The Sand Ridge Lake Trail (14E11) is a moderately difficult 6 mile hike at an elevation of 7,200 feet. This trail is a relatively short trail covering a distance of 1.5 miles between the intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) near Peter Grubb Hut and the lake. However, it is a 4 mile hike from the trailhead to the hut on the PCT.
From the trailhead follow the Pacific Crest Access Trail (15E18) 0.5 miles to the PCT. Turn north on the PCT and follow the trail 0.5 miles through the tunnel under I-80. Shortly after the underpass you will come to the intersection with the Summit Lake Trail. Continue north on the PCT.
The trail begins a moderate ascent through a nicely forested area and climbs gradually for 3.25 miles to Castle Pass at an elevation of 7,880 feet. After the pass the trail begins an 0.5 mile descent into Round Valley where the Peter Grubb Hut is located.
This hut is one of several Sierra Club cabins in the Sierra Nevada. Primarily an emergency shelter, the hut is open for public use. Hikers who which to use the hut overnight should contact the Sierra Club's Clair Tappaan Lodge at 916-426-3632 for reservations.
Continuing the hike, just 200 yards north of the Peter Grubb Hut the intersection with the Sand Ridge Lake Trail takes off to the west. Over a distance of 1.5 miles the trail descends slightly and passes through open forest and several small meadows before reaching the small, tranquil Sand Ridge Lake. The lake offers nice campsites and an enjoyable place for a refreshing swim. Fishing is not very promising.
Directions from Truckee: Travel west on Hwy. #80 and take the Castle Peak/Boreal Ridge Road exit, which is immediately west of the highway's Donner Summit Roadside Rest Area. On the south side of the highway there is a sign reading: Tahoe National Forest Trailhead Donner Summit Pacific Crest Trail. Follow the directions on the sign turning east for 0.4 miles to the trailhead.
June through October
(NOTE: may be accessible year round.)