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Nevada City, Calif. – In compliance with a Regional Closure Order, the Tahoe National Forest is extending the closure of all developed recreation sites, excluding: trails, trailheads and specific picnic areas, boat launches, and staging areas that function as trailheads for dispersed recreation activities. These closures will remain in place through May 15, 2020 or until rescinded. Please see the Background information below for specific information on this Closure.

Closing any site for any reason is not an action we take lightly, but protecting our visitors and employees remains our highest priority. We are working with our state and local partners to determine the best path forward to safely reopen closed sites.

Outdoor recreation can be beneficial to mental and physical health but must be practiced safely. In light of the statewide shelter-in-place order issued by the Governor of California, we continue to ask visitors to recreate locally. 

If you do plan on visiting the Tahoe National Forest please be aware that:

  • Trash removal services remain limited – please pack out all trash and waste
  • Toilet facilities remain limited, please plan accordingly
  • Avoid high-risk activities – law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limited
  • If an area is crowded, please search for a less occupied location.

Background: The Tahoe National Forest is part of the Pacific Southwest Region of the US Forest Service which includes most National Forests within California. On March 25, 2020, Pacific Southwest Regional Forester Randy Moore issued a Closure Order for all developed recreation sites, excluding trailheads, across all National Forests within the Pacific Southwest Region including the Tahoe National Forest. This Order has been extended through May 15, 2020.

We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our national forests safe and healthy for everyone’s use. For specific details on campground closures and current trail/road conditions, as well as our transition to providing virtual service and updated firewood cutting information, please see below.

Campgrounds

  • The Tahoe National Forest is preparing a phased, reopening plan for all developed recreation sites, including campgrounds, for implementation when it is safe to do so.  The Tahoe National Forest is coordinating with local counties on this phased, reopening plan.
  • Even without the Regional Closure, late winter snow would delay the opening of most high elevation campgrounds.
  • The Tahoe National Forest will provide weekly updates on the status of campground opening including the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
  • Reservations for Tahoe National Forest campgrounds can still be made at recreation.gov for the 2020 summer season. Please visit the website for information on refunds if a Tahoe National Forest campground is still closed during the time of your reservation.

Other Developed Recreation Facilities

Most developed recreation facilities are closed.

  • Trash removal services remain limited – please pack out all trash and waste
  • Toilet facilities remain limited, please plan accordingly

Motorized Routes and Trails

All motorized roads and trails across the Tahoe National Forest opened May 1, 2020.  Trash removal services remain limited – please pack out all trash and waste. Toilet facilities remain limited, please plan accordingly. Remember to tread lightly on north-facing trails and in higher elevations. Thank you for helping to keep the Tahoe National Forest safe and clean, and for preventing further restrictions by recreating responsibly. Happy riding!

The following conditions apply at these popular riding areas:

  • The Downieville multiple-use trail system will still have moderate to heavy snow in higher elevations (much like every year) and connection routes to higher elevations will be impassable.
  • Burlington Motorcycle Trail system – Westside Open
    • Actively being cleared of down winter trees
  • The Sugar Pine OHV system has favorable soil moisture conditions and is actively being cleared of down winter trees. Additionally:
    • The Brimstone staging area is closed. Parker and Sugar Pine staging areas are open for day-use only. Overnight camping is not permitted at these staging areas at this time.
    • Be aware of down winter trees. Tahoe National Forest trail crews should have most Sugar Pine OHV system trails cleared by the upcoming weekend, but the potential for down winter trees may exist on some remote and outlier routes.
  • Boca/ Stampede OHV system – Open
  • The Bear Valley OHV system – Open
    •  Actively being cleared of down winter trees
  • Fordyce Jeep Trail – Passible from Eagle up to Committee Crossing and back, not possible to get out from Committee to Fordyce Lake Rd.

