Mount Judah overlooks Donner Pass and Donner Lake. It is identifyable by its antenna array as the highest peak in the area. It's clearly visible from Interstate 80. Look North to see Castle Peak. Views West are of Lake Van Norden and Sugar Bowl. The winds can be very high at the ridge. Carry an extra jacket.
The trailhead is behind the Sugar Bowl Race School across Route 40 from Donner Ski Ranch. From the condo, take Route 89 to Truckee. Turn left on Donner Pass Road at Mountain Hardware. Pass the visitor's center and keep the lake on your left. Climb up Donner Pass on Route 40 to the top. Look for parking behind the Sugar Bowl Race School or across the road at Donner Ski Ranch. There is a trailhead sign, but it may take a minute to find it.
Distance and Difficulty
This is a popular trail and has good footing. It is an unbroken uphill grade to the top. Stop to rest at an outcropping to enjoy the view and a drink of water. The trail makes a loop if you continue on straight ahead from the ridge. It is 5.5 miles long and rated a half-day hike of moderate difficulty.