Category Archives: Picture of the Week
This week with the spring melt still in flow we hiked over to see Palisade Falls. While the flow wasn’t at it’s peak, the falls were still spectacular. This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful spots on … Continue reading
Donner Summit has been experiencing a pretty “normal” winter this year as far as snowfall is concerned. We have had some of our biggest storms in March. This weeks picture is right after a big storm that dropped 4 ft … Continue reading
(Click on image for a larger version) It can definitely be worth getting up before the sun on the summit. Caught this beautiful predawn moment at Van Norden Lake just before it was drained. Sad to think we may never … Continue reading
A winter storm moves into the Donner Summit area laying down a blanket of snow.
It’s not New England, but Donner Summit has its own special colors when autumn comes.
(Click on image for larger view) Autumn sunrise over the crest of Donner Pass. From left to right – Donner, Judah, Stephens and Stewart peaks
Nature can get pretty twisted up here on the Summit. This fearsome creature lives in the roots of tree up near the Catfish Pond at Donner Pass. All you need to see him is a little imagination.
Real snow finally came to the summit this week. Took advantage of a beautiful day and wonderful snow to do a back country ski through Tiny Tim meadow. This is the first track through the meadow.
Winter is coming slowly to the summit this year. This early teaser storm dropped about 4 inches of the white stuff, but was gone in 3 days. While we have had a couple of potentially good storms come through, they … Continue reading
(Click on image for larger view) We had our first real snow on the summit this week. A pretty cold storm rolled in and dropped 4-6 inches over the entire summit area. On our first ski of the season … Continue reading
This week we spent some time over at Donner Pass hiking around. It reminded me of the little trek we took a couple of years ago out that rock promontory right out in the middle of the pass. It’s a … Continue reading
This week we would like to share a rare sighting up here on the summit. We found this Washingtonian Lily tucked in the foliage on the Sterling Canyon trail just about 50 yards the other side of the newly restored … Continue reading
(Click for larger image) This week Serena Creek is running at full flow over the Serena Creek dam.
Click on the image to see a larger view This week we had a late springs storm that dumped 2 ft of snow on the summit. Broke out the skis again and headed up to Palisade Peak. It was a … Continue reading
Snoops Loop had plenty of snow coverage in Van Norden Meadow this week.
Snow has finally come to the Summit this week. This was a beautiful day of skiing on Mt Disney at Sugar Bowl.
This week the snow returned to the summit. Not as much as we need, but it’s a start. Van Norden Lake was frozen and snowy as this panorama shot from smack dab in the middle of the lake shows.
I am cheating this week. This is actually a picture of Sugar Bowl from the same week last January. Just to remind us all what a real winter looks like.
The snow is here and the meadow is open for skiing. Get your dog and head out to Snoop’s Loop.
This week we get a little moody as autumn asserts itself and winter is on the way on the summit.
This week picture is sort of a repeat of last week’s picture except that I thought it would be interesting to see the new forest in 360 degrees. For those of you that have Java enabled on your computer, you … Continue reading
Welcome to Royal Gorge Park. This week the masticators cleaned up the brush in the TDLT forest restoration project in the Royal Gorge area. The result is this park-like landscape.
So who is this tagger decorating our trails? Well it’s none other than TDLT’s stewardship czar, John Svahn. John was out this week marking the trail drainage points that will be excavated on the Royal Gorge trails starting this week. … Continue reading
This week we visit the headwaters of the South Yuba located at Sugarbowl near Harriets Hollow. It is prime wildflower season right now and the outflow area is beautiful.
The White Pelicans have taken up summer residence in Van Norden Lake. These large birds are a sight to behold. There is still plenty of water in the lake so get out there in your kayaks and watch these beautiful … Continue reading
Let’s get small this week. Nature is busy going about its business out on the summit. I caught this rather colorful little beetle earnestly going about his business and at the same time pollinating this Cinquefoil flower.
Van Norden Meadow is at its prime this week for wildflowers. The Meadow Penstamon are really spectacular this year. This 360 degree pano gives you some idea of how great it is out there. Technote: The viewer that is used … Continue reading
Summer has come early to the summit this year and it’s time to get out and hike. This week we took our first hike around Van Norden Meadow.
Spring is in full swing on the summit and the wildflowers are making their splashes of color. This week I found a couple of Brown Peony plants over near Beacon Meadow on the east side of Serene Lakes (many thanks … Continue reading
This week we’re tooting our own horn a little. Linda and I installed our Historic Hwy 40 sign on Van Norden dam with Bill Oudegeest this week. We are proud to sponser this sign on one of our local landmarks. … Continue reading
We had a special treat out on Van Norden Lake this week. A pair of Sandhill Cranes was taking a break at the lake on their migratory flight back up to Canada. These are magnificent birds and they put on a bit … Continue reading
Welcome back Lake Van Norden. This is the earliest melt of the lake I have seen.
