Tahoe National Forest extends seasonal road and trail closures

Release Date: 

Due to heavy snowpack and near record wet weather conditions this winter, Tahoe National Forest has extended the seasonal closure period of its roads and trails to motorized use. Motorized vehicle use on forest roads during wet weather conditions causes degradation to soil and water resources. These actions will protect trails and roadbeds from damage during overly wet conditions, reduce maintenance costs and protect the quality of water, with much of the forest’s area serving a municipal watershed. 

The use of motorized vehicles is prohibited as outlined below unless conditions allow for termination of the order on an earlier date: 

• April 1, 2023, through April 30, 2023, for roads and trails listed on the 2020 Tahoe National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps with Seasonal Designation dates of April 1 – December 31 (generally the westside of the forest), and  

• April 24, 2023, through May 23, 2023, for roads and trails listed on the 2020 Tahoe National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps with Seasonal Designation dates of April 24 – December 31 (generally the eastside of the forest). 

“Motorized use of forest roads and trails when soils are wet can cause an increase in damage to the road or trail surface, resulting in a loss of short- and long-term road or trail sustainability,” said Tahoe National Forest Trails Program Manager Joe Chavez. “Extreme wet weather events this season have saturated soils, with some forest roads and trails still inaccessible due to snowpack. This extended closure is so we can ensure the reduction of any adverse effects on resources. We appreciate our valued OHV operators’ patience during this time.” 

A minimum three-month closure period from January 1 through March 31 was designated for the core part of the wet season in the Tahoe National Forest Travel Management Plan. This plan also allows the seasonal road closure to start earlier or be extended based on conditions in a given year.   

Violation of the closure order is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both. View the Forest Order here