Boreal/Coon Canyon exit from I-80 (go under I-80 if you were heading eastbound) to paved frontage road on the north side of I-80. Turn right. At the end of the paved frontage follow the dirt road north about 1/4 mile toward Castle Valley.
Hike northeast through the trees (A citizen's trail - no beaten path), across the creek until you pick up the PCT. Go right on the PCT generally east to the intersection for the Summit L. and Warren L. trail.
Intuitively, this seems shorter than starting from the south side of I-80 but, because of the cross-country, it takes roughly the same amount of time. It minimizes your contact with I-80, however, possibly improving your "wilderness" experience.
I hear some people have gotten lost on the citizen's trail because it does ramble a bit. There are a lot of horse trailers parked on the north side from riders taking the Coon Canyon Saddle
I prefer the parking on the south side.

Note: People have been ticketed parking at the rest stop so you should go to one of the Pacific Crest Trailheads (PCT) to park.

Emergency Contacts

last updated 23 Jan 2007