Donner Summit Neighborhoods & Subdivisions

Donner Summit is located at the top of Old Highway 40 and Interstate 80 at an elevation of approximately 6800’, and receives considerable more snow than Truckee in the wintertime. The actual elevation of the Summit is over 7200’. There are several alpine ski and boarding resorts located in this area including Sugar Bowl, Boreal, Donner Ski Ranch and Soda Springs and Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Area, the largest cross-country ski facility in North America. Neighborhoods include Serene Lakes, Soda Springs, Pla-Vada Woodlands, Kingvale, Norden and Towle Mountain Properties.

Serene Lakes

The largest subdivision in the unincorporated community of Soda Springs, Serene Lakes is located about 1 mile south of Soda Springs, 1.5 miles from Interstate 80. Originally the Serene Lakes were called Ice Lakes which originated in the 1860s when the lakes was an ice harvesting station for the San Francisco area. The 2 lakes –Lake Serena (the upper lake) and Lake Dulzura (the lower lake) — were supposedly named by Mark Twain in honor of his daughters. Approximately 2400 acres, the Serene Lakes subdivision is comprised of 1000 lots with an average size of 1/5 acre. Approximately 800 of the lots are private homes, a majority of which are vacation homes; however there are full time residents. The community is surrounded by land owned and managed by the US Forest Service and world class Royal Gorge cross country ski resort. There is a boat launch (no power boats allowed) and a large beach for swimmers maintained by the HOA at the lower lake, with areas for horseshoes, volleyball, barbecues, picnics and swimming. Though all property owners are encouraged to join the HOA, SLPOA, membership is not mandatory. Homes are served by PG&E, Sierra Lakes Community Water District sewer and water and propane by individual selection.

Soda Springs

The summit community offering the most services, Soda Springs has a post office, general store, hotel, ski/board and bicycle shops, gas station and other conveniences. A majority of the homes are directly on Donner Pass Road or slightly in from Donner Pass Road. The latter are accessed by unplowed dirt roads and winter access is “walk-in”. Homes are served by PG&E, Donner Summit PUD sewer and water and propane by individual selection.

Pla Vada Woodlands, Kingvale and Cisco Grove

These are subdivisions geared towards snow play. There is a popular sledding hill in Kingvale, just off I-80. Pla-Vada’s name was made from combining the names of Placer and Nevada Counties, as the land borders both counties, and is around the 6000’ elevation. There are a total of 352 lots in the Pla-Vada subdivision and the roads are plowed by the mandatory HOA. However, with only with a “modified” plow, approximately 8 inches of snow is left on the roads for snowmobile access. Many houses back to large acreage parcels and some border the South Yuba River. The roads in Kingvale are unplowed whereas the roads in Cisco Grove are about 50% plowed. The homes in these subdivision tend to border Old Highway 40 or the South Yuba River. Freeway access is close by. Homes are served by PG&E, PUD sewer and water and propane by individual selection in Pla-Vada. Kingvale and Cisco Grove homes are served by PG&E, individual sewer systems, PUD water and propane by individual selection.


A small, unincorporated community, Norden lies along the First Transcontinental Railroad. Historic Sugar Bowl resort, dating back to the 1930s, is located in this community as is the smaller resort, Donner Ski Ranch. Both areas have condos and private homes served by PG&E, PUD sewer and water and propane by individual selection.

Towle Mountain Properties

Offering 20 to 60 acre parcels, Towle Mountain Properties is a unique community. There are no plowed roads so access to properties is by snowmobile. HOA is mandatory. Homes are served by individual sewer (septic) and wells. Power is generally gas generator or alternate sources.

Emigrant Gap

Located about 20 miles west of Soda Springs and 5 miles east of Blue Canyon, Emigrant Gap is lower in elevation (5200′) and has good winter access.  It is also closer to Sacramento and the Bay Area.

Lake Tahoe Neighborhoods & Subdivisions

Agate Bay

A very comfortable neighborhood with moderate to high-priced homes in wooded settings. Homes in this area have excellent rental histories due to the Sun Club pier and pool and two tennis court locations. Lakefronts are close to the highway with easy access.

Alpine Meadows

Located just past Squaw Valley on Highway 89 south sits the charming area of Alpine Meadows. Alpine also caters to the full-time and part-time resident. Known more for its reputation of skiing, Alpine draws the more advanced skiers to their mountain and is a local favorite. Number of home sites and condominiums are smaller when compared to some of the other larger ski resorts making it a desirable place to buy.

Carnelian Bay

Carnelian Bay is located right in the middle of the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. Boating is to Carnelian Bay what blue is to Lake Tahoe. In summer, it is life. The Sierra Boat Company a premier US wooden boat builder, opened here in 1952. Annually boat fanatics from around the country trailer their classic woodies to the Concours d’Elegance boat show for a weekend of nostalgic cruising. Carnelian’s two state beaches belong again to dogs, kayakers and sunset seekers. In winter, Carnelian Bay’s central location puts you in decision-making mode; regardless of whether you turn right or left, you’ll be aimed toward the North Shore’s 12 ski resorts.


