Donner Peak (easy, out-and-back, map, track). One-way length: 2.1 miles. Elevation gain: 1,050 ft.
Donner Peak is a very panoramic viewpoint on Donner Pass, Donner Lake, and the whole region West of Donner Pass, including van Norden Lake, the Sugar Bowl region, Serene Lakes, and Lake Mary. This is a relatively short hike, and a very rewarding one. Snow lingers late along this trail, and in many years some stretches are not free of snow until August. Nevertheless, the path is passable even if there is snow, which can indeed add entertainment to the hike. Bring mosquito repellant in May, June, and July, as the pools of water resulting from late snowmelt are an ideal breeding ground for Mosquitoes.
From the Pacific Crest Trailhead along Donner Pass Road, take Pacific Crest Trail South, and follow it until you arrive close to a lift. Some 50 yards before the lift there is a junction. Take it on the left. If you went straight, you would continue along Pacific Crest Trail (and you would be able to veer left, later on, for Judah Mountain). Follow the gently climbing path, that leads first through some woods, then to a pass. At the pass, a path to the right leads to Judah Mountain. Climb instead on the left towards the granite outcrops that form the summit of Donner Peak. The highest outcrops are reached by circling on the left at the end, rather than pressing on straight ahead through the central narrow passage.