Motorized vehicle use on high elevation forest roads restricted
NEVADA CITY, Calif. (May 26, 2023) — Tahoe National Forest has extended its seasonal road and trail closures through June 15, 2023. Closed routes are located generally above 5,000-feet elevation with closures necessary due to overly wet conditions and existing snowpack. The closures aim to protect trails and roadbeds from additional resource damage, reduce maintenance costs and protect water quality.
The forest has responded to several calls of individuals getting stuck in ruts, snow or muddy trail conditions. The closures outlined below are also an effort to reduce the impact on federal, state and local law enforcement partners, search and rescue and emergency medical services.
“We have surveyed higher elevation roads and trails on the Tahoe National Forest and found significant late-season soil saturation, standing water and snow drifts on several routes,” said Tahoe National Forest Trails Program Manager Joe Chavez. “We found evidence of individuals driving on overly saturated routes and even off designated routes to get around snow and standing water at times, causing significant damage to roads and often getting stuck. The extension of the seasonal closure on impacted routes will reduce further resource damage and needed repairs to our roads and trails.”
The Tahoe National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps are available here and outline what types of motor vehicles are allowed on National Forest roads and trails and when and where they are allowed. Not all closed routes are blocked with gates or closure signage. Routes that are free from snow may be passable in the morning but thaw and be impassible as the day progresses.
Motorized vehicles are prohibited on the following routes until June 15, 2023 unless conditions allow for the termination of the closure order on an earlier date:
Sierraville Ranger District
1. Forest Road 86 (Meadow Lake Road)
2. Forest Road 88 (Bald Ridge Loop Road)
3. Forest Road 70 (Pass Creek Loop)
4. Forest Road 12 (Yuba-Webber Road)
5. Forest Road 7 west of the 12 Road intersection to its terminus at Sierra County Road 301 (Henness Pass Road or Jackson Meadows Road)
6. Forest Road 07-40 Road (Lake of the Woods Road)
7. Forest Road 54 (Williams Creek Road)
8. Forest Road 04 (Bear Valley Road)
9. Forest Road 860-35 (Babbitt Lookout)
10. Forest Road 860-33 (Trosi Canyon)
Truckee Ranger District
1. Forest Road 06 (Sawtooth Road)
2. Forest Road 01 (Jackass Point Road)
3. Forest Road 72 (Verdi Peak Road)
4. Forest Trail 16E14 (Prosser Hill Motorized Trail)
5. Forest Trail 15E05 (Coldstream Motorized Trail)
The Tahoe National Forest extended its seasonal road and trail closures due to wet conditions earlier this spring, with today’s extension reflecting only routes that continue to be impacted by snow and overly wet conditions.
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. Even on open routes, users that cause significant damage to roads may be cited and/or held liable to cover the cost of repairs.
View the Forest Order here.