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Nevada City, Calif. July 1, 2020 – For over 115 years, the Tahoe National Forest’s alpine lakes, deep canyons, shady forests, towering mountains, and rushing rivers have provided an ideal backdrop to celebrate Independence Day. This weekend will be no different with record crowds expected to begin arriving on Thursday.

“We’ve definitely noticed a higher volume of visitors so far this summer,” said Eli Ilano, Tahoe National Forest Supervisor. “Perhaps now more than ever, the mountains are calling, and the Tahoe National Forest is proud to offer a wide range of recreational opportunities. But we also need our visitors, now more than ever, to practice responsible recreation.”

Responsible recreation means no fireworks on National Forest lands – they are strictly prohibited. The Tahoe National Forest is also in campfire restrictions. Campfires outside of developed recreation sites, such as official campgrounds with fire rings, are forbidden. Fire restriction patrols will be conducted over Independence Day weekend; punishment could mean up to $5,000 in fines or imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both.

Additional tips to recreate responsibly:

  • Most campgrounds have been 90% reserved. First-come, first-serve campsites are expected to be filled by Thursday morning – please plan accordingly.
    • Emerald Cove Marina at Bullards Bar is expected to reach capacity by Friday afternoon. You may be turned away as parking will be unavailable.
    • Robinsons Flat campground is still closed due to safety concerns.
  • Select safe parking locations along Bowman Lake road – do not block the road and ensure space for emergency vehicle passage. Vehicles blocking the road may be cited or towed.
  • Maintain at least six feet distancing from others.
  • Do not gather in groups and please follow the latest guidance from officials.
  • Communicate with others and alert trail users of your presence to pass safely.
  • Pack out your trash and leave with everything you bring in and use.

The Tahoe National Forest will continue to phase in opening of facilities and services as county policies and facility preparations allow. For complete list of current updates, please see below.

Campgrounds

The following campgrounds are open. All campgrounds are 90% reserved unless indicated:

  • Highway 89, South
    • Goose Meadow Campground
    • Granite Flat Campground
    • Silver Creek
  • Foresthill Divide Road
    • Giant Gap Campground
    • Shirttail Campground
    • Mumford Bar (First Come First Served only)
  • Gold Lake Road
    • Berger
    • Diablo
    • Packsaddle (Water systems under repair, campers must pack in water)
    • Salmon Creek 
    • Sardine 
    • Snag Lake
  • Marysville Road
    • Dark Day Campground
    • Garden Point Campground (boat in)
    • Madrone Cove Campground (boat in)
    • Schoolhouse Campground
  • Mosquito Ridge Road
    • Ahart
    • French Meadows
    • Lewis
    • Talbot (First Come First Served only)
  • Interstate 80
    • North Fork  
    • Onion Valley (First Come First Served only)
    • Hampshire Rocks (some sites closed due to hazard trees)
  • Highway 49
    • Loganville 
    • Rocky Rest
    • Carlton Flat
    • Cal Ida
    • Union Flat
  • Highway 89, North 
    • Bear Valley
    • Cold Creek
    • Cottonwood
    • Little Lasier Meadow Horse
    • Lakeside (Water systems under repair, campers must pack in water)
    • Lower Little Truckee
    • Prosser Family (Water systems under repair, campers must pack in water)
    • Upper Little Truckee
  • Boca / Stampede Reservoirs
    • Boca
    • Boca Rest
    • Boca Springs
    • Boyington Mill
    • Logger – Dump station open
  • Bowman Lake Road
    • Carr-Feeley – PG&E managed site, first-come first-serve only
    • Lindsey – PG&E managed site, first-come first-serve only
    • Grouse Ridge – Open, first-come first-serve only NO FIRES ALLOWED

The following campgrounds are closed for the upcoming weekend, June 26-28, 2020. Closing any site for any reason is not an action we take lightly, but protecting our visitors and employees remains our highest priority.

In addition, reservations have been temporarily canceled for the following closed campgrounds. If you previously made a reservation for one of the following closed campgrounds, and the campground opens before your current reservation date, your reservation will be honored. If a closed campground does not open before your reservation date, you will be refunded. Please check back in for weekly campground opening updates.

