Summer is Here!

Welcome to summer on the Tahoe National Forest - where there are many things to see and do! Tahoe National Forest is located in the northern Sierra Nevada (east of Sacramento) and extends from the foothills across the Sierra crest to the California state line. Tahoe National Forest includes more than 850,000 acres of public land intermixed with 350,000 acres of private land in a checker board pattern.

National Forest is public land, where everyone is welcome to enjoy year-round outdoor fun.

With winter rapidly fading, the forest is the playground for folks on spring break. Many are visiting from all over the county; however, the Tahoe National Forest is visited by people from all over the world! People come here to camp, hike, fish, bike, ride horses and enjoy driving on motorized routes and trails.

At this time, visitors can camp at any one of the numerous established or developed campgrounds. For more information on reserving a campsite, visit recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777.

Fire danger reminders

As you enjoy camping on your national forest; remember that during summertime, fire danger will increase. Fire danger is presently at “Moderate." You’ll need a campfire permit to have a campfire.

Engine 371
Photo of Engine 371

“Although campers are allowed to have campfires; use extreme caution and be sure to have a shovel and a bucket to put fires completely out before you leave!” Says Heather Newell, District Public Services Staff Officer for the Tahoe National Forest. Heather Newell also reminds campers to “pack-in and pack-out all your stuff.” This means what you bring, please take home. “Don’t leave anything at the campsite for others to discover. In addition, please remember to bury your waste,” says Newell.

There’s presently a Residential Burn Ban in effect. CAL FIRE has suspended all residential burn permits within the State of California in Nevada, Yuba, Placer and Sierra Counties. This suspension bans all residential outdoor burning of landscape debris such as branches and leaves. For more information, check this site: www.readyforwildfire.org

At present, there is an Excessive Heat Watch and a Fire Weather Watch from the National Weather Sercice in Sacramento. As soon as fire season intensifies, expect to see the fire danger increase to “High.” If and when this happens, call your local U.S. Forest Service district office to check for additional restrictions. 

Upcoming events

The Tahoe National Forest is public land, where everyone is welcome to enjoy year-round outdoor fun. 

If you love to hike, mountain bike or horseback ride, there are approximately 625 miles of non-motorized trails on Tahoe National Forest. Several areas have recently been improved specifically for mountain bikes. If you enjoy seeing the forest from a vehicle, there are close to 500 miles of motorized trails. The Tahoe National Forest offers free Vehicle Use Road maps that show motorized routes you can enjoy within the forest. The maps are the official record of the approved travel plan for the Tahoe National Forest.

Fishing - Dan Teater
Fishing on the Tahoe.

If fishing is your passion, enjoy the many lakes and streams on the Tahoe National Forest. There are 23 species of fish on the Tahoe National Forest, fifteen of which are considered game fish. The cold water game species contain many trout species, including rainbow, brown, brook, golden, and lake trout.  The Tahoe National Forest has become a favorite recreation area for fishing and receives more anglers every year than any other National Forest in the state of California. 

Every year free fishing days for kids are designated. This is a good time to take a young person fishing! This year, Kid’s Fishing Day is July 21, 2018 at Packer Lake on the Yuba River Ranger District. The entire family is encouraged to fish and learn about fishing at this event.  There will be many fun hands-on nature activities for kids.  For more information, call the Yuba River Ranger District at (530) 288-3231. 

Mountain biker
Catching air on the trail!

Another exciting event coming this summer is the Downieville Classic Downhill Mountain-Bike Race and Festival in Downieville the first weekend in August. This race consists of a 29-mile cross country race, and a 15-mile downhill with 5000 vertical drop. The Downieville Classic has been named one of the top 10 best bike festivals from Outside Magazine. For more information about this event visit, downievilleclassic.com.

Kayaking in the Tahoe National Forest has become a popular pastime. The North Fork of the American River is a free flowing Wild River with no dams. Snow melt from the Western slope of the Sierra Nevada, including the back side of the Sugar Bowl and Squaw Valley Ski areas contribute to the portion of the river designated as a Wild & Scenic River. Besides being one of the most important ecosystems on the planet, rivers in the Tahoe National Forest are fascinating. People travel miles to experience the “rush” of a free-flowing river. “There’s just something about the rush of clean free-flowing water that gives people a feeling of mental clarity which adds value to our lives,” says Deputy Forest Supervisor, Teresa Benson at the Tahoe National Forest.  Rivers are life. With the increase in popularity of Kayaking, the Wild & Scenic portion of the American River is also an exhilarating goal.

Kayaking in Faucherie
Kayaking on Lake Faucherie

In addition to providing the many recreation opportunities and serving the public by providing information at our office, the Tahoe National Forest is responsible for managing the land for current and future generations and for a variety of multiple uses. In order to fulfill this mission, we have both permanent and seasonal employees that work across many disciplines including wildlife, range, fire prevention, timber management, and fire suppression. U.S. Forest Service will be working hard to improve the resources in Tahoe National Forest throughout the summer.

Smokey & Tristan
Smokey Bear with a young fisherman

We welcome your ideas, comments and questions. We have an awesome collection of gift items for purchase as well as maps, fuelwood permits and mineral permits at all Forest Service District Offices and the Supervisor’s Office at 631 Coyote Street, Nevada City, CA 95959. Open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. We hope that you get outside and enjoy your public lands! Happy summer and “May the forest be with you!”