Welcome to the Tahoe National Forest!


Eli Ilano - Snow Pic
Eli Ilano, Tahoe National Forest Supervisor

Welcome to 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.

During the winter months at the Tahoe National Forest, the forest is a playground for those who wish to enjoy winter fun. The Tahoe National Forest is visited by people from all over the world and welcomes Winter Sports Fans! Winter is a great time to explore the Sierra Nevada. Many miles of roads and trails on the forest offer excellent cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Tahoe National Forest and Lakes Basin Winter Recreational Guides are available at the Tahoe National Forest Headquarters and district offices. Several commercial downhill ski resorts are operated with special use permits on National Forest land. Snowplay and sledding can be enjoyed near many of the major highways.

Fire danger reminders

As you enjoy camping on your national forest; remember that campfire restrictions are in place. Fire danger is presently at “Moderate." You need a campfire permit to have a campfire only in designated campsites. For more information, see Tahoe National Forest Fire Restrictions.

Engine 371
Photo of Engine 371

“Although campers at designated campsites 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

Call your local U.S. Forest Service local district office to check for additional restrictions. 

Your Public Lands

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.

Kayaking - Wild & Scenic
Wild & Scenic Rivers!

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.

Tyler Ferguson
Tyler Ferguson, skier (photo credit: Peter Day)

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.

Gift Shope - Truckee 1A
Truckee Ranger District Lobby - Gift Shop

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! “May the forest be with you!”