Lake Tahoe Backcountry travelers should Know Before You Go

Forest Service advises caution when visiting the Lake Tahoe Basin backcountry

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is urging backcountry hikers and backpackers to use extra care when visiting upper elevation areas of the Lake Tahoe Basin over the next several weeks as there is still significant snow above 8,000 feet in many locations.  This past winter saw a return to normal snow-pack conditions and many backcountry trails are still covered with snow and ice leaving trails slippery and difficult to find.  In addition, current warm temperatures have caused streams to flow higher and faster, which can make crossing difficult.
Backcountry travelers should Know Before You Go.  Check the weather before heading out, don’t hike alone, always use the buddy system, leave your itinerary with a friend or family member and check in with them upon your return, dress appropriately with sturdy footwear and carry proper gear including food and water, a map and compass, hiking pole or walking stick, and consider snowshoes and an ice axe.  Develop an emergency plan before you start your trip.  Make sure everyone knows what to do if they become lost or a medical emergency arises.  Keep in mind, a cell phone signal may not be available in some backcountry locations.
Before you go, be sure to call ahead to check backcountry conditions.  The Forest Supervisor’s office is open year-round, Monday through Friday from8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and may be reached at 530-543-2694.  The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is open daily May 28 through October 2, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and may be reached at 530-543-2674.
For more information, on Know Before You Go safety tips, visit

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