Frog Lake Cliff


Difficulty 4 Intermediate-advanced
Length 5.8 miles round trip
7200 feet
+1400, -1400 round trip
Navigation Road and map
Time Most of a day
Season December through mid-April
Snowmobiles Low. Although snowmobiles are permitted in most of the area, riding from mileage point 2 to the northeast would require going through an area closed to snowmobile use. [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Norden
Start The plowed loading zone on the north side of Interstate 80 at the Castle Peak Area and Boreal Ridge exit. Parking is at the Donner Pass Sno-Park located at the east end of the frontage road on the south side of the interstate at the same exit.


The top of a vertical cliff, plummeting more than 1000 feet straight down to Frog Lake below, is the destination of this tour. You have an unobstructed view to the south during the entire climb. From the top the view to the east is marvelous.

But many skiers will choose this tour simply for the return descent — 1200 feet of uninterrupted slopes just begging to be carved. However, powder snow will not linger on this south-facing slope and the descent is best left for spring-like conditions. You should also exercise caution when choosing this tour — it should never be attempted when the snow is unstable.

Mileage Log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Miles: 0.0 - 0.2
Elevation change: +50 feet

From the trailhead (1) ski east on the snow-covered road that parallels the interstate for 0.2 mile until you reach the location where the road turns northwest (left) (2).

Miles: 0.2 - 1.8
Elevation change: +600 feet

Leave the road and climb northeast, at first gradually and then more steeply, for a total of 1.6 miles until you reach a ridge (3) to the north of Summit Lake.

Miles: 1.8 - 2.9
Elevation change: +750 feet

Climb northwest on the ridge and then northeast above a drainage for a total of 1.1 miles until you reach Frog Lake Cliff (4). Exercise caution near the cliff.

Miles: 2.9 - 5.8
Elevation change: -1400 feet

Retrace the route for 2.9 miles back to the trailhead (1).

Elevation Profile
Elevation profile
Link to elevation profile
Link to waypoint data
Link to full page map
Link to see and submit reviews and corrections about tour