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Johnson Canyon is very popular in the summer, usually one of the first trails to melt out after a heavy winter. Hikers, cyclists, runners, dog walkers and motor sports enthusiasts, enjoy the wildflower displays and abundant wildlife.   

Johnson Canyon is also a great place to visit in the winter. From mellow snowshoe hikes, to carving turns in buttery corn snow, to honing skills on safe travel through avalanche terrain, Johnson Canyon has a variety of terrain to suit any backcountry enthusiast.

For a snowshoe hike, head up Summit Lake Road which is usually well-packed route by snowmobiles.  The route is sometimes steep but arrives at a large flat offering views of Donner Lake and the Crest beyond.  Retrace your steps to get back to the trail head. 

Cross country skiers enjoy following the Donner Lake Rim Trail as it traverses the canyon.  This route can be difficult to find in large snow years like this, as signage is well-buried.  The quiet of winter and the animal tracks present offer a completely different experience, well worth the exertion to get up to the trail.

Backcountry skiers use Johnson Canyon as a travel corridor to reach the Castle Peak Area, as well as staying within the canyon for some corn shots and powder stashes.

Greyson Howard