As discussed mos dayhikers travel this trail from the historic Doner Pass off of Old Highway 40 south to Tinkers Knob. Some continue on to Squaw and arrange transportation there.
No bikes permitted.
After the initial steady climb, this segment of the Pacific Crest Trail begins a gently rolling climb to the high point along the Sierra Crest at Tinker Knob. Few can pass the scramble up Tinker’s distinctive volcanic formation topping at 8949'. The view from the top is exhilarating, but traveling the Pacific Crest Trail to the knob is mile after mile of great views. The Sierra Club Benson Hut on the north flank of Anderson Peak offers a pleasant visit or overnight opportunities. The well-used but short spur trail to the hut is not signed.
Each option offers alternative trails dropping down to a main highway and shuttle altenatives. (1) South of Tinker (0.25 miles) is the upper end of Coldstream Trail, which drops you down to the edge of Truckee near the Donner Memorial State Park. The short distance and mostly highway driving between the two trailheads makes this alternative more attractive than the Coldstream trail adds to the trek itself. (2) Heading further south takes you along the Sierra Crest to Squaw Valley and the Granite Chief Trail that drops down to the Squaw Valley parking lot. The Squaw Valley destination is well worth the time it takes to arrange a shuttle on that end. The mileage of the total hike to Squaw Valley is only somewhat longer than the return to Old Highway 40. (3) Hike the trail north from Squaw to Donner Pass.
Topographic maps: Norden, Granite Chief. From Trailhead head south. The initial climb out of Donner Pass is the same segment as the Mount Judah Trail.