Recreation

red of indian paintbrush and purple lupines

The Tahoe National Forest is a year-round playground. So come for a visit, relax and rejuvenate with our mountain air!

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.

Travel Corridors

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

Our accessible recreation 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).

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Aspen Group Camp Open to Visitor
Aspen Picnic Site Open to Visitor
Bear Valley Campground Open to Visitor Boil water, not treated.
Big Bend Group Campground   
Big Reservoir Campground Open to Visitor
Bowman Road Open to Visitor May 25, 2018:  Forest Service Road 18 Bowman Road is passable to Loney Meadows (approximately 13 miles in on FS 18). Visitors may encounter wet muddy conddtions off of the main road. FS 14 Road is wet/muddy 3/4 of the way to Grouse Ridge Lookout.The Bowman Road FS Road 18 is closed by barricades 100' below the Bowman Lake Dam area.  Carr Feeley and Lindsey Lakes are accessible, but be cautious of excessive moisture that may lead to a visitor becoming stuck. Visitors can park near trailheads and hike in. The Canyon Creek bridge/Jackson Creek campground are impassible to passenger cars due to erosion (Four Wheel Drive or high clearance vehicles will make it). There is an alternate route through the town of Washington on Forest Service 21 to the Meadow Lake 843 County Road to Bowman Lake. See Motor Vehicle Use Map for additional information.
Burlington Motorcycle Trail System    See Motor Vehicle Use Map for additional information. Please call the Yuba River Ranger District for Open/Closed Status dial (530) 478-6253 ext. 243.
Calpine Fire Lookout Open to Visitor Popular rental with reservations booked approximately 6 months in advance.
Canyon Creek Campground Open to Visitor May 25 2018:  The Canyon Creek bridge area is impassable to passenger cars due to erosion (4WD or high clearance vehicles will make it). The Tahoe National Forest anticipates that the road will be fixed by late September. Contact (530) 478-6187.
Carlton Flat Campground    Campground is open with all sites along the river now.
Carr Lake Campground Open to Visitor PG&E website - www.pge.com/recreation  
Castle Valley Road Closed to Visitor Gate closed
Cold Creek Campground Open to Visitor Please note that this campground is recommended for auto and walk-in type campers.   Large RV's are not recommended due to a tight turn-around area. Bears have been recently visiting this campground. Do not leave food lying around.
Cottonwood Creek Campground Open to Visitor Bears have been frequenting this campground. Do not leave food lying around or in your tent.
East Meadow Campground Open to Visitor
Findley Campground Open to Visitor
Fir Top Campground Open to Visitor
Foresthill OHV Area Open to Visitor
Giant Gap Campground Open to Visitor
Grouse Falls Overlook Trail Open to Visitor
Grouse Ridge Campground   
Hallelujah Trail Open to Visitor
Hampshire Rocks Campground   
Indian Springs Campground   
Italian Bar Trail Open to Visitor Trail maintenance has not been done.
Jackson Meadow Reservoir Open to Visitor
Jackson Point Boat In Campground Open to Visitor
Lake of the Woods Open to Visitor
Lindsey Lake Campground Open to Visitor PG&E website - www.pge.com/recreation
Little Lasier Meadow Horse Camp Open to Visitor
Little Truckee Summit OHV/Snowmobile Staging Area Closed to Visitor The 07 Road (Henness Pass) will be opening to vehicle traffic for the summer.  Snomobile use will re-open for the 2018-2019 winter.
Loch Leven Trail Open to Visitor
Lower Little Truckee Campground Open to Visitor
Manzanita Day Use, Swim Area Picnic Site Open to Visitor
Meadow Knolls Group Camp Closed to Visitor Summer Opening date  still to be determined by PG&E (approximately 7/1/2018)
Meadow Lake Campground Closed to Visitor Summer opening date still to be determined by PG&E (approximately 7/1/2018)
Meadow Lake Shoreline Campground Closed to Visitor Summer opening date still to be determined by PG&E (approximately 7/1/2018)
Parker Flat Staging Area Open to Visitor
Pass Creek Campground Open to Visitor
Pioneer Trail Open to Visitor
Ralston Picnic Site Open to Visitor
Rucker Lake Campground Open to Visitor PG&E website at http://recreation.pge.com/home.asp
Silver Tip Group Campground Open to Visitor
Skillman Campground    Please excuse our mess. Skillman Campground has experienced tree mortality and disease. In order to keep visitors safe, we have been removing dead & dying trees within the campground. We are cleaning up the area. Thank you for your patience. Tahoe National Forest
Sugar Pine Boat Ramp Open to Visitor
Sugar Pine Staging Area Open to Visitor
Upper Little Truckee Campground Open to Visitor
White Cloud Campground    Please excuse our mess. White Cloud Campground has experienced tree mortality and disease. In order to keep visitors safe, we have been removing dead & dying trees within the campground. We are cleaning up the area. Thank you for your patience. Tahoe National Forest
Woodcamp Campground Open to Visitor
Woodcamp Picnic Site Open to Visitor
Yuba Pass Campground   

Spotlights

Burlington Motorcycle Trail System

trail bike graphic

The Burlington Motorcycle Trail System includes 50 miles of winding, narrow trails.  The staging area is 0.1 mile from Highway 20 on the Chalk Bluff Road.

For Open/Closed status, please call the Tahoe National Forest, Yuba River Ranger District office in Camptonville, CA at (530) 478-6253, ext. 243.

Link to map