Schallenberger Ridge

Summary  Link to more information about summary

Difficulty 4 Intermediate-advanced
Length 5.0 miles round trip
5950 feet
+1500, -1500 round trip
Navigation Road and map
Time Most of a day
Season Late December through March
Snowmobiles Use Not permitted except on Coldstream Road and on the road they are limited to property owners in Coldstream Valley. [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Truckee, Norden
Start The gravel pit south of Interstate 80 where Donner Pass Road crosses it. Drive south from Donner Pass Road on Coldstream Road past two gas stations for 0.4 mile until you reach the end of the plowed road. The road may not be plowed immediately after a snowfall.

Description   Link to more information about description

Schallenberger Ridge, named for Moses Schallenberger who wintered there in 1844, two winters before the Donner Party of emigrants got trapped nearby, looms above Donner Lake. You can see the entire length of the ridge from north of Donner Lake on Interstate 80.

Pick a clear day to ski along the ridge so that you can appreciate the locale and the outstanding scenery. To the north and directly below the ridge is Donner Lake. Farther north lie ridges which hide Euer and Carpenter valleys. To the southwest is the Mt. Lincoln-Anderson Peak ridge with its cornices and bowls. To the southeast is Coldstream Valley.

In 2003, Schallenberger Ridge became part of Donner Memorial State Park. Snowmobiles are not allowed on Park lands so the ridge and other nearby areas are closed to their use. But private landowners in Coldstream Valley have an easement so you will likely find snowmobile or Sno-Cat tracks on Coldstream Road; off the road they are not permitted.

This tour is an up and back route to the high point on the ridge (Peak 7469), but the Schallenberger Ridge to Coldstream Valley tour turns the tour into a loop and the Schallenberger Ridge to Donner Lake tour turns the tour into a one-way adventure. Look for these tours in the future.

Mileage Log   Link to more information about mileage log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 0.3
Elevation change: +100 feet

From the trailhead (1) ski on the snow-covered road in an arc to the southeast, south and finally southwest for a total of 0.3 mile until the road levels after a short but steep section (2). You leave the road at this location.

Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 0.3 - 0.9
Elevation change: +450 feet

Climb west up the steep east shoulder of Schallenberger Ridge for 0.6 mile until you reach a road that crosses the ridge (3). The terrain along the ridge is a combination of wooded and open areas. When choosing your route, remember to stay back from the north edge along the entire length of the ridge where it may be overhung.

Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 0.9 - 1.5
Elevation change: +500 feet

Continue west up Schallenberger Ridge for 0.6 mile until you reach the location where the terrain becomes significantly less steep (4). In this section you cross a railroad tunnel that passes through the ridge and at one point you can see where the railroad tracks disappear into the mountainside.

Waypoint 4 to 5
Miles: 1.5 - 1.9
Elevation change: +50 feet

Continue slightly south of west up Schallenberger Ridge for 0.4 mile until you reach the location where the terrain begins to climb more steeply (5).

Waypoint 5 to 6
Miles: 1.9 - 2.2
Elevation change: +150 feet

Ski west and along the north edge of the ridge for 0.3 mile until you reach the north spur of Peak 7469 (6). It is important that you do not ski directly up Schallenberger Ridge from mileage point 5; you will run into dense woods made up of small diameter trees if you do.

Waypoint 6 to 7
Miles: 2.2 - 2.5
Elevation change: +250 feet

Ski south up the north spur for 0.3 mile until you reach the summit of Peak 7469 (7).

Return to trailhead
Miles: 2.5 - 5.0
Elevation change: -1500 feet

Retrace the route for 2.5 miles back to the trailhead (1).

Print version of map for tour