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Hole In the Ground

Biking Route
A mountain biker tops out on Andesite Ridge on the Hole in the Ground trail. Trail crews have been busy maintaining the popular Donner Summit trail. – David Bunker/Moonshine Ink

Not a beginner trail, the classic Hole in the Ground mountain bike trail has plenty of moderate climbing and rocky sections in the 16 mile loop. The back side has a long section of steps to watch out for. In prolonged dry conditions the trail can settle under deep dust. Mostly packed single track trail with plenty of rocks and a steep stair section on the backside.

On busy summer weekends, you will likely see a handful of other riders on the route. The trail intersects with hiking trails, so please be courteous to other trail users.

From the trail you'll enjoy beautiful views of the Castle Peak area, Lola Montez lake, and several wildflower fields.

Route Directions

Many riders recommend a car shuttle, but locals and regulars prefer a loop that takes riders through Soda Springs. Park along Donner Pass Road in Soda Springs (off I-80). Local businesses like The Summit Restaurant and Bar and Soda Springs General Store welcome riders and will allow parking in their lots. The Soda Springs General Store can supply provisions for the ride and The Summit Restaurant and Bar is a popular after-ride hangout that serves hearty meals and a full bar. Not to mention a bit of local Donner Summit character.

Coming from Soda Springs, ride east on Donner Pass Road (Old Hwy 40) to the Central Sierra Snow Lab on left. Take the snow lab road to Boreal and ride through the Boreal parking lot to the freeway underpass. Continue under the freeway and follow the street to the right where you will see a trailhead. Parking can also be found on the Boreal side of the freeway at the PCT trailhead, but Sno-Park passes are required.

Route Length

17 miles


Route Difficulty

Challenging - Route includes Difficult Sections Best Suited for Skilled Riders

Nearby Places