Recreation

red of indian paintbrush and purple lupines

With breathtaking mountain peaks, lush meadows filled with wildflowers, historic mining towns, destination vacation spots at Goodyears Bar, Downieville, Sierra City, Truckee, Yuba River, the Lakes Basin Area and the Jackson Meadows Region, the Tahoe National Forest is one of the most popular recreation forests in the US.

In winter, there are outstanding winter sports opportunities including world renowned downhill ski areas and extensive snowmobile and cross-country ski trails to experience. In the summer, an extensive array of hiking trails (including a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail) , OHV, equestrian and mountain biking trails provide access to many lakes, rivers, and mountain tops. Developed recreation sites including campgrounds, boat ramps, picnic areas, nature trails and even a fire lookout or two that can be rented for overnight occupancy.  The Tahoe National Forest is a year-round playground. So come for a visit, relax and rejuvenate with our mountain air!

The recreation information is primarily organized  by travel corridor.  The main travel corridors are:  Interstate 80, Highway 49, Highway 20, Highway 89 (North and South), Foresthill Divide Road, Mosquito Ridge Road, Bowman Road, Marysville Road, and Gold Lakes Road.  Activities such as camping and hiking will also have related links to boating, biking, trailheads, parking, and OHV riding in the same corridor.

Accessible Recreation Facilities - For more information on accessible recreation facilities on the Tahoe National Forest follow this link. This guide lists facilities and recreation opportunities by Ranger District with features that are accessible for people with disabilities; (Not all locations/facilities listed are 100% accessible.) Because we are continually adding new accessible sites, please call ahead to the Ranger District for more information. The facilities listed meet federal accessibility standards (32-inch minimum width for doorways, adequate room for turning etc).   More...

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

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Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
American River Trail Open to Visitor Trail maintenance has not been done this year.
Aspen Group Camp Open to Visitor Drought conditions have caused the local water source to dry up and shut down our potable water supply.  Campers can expect portable restrooms only and should plan on bringing their own water supply.
Aspen Picnic Site Open to Visitor No drinking water is available due to drought.
Beacroft Trail Open to Visitor Trail maintenance has not been done this year.
Bear Valley Campground Open to Visitor Fire restrictions in effect, no campfires permitted.
Big Reservoir Campground Open to Visitor
Big Trees Picnic Site Open to Visitor
Big Trees Nature Trail Open to Visitor The trails will be closed for trail maintenance Oct 13-17 and Oct. 20-24.
CalpineFire Lookout Open to Visitor Fire restrictions in effect, no campfires permitted. Popular rental with reservations booked approximately 6 months in advance.
Castle Valley Road Closed to Visitor Gate closed
China Wall Staging Area Open to Visitor
Cold Creek Campground Open to Visitor
Cottonwood Creek Campground Open to Visitor
East Meadow Campground Open to Visitor Drought conditions have dried up the local water source. Campers can expect portable restrooms only and should plan on bringing their own water supply.
Euchre Bar Trail and Trailhead Open to Visitor Trail maintenance has not been done
Findley Campground Open to Visitor
Fir Top Campground Open to Visitor
Foresthill OHV Area Open to Visitor
Forks House Trailhead Open to Visitor
French Meadows Boat Ramp Closed to Visitor The French Meadows Boat Ramp and the McGuire Boat Ramp are out of the water. However, the earth is solid and dry enough that people can still reach the water safely. (7/14/2015) 
French Meadows Campground Open to Visitor Lake Level is low. (5/15/2015)
Giant Gap Campground Open to Visitor Opening April 25th for First Come First Serve. Reservations can be made for dates after May 22nd.
Grouse Falls Overlook Trail Open to Visitor
Grouse Ridge Campground Open to Visitor
Hallelujah Trail Open to Visitor
Hampshire Rocks Campground Open to Visitor As of July 28th the water is on at the campground.
Indian Springs Campground Open to Visitor
Italian Bar Trail Open to Visitor Trail maintenance has not been done.
Jackson Point Boat In Campground Open to Visitor Fire restrictions in effect, no campfires permitted.
Joshua M. Hardt Memorial Trail at Sugar Pine Open to Visitor Trail is open but be cautious around trail work being done.
Lake of the Woods Open to Visitor
Lewis Campground Open to Visitor Opening May 22, 2015 Lake Level is low
Lindsey Lake Campground Open to Visitor Due to heavy hauling and construction activities Lindsey Lake Campground will be closed for the season starting September 14, 2015. Contact PG&E at (530) 889-5104 with any questions.  
Little Bald Mountain Trail Open to Visitor Trail maintenance has not been done.
Little Lasier Meadow Horse Camp Open to Visitor
Little Truckee Summit OHV/Snowmobile Staging Area Open to Visitor 4/22/15 Snowmobiling closed for this year.
Loch Leven Trail Open to Visitor
Lower Little Truckee Campground Open to Visitor
Manzanita Day Use, Swim Area Picnic Site Open to Visitor
Meadow Knolls Group Camp Open to Visitor
Meadow Lake Campground Open to Visitor
Meadow Lake Shoreline Campground Closed to Visitor
Mosquito Ridge Trail Open to Visitor Large logs down across trail that must be climbed over/under. Watch for poison oak.
Mumford Bar Trail Open to Visitor Recently cleared
North Fork Campground Open to Visitor
North Fork of the Middle Fork American River Trail Open to Visitor Watch for poison oak!
Onion Valley Campground Open to Visitor
Parker Flat Staging Area Open to Visitor
Pass Creek Campground Open to Visitor Drought conditions have dried up our local water source. Campers can expect portable restrooms only and should plan on bringing their own water.
Pioneer Trail Open to Visitor
Ralston Picnic Site Open to Visitor
Robinson Flat Campground Open to Visitor
Rucker Lake Campground Open to Visitor PG&E website at http://recreation.pge.com/Campgrounds-and-RV-Parks/All/Rucker-Lake-Dispersed-Camping/Overview
Sailor Flat Trail Open to Visitor Trailhead cleared, good condition. 8/2015
Shirttail Campground Open to Visitor Open to first come first serve. Reservations can be made for dates after May 21st
Silver Tip Group Campground Open to Visitor
Skillman Horse Campground Open to Visitor As of July 20, 2015 there is no potable water in the campground. Horse water is available, but must be boiled before used for human consumption. There is potable water available at the White Cloud Campground, about 4 miles west on Highway 20. As of 7/31/15 the trails and forest area around White Cloud campground south of Highway 20 are under a closure due to the Lowell Fire. The campground is still open. For more information see the Forest Order
Sugar Pine Boat Ramp Open to Visitor
Sugar Pine Staging Area Open to Visitor
Tunnel Mills Group Campground Open to Visitor Opening May 22nd, 2015
Upper Little Truckee Campground Open to Visitor
Woodcamp Campground Open to Visitor The water level of the reservoir has dropped below the Woodcamp Boat Ramp so it is not operational. The Pass Creek Boat Ramp is still available.
Woodcamp Picnic Site Open to Visitor
Yuba Pass Campground Open to Visitor No water services available due to on going drought conditions.