  • Interstate 80
    • Indian Springs – tentative open date August 1
  • Highway 20
    • White Cloud – tentative open date July 2
    • Skillman – tentative open date July 2
  • Highway 49
    • Chapman Creek – Closed for the season, hazard tree and road work
    • Fiddle Creek – tentative open date July 17
    • Indian Valley – tentative open date July 2
    • Ramshorn – tentative open date August 1
    • Sierra – tentative open date August 1
    • Wild Plum – tentative open date August 1
    • Yuba Pass – Closed for the season, hazard trees
  • Highway 89, North
    • Lake of the Woods – Closed due to hazard trees
  • Marysville Road
    • Frenchy Point

All group campgrounds are closed at this time. Please check back July 2 for tentative group campground opening date information:

  • Big Bend
  • Cottonwood Creek
  • Coyote – Reservations cancelled at least through July 9
  • Emigrant Gap
  • Forbes – Reservations cancelled at least through July 9
  • Gates– Reservations cancelled at least through July 9
  • Hornswoggle
  • Prosser Ranch
  • Tunnel Mills

Reservations are not available for the following campgrounds and they are currently closed:

  • Robinsons Flat (hazard trees)
  • Sterling Lake – PG&E managed site, closed for hazard tree removal
  • Meadow Lake – PG&E manages site, closed for hazard tree removal, est. opening July 3
  • Sagehen Creek
  • White Rock Lake (unreachable due to snow)

Day Use Sites, Trailheads, Boat Ramps, and Staging Areas

All developed recreation sites on the Tahoe National Forest are now open. Trash removal services remain limited – please pack out all trash and waste. Toilet facilities remain limited, please plan accordingly.

  • Gold Lake Road
    • Sierra Buttes Trailhead – Rough conditions may exist
  • Highway 20
    • Gold Country Equestrian Trailhead – Open
    • Golden Quartz – Open
  • Highway 49
    • Oregon Creek Day Use Area – Open
  • Highway 89, North
    • Pass Creek – Open
    • Woodcamp Boat Ramp – Opens July 1
    • Donner Picnic Area – Open
  • Interstate 80
    • Indian Springs Staging Area – Open
    • Castle Valley – Inaccessible due to snow
  • Boca / Stampede Reservoirs
    • Prosser Boat Ramp – Open
    • Boca Boat Ramp – Closed due to water level
    • Stampede Boat Ramp – Open
    • Boca Town Site – Open
    • Prosser OHV – Open
    • Vista Overlook – Open
  • Marysville Road
    • Dark Day Boat ramp/picnic area – Open
    • Emerald Cove Boat ramp – Open
  • Mosquito Ridge Road
    • French Meadow Boat Ramp – Open
    • Big Trees Nature Trail – Accessible, windfall on access road and trail
  • Foresthill Divide Road
    • Manzanita – Open – $5.00 day use fee now in effect.
    • Sugar Pine Boat Launch – Open, limited parking, $5.00 day use fee now in effect.
    • Brimstone staging area – Open
    • Parker Flat OHV staging area – Open
    • Sugar Pine OHV staging area – Open
  • Bowman Lake Road
    • Carr-Feeley – accessible, free trailhead parking
    • Lindsay – accessible, free trailhead parking
    • Loney Meadows – accessible, free trailhead parking

Motorized Routes and Trails

Trash removal services remain limited at many motorized trailheads – please pack out all trash and waste. Thank you for helping to keep the Tahoe National Forest safe and clean. Happy riding!

Westside of the Tahoe National Forest

  • Sugar Pine OHV system is open. Loop 6, of the Foresthill OHV system, is closed at the “lower bridge” due to major storm damage. The trail is open on both sides but the bridge is impassable.
  •  The Downieville multiple-use trail is mostly open.  Some of the highest elevation trails may still have snow drifts blocking access (i.e., Chimney Rock, top of Gold Valley 4×4 and top of Lavezzola)
  • Fordyce Jeep Trail – Open, all snow should be melted out
  • Burlington Motorcycle Trail system – Open
  • Gold Valley OHV system  –  Log blocking 4×4 entrance, still some snow drifts on highest elevation trails
  • Excelsior – Rough conditions
  • Pendola – Open
  • Chalk Bluff – Rough conditions
  • Omega – Rough conditions
  • Alpha  – Rough conditions
  • Burlington – Rough conditions
  • Bowman  – Clear to Bowman Lake
  • Lindsey (FS 17 RD) – Clear to lake
  • Grouse Ridge (FS 14 RD) – Rough conditions from Bowman (FS 17 RD) patched of snow may exist on road near campground, proceed with caution
  • Cal-Ida – Fully accessible, rough conditions
  • Fiddle Creek – Fully accessible, rough conditions
  • Texas Hill – From Emigrant Gap clear to MP 8.5, rough conditions thereafter, 4×4 high clearance recommended. From Yuba Gap clear to MP 4.6, then rough condition thereafter.
  • Eureka  – Fully accessible, rough conditions
  • Long Point Access – Rough conditions
  • Jouberts  – Poor road condition, snow and tree limbs in road
  • Madrone Spring – Good condition
  • Washington Ridge – Good condition
  • Packer Lake Road – Clear

