About this Trail
This trail starts very close to The Sierra Club's Clair Tappaan Lodge http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/lodges/ctl/
. The PCT South starts by steeply climbing a granite headwall then flattens and follows the contours of the mountain , climbing moderately. Approximately one mile from Donner Pass, turn left onto the Judah Loop trail. The trail gently climbs to an existing jeep road near Coldstream Pass (Between Judah and Donner summits) Turn left onto this scenic jeep road.
Almost immediately you enter a very wet area which in the spring and summer is often lush with wildflowers. Continue to climb to the saddle. The trail begins again on the south side of the road at the saddle and climbs the northeast face to the summit of Mt. Judah.
The views rewarding your efforts during the hike are superb, featuring Mt. Rose, Truckee, and Donner Lake in the distance and Coldstream Canyon in the foreground.
From the summit of Judah, the trail meanders along the crest offering outstanding views of Anderson Peak and Tinker's Knob to the South with Castle peak and Sierra Buttes to the north. The Trail leaves the crest and gently descends to a point just north of Roller Pass. where the loop reconnects with the PCT.
Roller Pass is a significant point on the Overland Emigrant trail . Signs tell the story of the early settlers and the difficulties they encountered at this point in their trek west. Turn right onto the PCT to complete the hike, heading back north to Donner Pass and Old Hwy 40.
Directions to Trailhead
The Mt. Judah Loop trail is accessed off the Pacific Crest Trail south of Old Hwy. 40. From Old 40 east of Donner Ski Ranch, turn onto Mary Lake Rd adjacent to Sugar Bowl Academy. The trail head is a short distance from Sugar Bowl Academy. Begin the hike heading south on the Pacific Crest Trail-