July 27 - October 1, 2023

Run the Sierra | Frog Lake Backcountry

10150 Ski Ranch Ln

Norden, CA Jul 27-30, Aug 10-13, Sept 28-Oct 1

This Event Took Place Sun. Oct 1, 2023

Cancelled Event


Off-Limits for Over a Century

On the edge of Frog Lake just north of Donner Summit, these brand-new huts stand bravely beneath the steep and imposing Frog Lake Cliffs. Acquired by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, this land has been held privately until last year for over 100 years. Now open to the public, the Frog Lake Backcountry Huts offer access to Yosemite-like wilderness just a few miles from civilization. We invite you to come explore this amazing place and enjoy European-style chalet hospitality. Only 20 spots are available per trip so grab a few adventure buddies and set off on a wild and scenic Sierra backcountry adventure with frontcountry amenities!

Welcome to Frog Lake Backcountry Huts

We’re excited to host this adventure from the Frog Lake Backcountry Huts, a perfect place to refuel and recover each day after exploring wild and scenic single-track in the spectacular Sierra Nevada. We’ll handle all of the logistics, permits, and food so that you can show up with your running gear and enjoy your “vacation” without having to manage anything. Get ready for 4 days of unforgettable trail running in the Sierra!

Frog Lake is located a few short miles from the world-famous Pacific Crest Trail. Castle Peak, sitting at just over 9,000 feet elevation, dominates the area from almost any viewpoint. All of our routes showcase the area’s mountain summits, flowy singletrack, and technical trail sections. In addition to spending some miles on the PCT, we’ll be running some “off the beaten path” routes into real wilderness. This is an adventure, after all!

Bring your own personal toiletries and a bathing suit, so you can enjoy Frog Lake to its fullest! It gets cold outside at night in the mountains, so bring an insulating jacket/puffy, warm hat, and gloves. Bring a headlamp for getting around after sunset. We’ll drive all your gear out on day 1 and back to your car at the end of the trip so you can load up a bag with whatever you want to have on hand!

Total Immersion

It is our hope that the ability to focus exclusively on your running and recovery will help you get the most out of your trip. We will provide map kits for each runner for each day of the trip, and GPX files for all routes will be available both in advance of your trip and out at Frog Lake. Our routes are not marked in any way, so you must be able to use a map/GPX to navigate on your own. You’ll always have the option to run with one of our guides for the duration of each run should you feel uncomfortable navigating alone. We strongly encourage the use of in-field mapping apps like Caltopo and Gaia to help ensure a successful running adventure. If you do not have this knowledge we can provide training for you. While on the course, if there’s any doubt as to the direction of travel, we encourage guests to wait at that intersection until guides/other runners join them and navigate together from there.

A private chef will be preparing all of your meals in the kitchen at the Eschenbach Backcountry House, which is a full commercial-grade kitchen! No cooking or cleaning will be tasked to any of our guests. All plateware/silverware/cups/mugs/linens will be provided.

All of our Frog Lake Backcountry Basecamp trips are held at 7500+ feet in a mountain wilderness environment. The more specific training you can get under your belt ahead of your trip, the more likely you’ll keep the fun Type-1. Training for this trip should be relatively similar to training for a 50k run or race with comparable elevation gain on trails. We strongly encourage at least one week’s worth of your training to include 50+ miles of trail time and include several back-to-back days of running.

Prior to your adventure, we will send out a travel packet via email with all relevant information. At that time we’ll also ask about dietary restrictions, special gear needs, etc. to help ensure you have the support your need on your trip. We take pride in ensuring that every one of our guests everything they need to run their best and enjoy their trip to the fullest.

4 Days of Guided Running in the Sierra

All of our groups are different, and our guides work with each group to build a trip itinerary that suits everyone’s enthusiasm and abilities. All of our routes can be modified, so all guests will have the opportunity to run shorter or longer as desired. That being said, here’s a sample itinerary for our Frog Lake trips:

Day 1 will begin from Donner Summit at Donner Ski Ranch off Old Hwy 40. We’ll leave personal vehicles here for the duration of the trip. You’ll be able to load up our vehicle with all of your personal items for Frog Lake, and run light to the Huts. Distances of 8.5-15 miles are available, and all routes end at Frog Lake, where you’ll be received by our staff with cold drinks, hot food, and the best backcountry accommodations in the Sierra.

We’ll wake up with the sunrise and enjoy coffee on the deck of the Eschenbach Backcountry House on day 2. After breakfast, we’ll head off to run one of our favorite local loops. You’ll run out of the Frog Lake basin and into the Castle basin, home of the some of the best wildflowers in the Tahoe region. We’ll take in (optional) summits of Basin Peak and Castle Peak, before down running the PCT and back up and into the Frog Lake basin. A stop at the Frog Lake Overlook is highly recommended (a short ¼ mile detour from the main trail). Options from 10-20 miles are possible. Time enjoying Frog Lake, group meals, and recovery will comprise the rest of our day.

Every group has different goals for day 3 - some runners prefer a mellow day replete with a later alarm and a morning yoga practice before a shorter run, and some have their sights set on another 20+ mile day on singletrack. Our guides will work with everyone to offer options that satisfy different enthusiasms on this day.

On Day 4 we’ll enjoy coffee and breakfast at Frog Lake, and take some extra time to enjoy that special place before packing up to head home. We’ll head out from Frog Lake on trail and return back to the cars. Plenty of route options exist between 8.5 and 15 miles, depending on how everyone is feeling and when folks have to get back to their cars.

Land Preservation and Stewardship

The Truckee Donner Land Trust has acquired thousands or acres to preserve for public use while maintaining the low impact on the land for future generations. Our goal is to foster this ethos and help support future and on-going projects. We hope to pass our enthusiasm on to our guests so more beautiful terrain can be protected and enjoyed. Sustainability is key, leave nothing and take nothing but lifelong memories and beautiful photos. Visit for more.

The Huts

The Ted R. Hut is the largest hut, and accommodates 8. Grab 7 friends and book the entire hut or individuals can share this intimate space and become lifelong friends! This hut has its own bathroom.

The Albert M. Rockwood Hut is a duplex, with each unit sleeping 4 (8 total guests in the hut). There is a shared bathroom between the right and left units. Bring 3 friends and book 1 side or individuals can fill bunks, dorm-style.

The Morgan Family Foundation Hut is a duplex, with each unit sleeping 2 (4 total guests in the hut). There is a shared bath between the right and left units. Perfect for couples, these will book fast at a premium rate!

There is also a shared bathroom in the Eschenbach House along with a dining room, library, fireplace and a large loft. The rock patio overlooking the Basin and Cliffs is the perfect spot to enjoy sunshine, views, food and drinks while bonding over the day or learning tips from our guides. A focus on sustainability here means no showers are allowed, but there is no better way to cleanse oneself than a jump in the crystal clear waters of Frog Lake.

All guest accommodations have outlets and USB charging ports to help maintain watches/phones/etc. All huts are all equipped with thermostat-controlled electric stoves, so it's easy to stay warm. All huts have a bathroom with hot running water and a flushable toilet.

Event's current local time: 9:52 PM PT

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