Waterfall season is coming early to the summit this year. Here is top of Palisades Falls running almost full bore. This is one of the most beautiful sites on the summit.
The melt is starting early this year. The South Yuba has started to flow in Summit Valley.
Powder day at Sugar Bowl. The view of Donner Summit area from Fuller’s Folly run at Sugar Bowl.
Snow kiting has come to Summit Valley year. If you are interested in this relatively new sport you should check out the Snow Kiting Center website.
Happy New Year to all On the Summit!
This week we celebrate the completion of the acquisition of the Royal Gorge property by the Truckee-Donner Land Trust to make it public open space. (Fireworks provided by Cliff Busby of Serene Lakes)
A very wet storm hit the summit this week bringing gray skies and cold rain. It also brought some rare visitors seeking a rest stop on their long journey from the arctic tundra to warmer climes for the winter. These … Continue reading
Along with changes in the weather, October brings spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Here the dawn sunlight creates a fiery cloud formation above Castle Peak.
Winter in autumn comes to the summit. Usually the autumn leaves are gone by the time the snow comes. This year an early October storm left us with the best of both seasons. Autumn was still in full bloom at … Continue reading
Lake Van Norden gained a new resident this summer that is featured in this weeks pictures. This beaver has set up shop at the lake and appears to be planning to stay the winter. I guess he heard that the … Continue reading
This week’s image is an historical photo comparison of part of Summit Valley. The future of the Van Norden meadow after it becomes public open space with the acquisition of Royal Gorge by the Truckee-Donner Land Trust is an open … Continue reading
Autumn is coming to the summit and the colors are changing. Here is Van Norden meadow from the top of Soda Springs ski hill.
People have passed through the summit area for thousands of years. Van Norden meadow shows signs of these early visitors in the stone mortars and metates that are spread through the meadow. Signs of later travelers are evident in the … Continue reading
A little history in this weeks image. This is a “horizontal billboard” ad for a Truckee hotel that still survives on the granite slabs next to the route of the Old Lincoln Hwy trail in Donner Pass.
This week I am putting up a video that expresses what I love about the summit area and why I think it is a good idea for us to preserve by having it become open space. (The video is best … Continue reading
Hiking the Old Lincoln Highway in Donner Pass is a great way to relive some of the history of early life on the summit.
The summit is home to many raptors, but one of the most proficient is the Osprey or Fish Eagle (it is not technically a real eagle). This one had to do a fly over to show off it’s catch from … Continue reading
It is the peak of hiking season on the summit as these hikers on Soda Springs ski hill can attest.
Crater Lake is a beautiful little melt pond on Boreal Ridge. It offers great views of the entire summit area. It is worth the hike up.
Common Merganser mother and ducklings at Van Norden Lake. This is avian maternity time on the summit for many of the birds that are summer residents.
It is the peak of the wildflower season on the summit. For the next couple of weeks we will have the largest number of wildflower varieties in bloom.
The Mariposa Lilies are in bloom all over the summit area. Look for them on dry rocky ridges.
Crossing the natural bridge when we come to it. This unique formation is on the ridge near Rowton Peak. Camas Alert For you Camas Liliy freaks, there are a few plants still blooming in Van Norden Meadow east of the … Continue reading
Kellogg’s Lewisia is one of our local treasures. We are just at the end of the blooming season.
White Pelicans are a frequent summer visitor to the summit. They like to hang out at Van Norden Lake on their special rock.
The snow is gone and it’s time to strap on the hiking boots and get out to the forest. This is at the meadow along the Eastridge trail out to Mariah Point.
Spring continues on the summit and water is everywhere. This week’s photo is of another beautiful waterfall currently running at full blast in Serena Creek Canyon. For more info about waterfalls on the summit see this weeks blog post.
This is the time for waterfalls on the summit. This is the falls at Donner Pass that only last for a few weeks in spring as the snow melts. They are not visible from the road so you’ll have to … Continue reading
“Super” moon rise over Serene Lakes. Last week we had the largest full moon of the year and it was a spectacular sight as it rose over the ridge on the east side of Serene Lakes.
It’s that time of the year again. We are transitioning from winter to summer and the ski season has obviously come to an end for this season.
Spring has sprung on the summit and the melt is in full swing. The sound of running water is everywhere and the snow is doing its yearly vanishing act. It won’t be long before we start seeing wildflowers.
(Click on image for larger version)One of the harbingers of spring on the summit is the awakening of our resident bears which happens every April. This year was no exception and here is the track of one of the hungry … Continue reading
(Click on image for larger version)The view from Palisades Peak is one of the most spectacular in the summit area. Devil’s Peak is in the background with a frozen Palisades Lake in the foreground. The ski up to the summit … Continue reading
April is usually still a great time to ski on the summit. Serene Lakes is still frozen with an accumulation of the winters snow on it. It’s always best to ski with a friend and in this case with two … Continue reading