Donner Summit

“The Summit” as locals refer to it, is located on Old Highway 40, just a few miles west of Donner Lake and the town of Truckee, CA. Donner Summit is comprised of Serene Lakes, Soda Springs, Pla Vada Woodlands, Norden, Kingvale, Cisco Grove and Emigrant Gap.

Serene Lakes
Lake Dulzura and Lake Serene comprise the area better known as Serene Lakes. Serene Lakes Property Owners Association (SLPOA) is an all-volunteer organization that governs the estimated 650 private homes in the Serene Lakes development. The SLOPA website is a wealth of information covering area Activities & Events, Important Local Phone Numbers, Covenenant, Rules and Conditions (CC&R’s) and even how to join the Serene Lakes Cooking Club!

  • Homeowners Association: Yes – Participation Mandatory
  • Annual HOA Dues: $65 Cabin Owners/$35 Undeveloped Lot Owners
  • Residential Mix – Primarily Second Homeowners
  • Single-family Home Price Range: $430,000 to $950,000
  • Single-family Home Price Range (Lakefront): $900,000 up to $1,100,000
  • Undeveloped Lot Price Range: $135,000 to $400,000
  • Undeveloped Lot Price Range (Lakefront): $500,000 and up
  • Website:
  • SLPOA Member Services: (530) 426-3778

Soda Springs
Old Highway 40, also known as Donner Pass Road, is the main drag that passes through Soda Springs. Many of the Soda Springs homes are inaccessible by vehicle during the winter months due to the heavy snow load and the fact that the homes are located on dirt roads (locals refer to these homes as “walk-ins”).

  • Homeowners Association/Amenities/Dues: N/A
  • Residential Mix: 40% full-time “locals”, 60% second homeowners
  • Single-family Home Price Range: $500,000 to $625,000
  • Undeveloped Lot Price Range: $100,000 to $175,000

PlaVada Woodlands
Pla Vada Woodlands is located on the North side of Old Highway 40, approximately 3 miles down the road from Soda Springs. Primarily outdoor winter-sports enthusiasts who enjoy snowmobiling populate the Pla-Vada Woodlands subdivision. Pla Vada streets are maintained “plowed” roads since 2005 (prior to '05, the majority of homeowner’s accessed their properties via walk-in, snowmobile in, snowshoe in etc.).

  • Homeowners Association: Yes – Participation Mandatory
  • Annual Homeowner Assessments: $940 (cabin-owners) & $235 (lot owners) for the year 8/1/2004 through 7/31/2005
  • One-Time Membership Fee: $300 per unit
  • Residential Mix: Predominantly Second Homeowners
  • Single-family Home Price Range: $330,000 to $799,000
  • Undeveloped Lot Price Range: $150,000 to $175,000
  • New Construction is subject to $5,000 water & sewer hook-up fee
  • New Construction is subject to $1,000 Deposit (refunded when Final is performed by County Inspector)
  • Pla-Vada Woodlands Community Assoc. Voice Mail (530) 426-9128
  • Pla-Vada Woodlands Community Assoc. Secretary-Office Manager is Amy Wright: E-Mail: Phone: (775) 356-8213
Facts about Pla-Vada


  • Pla-Vada's name was made from combining the names of Placer and Nevada Counties, as the land borders both counties.
  • Pla-Vada is located in Nevada County and is about 90 miles east of Sacramento.
  • The Pla-Vada Community Association was incorporated in April, 1958 and is a community of full and part time residents (vacation homes) in a recreational wooded area. 
  • There are a a total of 352 lots in the subdivision.
  • The elevation is around 6000 feet.
  • The average snowfall is about 320 inches a year, or 19-20 feet.
  • Pla-Vada Community Association, a private entity, is managed by an elected board of directors.
  • Member's dues and assessments are used to maintain our roads, water and sewer systems, land, and facilities common to the association.


Tiny Donner Summit hamlet situated in and around the areas known as Donner Ski Ranch and Sugar Bowl Ski Resort. Rarely are properties available for sale in Norden. Homes and condo prices cover a wide spectrum and can range anywhere from a low of $200,000 to a high of $10,000,000 (estate properties).

There is a quaint and charming “Old Tahoe” feel to Kingvale; it is a place where the Yuba River runs through an area dotted with vintage 1940’s and 50’s cabins and summer cottages. Kingvale is a forested community of unpaved roads and cabins – it truly is like going back in time. Kingvale’s next-door neighbor down the road - Pla Vada Woodlands.

  • Homeowners Association: Yes – Participation Mandatory
  • Annual HOA Dues: $130
  • One-Time Initiation Fee: $15
  • Residential Mix: Primarily Summer Seasonal
  • Single-family Home Price Range: $300,000 to $400,000
  • Undeveloped Lot Price Range: $90,000 and up

Historic Rainbow Lodge, a circa 1920’s Bed & Breakfast is the cornerstone to this area that is situated along a bend in The Yuba River. Rainbow is conveniently located just minutes off Interstate 80 and 7 miles west of Soda Springs. Most of the properties are older-style cabins on unplowed roads; vast majority of the properties straddle the Yuba River, affording stunning nature views. Rarely do properties become available for sale in this area. Prices range $400,000 to $700,000.

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Ellen Grace with

(530) 448-3068
Office Direct (530) 582-2455

Fax: (530) 579-3234