For a more robust list of Tahoe National Forest motorized road and trail conditions, see below:

Westside of the Tahoe National Forest

  • Diamond Creek – Patchy snow and muddy conditions
  • Gold Valley  –  Closed at Gold Lake HWY – Windfall, inaccessible due to snow on road
  • Excelsior – Snow remains in shady areas, muddy in spots
  • Chalk Bluff – Muddy conditions
  • Omega – Muddy conditions
  • Alpha  – Some muddy conditions
  • Burlington – Some muddy conditions
  • Bowman  – Clear to 18/17 junction. Rapid snow melt after, treefall and snow patches may exist
  • Cal-Ida – Open to Halls Ranch
  • Fiddle Creek – Open, watch for windfall
  • Texas Hill – Onion Valley accessible, windfall on road. Snow and muddy conditions exist
  • Eureka  – Snow conditions may exist past mile post 2.5
  • Long Point Access – Muddy conditions
  • Jouberts  – Poor road condition, snow and tree limbs in road
  • Madrone Spring – Good condition
  • Washington Ridge – Good condition
  • Packer Lake Road –impassable due to snow

Eastside of the Tahoe National Forest

  • Fiberboard (07 Road) – Passable to Weber Lake, then heavy snow coverage
  • Yuba Weber  – Snow covered and not accessible
  • Carmen Valley – Road is snow free and in good condition and passable
  • Nicholas Mill –  Road is snow free and in good condition for about 2.5 miles. Then blocked by snow
  • Verdi Peak – Blocked by snow
  • Haskel Peak – Blocked by snow
  • Babbit – Passable to Jones Valley
  • Sawtooth (06 Road) – Passable to Second Gate
  • Bear Valley Road – Snow free, good condition and passable
  • Sardine Road- Snow Free

Local County Roads within the Tahoe National Forest

  • Boca/Stampede – Clear
  • Mosquito Ridge – Clear to Hell Hole
  • Foresthill Road – Clear to Sailor Flat, patches of snow on road possible after Sailor Flat
  • Indian Springs Road – Clear to OHV Trail Head
  • Gold Lake Highway – Open

Trailheads, boat launches, and staging areas.

Generally, trailheads, boat launches, and staging areas are open but may be inaccessible due to late season snow and other factors. Again, Trash removal services remain limited – please pack out all trash and waste. Toilet facilities remain limited, please plan accordingly.

  • Big Trees Nature Trail – Accessible, windfall on access road and trail
  • Castle Valley – Inaccessible due to snow
  • Sierra Buttes Trailhead – Gates locked at Gold Lake Highway
  • Lindsey Lake Trailhead – Inaccessible due to snow
  • Prosser Boat Ramp –Accessible
  • Boca Boat Ramp –Accessible
  • Stampede Boat Ramp –Accessible
  • French Meadows – Plowed to the dam
  • Pass Creek & Woodcamp Boat Ramp – Inaccessible due to snow
  • Sugar Pine Boat Ramp – Open, but very limited parking
  • Gold Country Equestrian Trailhead – Accessible and in good condition

Non-motorized Trails

Generally non-motorized trails are open, but may be inaccessible due to late season snow and other factors. Snow has now melted out below 6,000’.

The Tahoe National Forest has received reports of beautiful wildflower blooms on the South Yuba Trail!

Below 5000’: Trails have not been cleared. Expect down trees and muddy conditions on trails below in this elevation. This applies to:

  • Pioneer Trail
  • Bullards Bar Trail Complex
  • Joshua M. Hardt Memorial Trail
  • North and South Yuba Trail
  • Dascombe Trail Complex
  • Western States Trail

5,000’ -6,000’: Trails have not been cleared. Expect down trees and muddy 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 have not been cleared. Expect down trees, muddy conditions, and patches of moderate to heavy snow on trails in this elevation. This applies to:

  • Hole in the Ground Trail
  • Loch Leven Trail
  • Castle Valley Loop Trail
  • Commemorative Overland Emigrant Trail
  • Loyalton/Boca Railroad Trail
  • Deer Creek Trail

Above 7,000’: Trails have not been cleared. Expect down trees and heavy snow in this elevation. This applies to:

  • Mt. Lola Trail
  • Mount Judah Loop
  • Granite Chief Trail
  • Pacific Crest Trail
  • French Lake Trail

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