Chamberlands is a vacation-oriented community. With the pool, tennis and bussing to beach and nearby ski areas, it is desirable for rentals in both summer and winter. Values are reflected in some degree as to whether or not the home has “joined” the Chamberlands Beach and Mountain Club amenities but all have access to one portion of the beach and the public restaurant. Lakefront homes in this area are very prestigious.

Dollar Point

Dollar Point is a prestigious, higher priced subdivision. Amenities include a beach, pier, buoys, pool, two tennis court locations and club house.

Homewood Mountain

Homewood Mountain Resort owns over 1260 acres of the best skiing and snowboarding terrain in the Sierras. Located on the west shore of Lake Tahoe featuring incredible views of Lake Tahoe. Home wood is in the process of a new master plan featuring new day lodges, lifts, housing, retail and vacation rentals. Homes are available within minutes of this area that is referred to by locals as “Tahoe’s Best kept Secret”.

 Kings Beach

Kings Beach is located on the California/Nevada border on North Lake Tahoe. Set against a vibrant blend of colors, flavors and textures, Kings Beach is rightfully known as the north shore’s banana belt, as it stands in the sun’s path from early morning into the p.m. This mountain/beach town throws a sandy welcome to all with a signature downtown public beach. Hip shops, restaurants, side-street vendors – all true to their cultural heritage.

Lake Forest

Homes are mixed in this area with many older cabins and homes. Some are quality upgrades. Some nicer homes are near or on the lake, but rarely come on the market.

Meeks Bay

Down the West Shore, Meeks Bay is perfect for summer fun with white sandy beaches and open settings. This area abounds with lakeview homes.

Rubicon Bay

Located in El Dorado County just north of South Lake Tahoe. It’s in this small enclave that you’ll find a grand paradise with gorgeous setting that takes your breath. If you want beauty-look no farther…from the panoramic views of Lake Tahoe to the powerful Sierras. You’ll be surrounded by picture-postcard places such as Emerald Bay and Bliss State Park, which is about 8 miles north of South Lake Tahoe, and stunning private and public beaches. Rubicon Point is where the cobalt blue hues of Lake Tahoe’s deepest point plunges 1,411 feet below the shoreline. You’ll also find some of Tahoe’s most prestigious estates along the beautiful sandy beach appropriately coined “Gold Coast.”

Squaw Valley

Also catering to full-time and part-time users, Squaw Valley is also a family orientated destination resort. Squaw also boasts a top-notch mountain village with luxury condominiums, shopping, specialty stores, restaurants and the popular Resort At Squaw Creek luxury hotel. Never get bored with the endless activities the area offers. Home of the 1960 Winter Olympic games, many skiers boast that Squaw Valley is the best mountain around for skiing and snowboarding. Others simply visit or buy for the luxury feel the Squaw Valley name has held for decades.

Tahoe Vista

Located between Kings Beach and Carnelian Bay, Tahoe Vista is a favorite of outdoor enthusiasts. You can kayak from one of several hidden beaches, or drop the motorized boat from multiple locations on the North Shore. The area boasts year-round trailheads for mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, a disc golf course, and nature trails. Surrounded by both mom and pop and fancy flair shops and restaurants, Tahoe Vista has a little bit of everything.

Tahoe City

Looking for an old-fashioned town? Located in Placer County, this North Shore treasure is a perfect find for you. Its residents enjoy Tahoe City with a small town feel. Less than two miles from Tahoe City along Lake Tahoe’s calm West Shore lays Sunnyside Marina and Resort, known for its lakeside dining, jazz on the deck and local’s watering hole. This historical landmark was built in 1907, and is a popular summertime destination with boats galore. Experience the town’s nearby ski resorts: Homewood, Alpine Meadows, and Squaw Valley. And forget commutes. Boats are a favorite mode of transportation. Enjoy walking on new sidewalks along Tahoe City’s downtown businesses, shops and cafes.


Provides low to moderate-priced housing and is popular with “locals.” Many older summer cabins are being upgraded due to the affordability of homes and the recent erosion control project providing widening and paving of streets. Close to Sugar Pine Park and Bliss State Park and sharing the beach and pier with Water’s Edge Condos, this area has much to offer for the price.


Timberland is an older subdivision a mile south of Sunnyside with many “Old Tahoe” style cabins and some newer rustic style homes. Some homes are of “collector” quality rich in history. Quaint and rustic it is only six blocks long and two blocks wide surrounded by state and national forest and some beautiful meadows with much old growth timber in the neighborhood and surrounding forest. Timberland has its own water system and its sweet untreated water has been rated by the state as one of the best quality in Northern California. The neighborhood makeup is mostly second homes with a few full-time residents. Hurricane Bay public beach is a short walk from the neighborhood. There is also a new 8 home subdivision named Hurricane Bay Estates.

Interesting Facts about Lake Tahoe

Here’s some interesting things you might not have known about Lake Tahoe.

