Donner Ski Ranch

Donner Ski Ranch is a ski area located in the state of California in USA. The resort is in the town of Norden, CA. We recently ranked all of California's ski resorts, so you can see where Donner Ski Ranch stacks up against all its nearby ski hills!

Donner Ski Ranch is not a part of any nationwide lift pass system. Passes such as Epic, IKON, or Mountain Collective allow pass holders to ski at multiple mountians with a single purchase. Unfortunately, none of those passes with with Donner Ski Ranch.

Donner Ski Ranch Lodging:

Donner Ski Ranch Terrain Overview

Donner Ski Ranch has a total of 53 ski trails, which are serviced by 8 ski lifts, gondolas and/or trams. With 503 acres, Donner Ski Ranch has a moderate amount of skiiable terrain available for skiers. This area is equivalent to 204 hectares, 1 square miles, or 2 square kilometers.

Total Runs
Ski Lift
Skiable Acres
503(2 km2)
Annual Snowfall

Donner Ski Ranch Elevation

Donner Ski Ranch has a summit elevation of 7,781 feet, or 2,372 meters. However, not all of that elevation is able to be skied. The base of the ski slope sits at 7,031 feet above sea level, creating a ski hill that is 750 feet (229 meters) high. This is referred to as the slope's vertical drop - or a measure of how high the skiable hill is.

Donner Ski Ranch's summit elevation is higher than average. There are a lot of ski slopes that are much higher than this one (some stretch to 12,000 feet!), but it is not small by any stretch of the imagination.

Mountain Summit
Summit Elevation
7,781'(2,372 m)
Vertical Drop
Vertical Drop
750'(229 m)
Mountain base
Base Elevation
7,031'(2,143 m)

Donner Ski Ranch Difficulty Level

Difficulty Score
36.5out of 100
←  EasyHard  →
Donner Ski Ranch can be beginner-friendly, but it depends on the ski trails you ride. While it ranks in the lower half of all North American ski areas in terms of overall difficulty, it still has 75% of its trails rated at or above intermediate ski level.


At Parks & Trips, we've created a proprietary Difficulty Score that attempts to show how difficult a particular ski slope is. We get to this number by combining a number of metrics for each resort and comparing them to its peers. Most of the score is based off the amount of easy-intermediate-expert slopes by acreage and the maximum vertical drop of the overall resort, but also includes a few lesser-used metrics as well.

Our algorithm compares each resort’s metrics with all others in North America, then assigns each a Difficulty Score, which we use to rank them accordingly. Resorts with a lower score are easier to ski than those with a higher one. However, a high score does not mean that the resort does not have any easy slopes, or vice versa. This is just an overall score given to the resort based on all its metrics grouped together.

Skiiable Area by Difficulty Level

Donner Ski Ranch has 503 total skiable acres, which can be broken down into the three main groups of difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert.

Donner Ski Ranch is mostly a beginner-friendly ski area, with about 25% of its trails as easy. However, it also has its fair share of more difficult runs - which account for the remaining 75%.
25%(126 acres)

Beginner trails (identified by a green circle) are the easiest trails on the hill with a gradual 25% or less gradient, and are usually wide to accommodate beginner skiers.

Blue Square
50%(252 acres)

Intermediate trails (identified by a blue square) are usually the most popular and crowded runs, which have a slope of anywhere between 25-40%.

Black Diamond
25%(126 acres)

Expert trails (identified by a black diamond... or two) are the hardest slopes on the mountain, and have very steep gradients over 40%.

Is Donner Ski Ranch good for beginners?

Donner Ski Ranch can be beginner-friendly, depending on the runs you take. While it ranks in the lower half of all North American ski areas in terms of overall difficulty, it still has 75% of its trails rated at or above intermediate.

Donner Ski Ranch Location

Donner Ski Ranch is located in the state of California, USA. This ski area is nearby the town of Norden, CA.

Norden, CA 95724 USA
View on Google Maps


GPS Coordinates:
39.31000, -120.34000

Getting to Donner Ski Ranch

By Car: If you are driving, you would set your GPS to either the ski resort's name (Donner Ski Ranch), its coordinates of 39.31000, -120.34000 (latitude, longitude), or simply drive towards the town of Norden, CA to get close.

By Air: If you are coming in from across the country, then you may need to board an airplane to get here.

A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airport(s) to Donner Ski Ranch.

Reno–Tahoe International AirportRNOReno, NV33 mi
Sacramento International AirportSMFSacramento, CA79 mi
Oakland International AirportOAKOakland, CA150 mi

A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airport(s) to Donner Ski Ranch.

Sacramento Mather AirportMHRSacramento, CA73 mi
Redding Municipal AirportRDDRedding, CA132 mi
Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County AirportSTSSanta Rosa, CA144 mi

There may also be much smaller regional airports next to Donner Ski Ranch, but we didn't list them here due to the fact that no major airlines go through them.

Other Nearby Ski Resorts

Skiers will - especially if coming from far away - try and visit a couple different slopes all in the same trip. Here are the closest other ski slopes within 100 miles of Donner Ski Ranch.

NameLocationSummitDifficulty ScoreDistance
BorealSoda Springs, CA7,700 ft29%1 mi
Soda SpringsSoda Springs, CA7,300 ft30%3 mi
Sugar BowlTruckee, CA8,383 ft51%3 mi
Tahoe DonnerTruckee, CA7,350 ft25%5 mi
Palisades TahoeOlympic Valley, CA9,050 ft76%10 mi
Alpine MeadowsOlympic Valley, CA8,673 ft56%12 mi
NorthstarTruckee, CA8,610 ft51%12 mi
Granlibakken TahoeTahoe City, CA6,350 ft14%14 mi
HomewoodHomewood, CA7,800 ft51%18 mi
Mount RoseReno, NV9,700 ft58%23 mi
HeavenlySouth Lake Tahoe, CA10,067 ft71%34 mi
Sierra-at-TahoeSouth Lake Tahoe, CA8,852 ft51%37 mi
KirkwoodKirkwood, CA9,800 ft56%46 mi
Dodge RidgePinecrest, CA8,200 ft52%81 mi

Donner Ski Ranch Mountain Stats

Summit Elevation7,781 ft
Base Elevation7,031 ft
Vertical Drop750 ft
(25% Beginner,  50% Intermediate,  25% Expert)
Skiable Acres503
Avg. Annual SnowfallN/A inches
Donner Ski Ranch Mountain Stats