Near Norden, in the Tahoe National Forest in Nevada County you can park right under Stewarts Peak and its trailhead along Donner Pass Road. Or just around the bend at the overlook at McGlashan Point. A nice wide parking area across the road gives you views of both the peak, Donner Lake, Norden Tunnels and Donner Summit Bridge.
Give yourself about three hours to climb all the switchbacks to the 7,389 Ft peak, take in the view and return to your car. You will be sharing this trail with many hikers and lots of K9 companions out for a stroll.
Stewarts Peak is part of the Pacific Crest Trail with amazing views. Many other trails branch off, so it is easy to get lost. I enjoy taking a closer look at the trees that have managed to grow from the granite and survived the snow loads and high winds common here.
Although this is a heavily-trafficked, moderate trail, it is less congested than Lake Tahoe trails. You can hear the Interstate for a half mile or so on the trail. The sounds fade away the higher you climb.
Take the Soda Springs Exit off Interstate 80 to Donner Pass Road across the street from the peak. You can also park at the rest area and follow trail signs from there.
CLICK HERE to see the original article and photos by Mary in The Union newspaper.