Local Restaurants


Cottonwood — 530-587-5711

Dragonfly — 530-587-0557

Drunken Monkey — 530-582-9755

 El Toro Bravo — 530-587-3557

Fifty Fifty Brew Pub — 530-587-2337

Java Sushi — 530-582-1144

JAX at the Trax — 530-550-7450

Moody’s Bistro — 530-587-8688

Pacific Crest — 530-587-2626

Pianeta — 530-587-4694

Smokey’s Kitchen — 530-582-4535

Thai Nokorn — 530-550-5003

Village Pizzeria — 530-587-7171

Wong’s — 530-587-1831

Zano’s — 530-587-7411

Tahoe Donner

Pizza on the Hill — 530-582-9699

The Lodge — 530-587-9455

Donner Summit

Dining Room @ the Lodge — 530-426-6742

(Sugar Bowl)

Rainbow Lodge — 530-426-3661

Summit Restaurant — 530-426-3904


Baxters Bistro — 530-562-3200

Manzanita — 530-562-3050

Mikuni — 530-562-2188

Rubicon Pizza — 530-562-2199

TC’s Pub — 530-562-2250

Squaw Valley

Auld Dubliner — 530-584-6041

Fireside Pizza — 530-583-0871

Graham’s — 530-581-0547

Mamasake — 530-584-0110

Montagna — 530-581-6618

Plumpjack — 530-583-1576

Sandy’s Pub — 530-581-6617

Six Peaks Grille — 530-581-6621

Twenty Two Bistro — 530-584-6170

Incline Village

Big Water Grill — 775-833-0606

Crosby’s — 775-833-1030

Hacienda — 775-831-8300

Thai Recipe — 775-831-4777

Wild Alaskan Fish Co — 775-832-6777

North & West Shores

Blue Agave — 530-583-8113

Caliente! — 530-546-1000

Christy Hill — 530-583-8551

Evergreen — 530-581-1401

Garwoods — 530-546-3366

Jake’s on the Lake — 530-583-0188

Jason’s Beachside Grill — 530-546-3315

Las Panchitas — 530-546-4539

River Grille — 530-581-2644

River Ranch — 530-583-4624

Rosie’s Café — 530-583-4624

Soule Domain — 530-546-7529

Sunnyside — 530-583-7200

Wolfdale’s — 530-583-5700

Local Lodging


Cedar Lodge — 530-582-5655

Donner Lake Inn — 530-587-5574

Donner Lake Village Resort — 530-587-6081

Hampton Inn and Suites — 530-587-1197

Hania’s B&B Inn — 530-582-5775

Inn at Truckee — 530-587-8888

Larkspur Lodge — 530-587-4525

Loch Levon Lodge — 530-587-3773

River Street Inn — 530-550-9290

Truckee Donner Lodge — 530-582-9999

Truckee Hotel — 530-587-4444

Donner Summit

Boreal Inn — 530-426-3666

Hoyfjellet Lodge (Youth Groups) — 530-550-5012

Ice Lakes Lodge — 530-426-7660

Rainbow Lodge — 530-426-3661

Sugar Bowl Lodge — 530-426-9000

The Hostel at Tinker’s Station — 530-426-3204


Hyatt Residence Club — 530-562-2530

Northstar Lodging — 530-562-1010

Ritz Carlton Highlands — 530-562-3000

Tahoe Mountain Resort — 530-550-7049

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows

Red Wolf Lodge — 530-583-7226

Resort at Squaw Creek — 530-583-6300

River Ranch Lodge — 530-583-4264

Squaw Valley Lodge — 530-583-5500

Christy Inn — 530-581-0454

Incline Village/Crystal Bay

Hyatt Regency — 775-832-1234

Tahoe Biltmore — 775-832-9292

Inn at Incline — 775-831-1052

North & West Shores

American’s Best Value Inn — 530-583-3766

Blue Lake Inn — 530-544-4101

Granlibakken Resort — 530-583-4242

Holiday House — 530-546-2369

Lake of the Sky Motor Inn — 530-583-3305

Pepper Tree Inn — 530-583-3711

Pepper Tree Tahoe — 530-583-6723

Red Wolf Lakeside Lodge — 530-546-6262

7 Pines Motel — 530-546-9886

Sunnyside Resort — 530-583-7200

Tahoe Vista Inn & Marina — 530-546-7662

Tahoe Vista Inn — 530-546-2529

West Shore Café & Inn — 530-525-5200

Big 7 Motel — 530-546-2541

Cedar Glen Lodge — 530-546-4281

Ferrari’s Crown Motel — 530-546-3388

Firelite Lodge — 530-546-7222

Fox Den Cottages — 530-546-3828

Franciscan Lakeside Lodge — 530-546-6300

Grubstake Lodge — 530-525-5505

Holiday House — 530-546-2369

Meeks Bay Resort & Marina– 530-525-6946

Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort — 530-546-9500

Northwood Pines Motel — 530-546-2338

Snow Peak Lodge — 530-546-6113

Stevenson’s Holliday Inn — 530-546-2269

Sun-N-Sand Lodge — 530-546-2515

Ta-Tel Lodge — 530-546-2411

Tahoe City Inn — 530-581-3333

Tahoe Inn — 530-546-3341

Tahoe Lake Cottages — 530-525-4411

Tahoma Lodge — 30-525-7721

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