Eastside of the Tahoe National Forest

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  • Fiberboard (07 Road) – Open  
  • Prosser Hill Moto (Animal/Animal Crackers) – open, cleared
  • Bald Mountain Moto (Happy Face) – sections of the trail and area will be closed during the summer to accommodate the Big Jack East Vegetation Project – see Big Jack East Project Story Map for project updates and closure info
  • Lloyd’s Moto – Open, cleared
  • Meadow Lake – Open and snow free
  • The Bear Valley OHV system – Open, actively being cleared of down winter trees
  • Yuba Weber  – Open and snow free
  • Carmen Valley – Road is snow free and in good condition and passable
  • Nichols Mill – Open to Jones Valley, snow beyond that
  • Verdi Peak – Open, rough conditions
  • Haskel Peak – Passable
  • Babbit – Rough Road. Road maintenance activities, watch out for heavy equipment.
  • Sawtooth (06 Road) – Open, watch out for large trucks/heavy equipment
  • Bear Valley Road – Snow free, good condition and passable
  • Sardine Road- Snow Free, clear to Sardine Lake
  • Rubicon – Snow melted out
  • Mosquito Ridge – Clear to Hell Hole

Local County Roads within the Tahoe National Forest

  • Boca/Stampede – Clear
  • Foresthill Road – Clear to Robinson Flat
  • Indian Springs Road – Clear to OHV Trail Head. Signal Peak still snowed in.
  • Gold Lake Highway – Open
  • Sierra County has closed Mountain House Road between Goodyears Bar and Henness Pass Road due to road repair work for storm damage culvert replacements.

Non-motorized Trails

Generally non-motorized trails are open, but high elevation trails may be inaccessible due to late season snow and other factors:

Below 5000’: Trails may not have been cleared. Potential for down trees and rough conditions on trails below in this elevation. This applies to:

  • Pioneer Trail
  • Bullards Bar Trail Complex
  • Joshua M. Hardt Memorial Trail – Trails have been cleared and fully accessible
  • North and South Yuba Trail – Reports of some downed trees, actively being cleared
  • Dascombe Trail Complex
  • Western States Trail – Trails have been cleared and fully accessible

5,000’ -6,000’: Trails may not have been cleared. Potential for down trees and rough conditions on trails below in this elevation. This applies to:

  • The Lone Grave area trail system has been cleared.
  • Blue Lake Trail
  • Spaulding Lake Trail
  • Forest City Trail Complex

6,000’ to 7,000’: Trails may not have been cleared. Potential for down trees and rough conditions on trails below in this elevation. This applies to:

  • Hole in the Ground Trail – not cleared, many snow patches still exist
  • Western States – open, clear east of Hwy 89 and 3 miles west of 89; still snow near the crest
  • Commemorative Overland Emigrant – open, cleared
  • Sawtooth – cleared, sections of the trail and area will be closed during the summer to accommodate the Big Jack East Vegetation Project – see Big Jack East Project Story Map for project updates and closure info
  • Big Chief – open, clear of snow, not affected by the Big Jack East Vegetation Project
  • Donkey Town/Burro (formerly Jackass Ridge/A1) – open, heavy use
  • 5 Lakes – clear to lakes, patches of snow may still exist around 5 Lakes
  • Loch Leven Trail
  • Castle Valley Loop Trail
  • Loyalton/Boca Railroad Trail
  • Deer Creek Trail – cleared

Above 7,000’: Any trails along the crest at high elevation still have snow patches, making the trails difficult to follow. Snow is melting, but many these high elevation trails will likely not be clear of snow until the beginning of July or later.

  • Mt. Lola Trail – not cleared
  • Mount Judah Loop – cleared, large snow patches
  • Granite Chief Trail – partially cleared, snow patches near PCT
  • Pacific Crest Trail – snow patches, not cleared
  • French Lake Trail
  • Granite Chief Wilderness Trails – not cleared, many trees down on trails

Tahoe National Forest and Virtual Services

The Tahoe National Forest has closed all offices to in-person visits and is implementing virtual services to protect the health and safety of employees and members of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak in accordance with guidance from federal and state authorities.  

Many services traditionally offered in our public offices are available online. To access these virtual services, please visit our website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/tahoe/.  We will continue to update our website with current virtual service information as conditions change. To email the Tahoe National Forest, please use the ‘Contact Us’ function on our website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/contactus/tahoe/about-forest/contactus.

Firewood Cutting Permits

The Tahoe National Forest Firewood Cutting permit process has changed. Please refer to our ‘permits’ page for more information:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tahoe/passes-permits/?cid=stelprdb5212195