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Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.60 mi (7.40 km)
Warming hut
No
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Located just to the west of Donner Lake and Donner Memorial State Park, this snowshoe trail to the Matrimony Tree provides all of the beauty of the Tahoe area without the traffic. This trip is easily done in a few hours, and it includes an excellent viewpoint that is ideal for a lunch stop.

While the trail has no obvious trailhead, it leaves from Troy Road just to the west of Donner Trail School, which is usually closed and not plowed. Most people park at the bottom of Troy Road because the uphill can get pretty icy. Try to get there early because there is only limited parking. If there isn't any parking available, there is additional parking at the school.

Start the trip by following Troy Road until you find the railroad, or snowshoe next to the road if you are feeling adventurous. Be very careful as you cross the railroad as the sound of the train descending from the south can be muted.

Note that signs marking the trail become a little confusing once you cross the tracks, and a map is recommended. Follow the small blue cross-country ski sign for about 0.25 miles until you see another sign that says "Follow the Rainbow Trail 0.5 mi / 0.8 km." If you turn too sharply and see a sign that says "One way downhill, Rainbow connection to Rainbow Trail," back up and bear to the right. Look for a sign marking the end of trail maintenance to rediscover the trail to Matrimony Tree. 

Keep going south and you will pass a huge split boulder that is a sign that you are getting closer to end of the forest. Once you leave the forest, Devils Peak looms to the east. To reach the tree, follow the ridge on your right. The tree is a popular spot for proposals and weddings, hence the name. In addition to the gorgeous views of the valley on the south, the tree perfectly frames Devils Peak. Take your time enjoying the view, or explore the mile-long Matrimony Ridge in another direction before heading back to your car.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Cool tree. Beautiful view of the valley. Solitude.

Cons

Confusing signs. Limited parking.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

5,997.00 ft (1,827.89 m)

Net Elevation Gain

942.00 ft (287.12 m)

Features

Big vistas
Old-growth forest
Cross-country skiing

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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