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
Aspen Group Camp Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Aspen Picnic Site Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Bear Valley Campground Closed to Visitor Closed due to winter weather and poor road conditions. Re-open in spring.
Big Bend Group Campground Closed to Visitor
Big Reservoir Campground Closed 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.
Bowman Road Closed to Visitor See Motor Vehicle Use Map for additional information.
Burlington Motorcycle Trail System Closed to Visitor See Motor Vehicle Use Map for additional information.
Calpine Fire Lookout Open to Visitor Popular rental with reservations booked approximately 6 months in advance. Road is currently closed by snow and ice, access to lookout is by a 2 mile trail with 900' elevation gain on snowshoes or skis to reach the lookout.
Canyon Creek Campground Closed to Visitor
Carr Lake Campground Closed to Visitor PG&E website - www.pge.com/recreation
Castle Valley Road Closed to Visitor Gate closed
Cold Creek Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for winter.
Cottonwood Creek Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for winter.
East Meadow Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Findley Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Fir Top Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Foresthill OHV Area Closed to Visitor
French Meadows Boat Ramp Open 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 Closed 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 Closed to Visitor
Hallelujah Trail Open to Visitor
Hampshire Rocks Campground Closed to Visitor
Indian Springs Campground Closed to Visitor
Italian Bar Trail Closed to Visitor Trail maintenance has not been done.
Jackson Point Boat In Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Lake of the Woods Closed to Visitor
Lewis Campground Closed to Visitor Opening May 22, 2015 Lake Level is low
Lindsey Lake Campground Closed to Visitor
Little Lasier Meadow Horse Camp Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Little Truckee Summit OHV/Snowmobile Staging Area Open to Visitor
Loch Leven Trail Open to Visitor
Lower Little Truckee Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Manzanita Day Use, Swim Area Picnic Site Closed to Visitor
Meadow Knolls Group Camp Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Meadow Lake Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Meadow Lake Shoreline Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Mosquito Ridge Trail Open to Visitor Large logs down across trail that must be climbed over/under. Watch for poison oak.
North Fork Campground Open to Visitor This campground will close for the season on September 27th, 2015.
North Fork of the Middle Fork American River Trail Open to Visitor Watch for poison oak!
Onion Valley Campground Closed to Visitor This campground will close for the season on September 27th, 2015.
Parker Flat Staging Area Closed to Visitor
Pass Creek Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter. A few campsites will remain open for fall and winter camping but no services are available.
Pioneer Trail Open to Visitor Portions of the trail are covered in snow.
Ralston Picnic Site Open to Visitor
Rucker Lake Campground Closed to Visitor PG&E website at http://recreation.pge.com/Campgrounds-and-RV-Parks/All/Rucker-Lake-Dispersed-Camping/Overview
Silver Tip Group Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Skillman Horse Campground Closed to Visitor
Sugar Pine Boat Ramp Open to Visitor
Sugar Pine Staging Area Closed to Visitor
Tunnel Mills Group Campground Closed to Visitor This campground will close for the season on September 27th, 2015.
Upper Little Truckee Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
White Cloud Campground Closed to Visitor
Woodcamp Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Woodcamp Picnic Site Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Woodchuck Campground Open to Visitor This campground will close for the season on September 27th, 2015.
Yuba Pass Campground Closed to Visitor Closed for the winter.
Yuba Pass Snowpark Open to Visitor Vehicles parked in the Sno-park lot must display a Sno-Park Pass. Purchase a day pass for $5.00 or a season pass for $25.00. Call 916-324-4442 for more information or go online at ohv.parks.ca.gov to buy a pass off of the website. As of 1/11/16 there is approximately 3' of snow accumulation.