Winter Sports

Winter is a beautiful time to explore the Sierra National Forest. There are many forms of winter recreation. They include: snowmobiling, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, alpine skiing, sledding, dog sledding, snow camping, all terrain vehicles and just playing in the snow. Enjoy your visit to this winter wonderland.

Come Join In! The Forest Service Volunteer Program

Many clubs and individuals volunteer time and energy to your National Forest. This commitment helps insure quality recreation opportunities. Volunteer activities include trail maintenance and construction, resource rehabilitation, and trail patrol. Anyone who wants to become involved may apply. Contact the volunteer coordinator at the High Sierra Ranger District at (559) 855-5360. The volunteer program offers you an opportunity to promote your recreation activity and helps insure the future of your sport.

Sierra Snowmobile Patrol / Pineridge Nordic Ski Patrol

The Sierra Snowmobile Association and the Pineridge Nordic Ski Patrol are an intricate part of our Winter Recreation Program. They provide many volunteer hours to maintain and patrol the trails on the High Sierra Ranger District. Patrol members are available to provide information concerning locations of trail routes, length of routes, points of interest, permissible activities, and guidelines for each area, Look for them wearing Forest Service green windbreakers with volunteer patches. If you have questions concerning the winter recreation areas, please take the time to contact them. If you are interested in the volunteer program, please contact the district office at (559) 855-5355.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing (also known as Nordic skiing or ski touring) is the fastest growing winter sport in California. It requires less commercial investment and fewer beginning skills. Most importantly, any area with snow cover and relatively flat ground can be the playground of the Nordic skier. While any snow-covered forest road or trail can be used, the Sierra National Forest has also developed several marked ski trails along Highway 168. Most of the trails are between the 7,000 and 7,500 elevation. They range in length and difficulty from a one mile beginner trail at Huntington Lake to six mile advanced trail near Highway 168 and Tamarack Ridge....More>>


Snowmobilers will find 209 miles of groomed and maintained trails around Huntington Lake, Tamarack Ridge and the High Sierra Area. There are trails for all levels of experience from easiest to most difficult. Come and enjoy a day of winter fun....More>>

Snowmobiling And ATV Guidelines And Requirements

The Sierra National Forest has a network of groomed and ungroomed snowmobile trails available in the Huntington Lake/ Tamarack Area. Snowmobiles are not allowed in wilderness areas or on trails designated for cross-country skiing only....More>>

Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding

Located within the Sierra National Forest and operating under a special use permit, is the China Peak Ski Resort. The resort is 65 miles northeast of Fresno at Huntington Lake. China Peak offers excellent downhill and snowboarding opportunities for the beginner, intermediate and advanced skier or snowboarder.

Also located nearby is Badger Pass Ski Resort. The resort is 75 miles north of Fresno via Hwy 41 in Yosemite National Park. Badger Pass, California's first ski area, offers excellent downhill and snowboarding opportunities for beginner, intermediate and advanced skier or snowboarder....More>>


Sno-park is a program of the California Department of Parks and Recreation to provide parking for recreational users of California's mountain areas in the winter. They were created to meet an increasing need for off-highway parking in undeveloped dispersed recreation areas, popular with cross country skiers, snowmobilers and others who enjoy snow-based activities....More>>

Winter Travel Safety

Be aware of the hazards of winter travel. Harsh conditions of wind, cold, snow or whiteout can turn an outing into a tragedy. Knowledge of the area, weather, route and limitations of your body and equipment, plus a little common sense can insure a safe and enjoyable trip....More>>

Wildlife Watch

There are several types of wildlife out and about during the winter months. Not all wildlife hibernate or migrate in the Sierra mountains during winter....More>>