Tahoe National Forest

Tahoe National Forest

Quick Facts

Tahoe National Forest


(530) 265-4531

Map Directions

Things To Do


The 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. (It does not include Lake Tahoe - visit the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit website for more information.) The Tahoe National Forest includes 800,000 acres of public land interspersed with 400,000 acres of private land in a checker board ownership pattern.

Rivers, rocks, snow capped peaks and scenic forests offer outstanding recreation year round. A complex set of ecosystems are found as the Forest ascends from 1500 feet along the western boundary to over 9,000 feet along the crest. managed by The U.S. Forest Service, the forest provides a variety of resources and opportunities for visitors to use and enjoy. Popular activities in the Forest include hiking and biking through many of the scenic trails, fishing and boating on one of the many lakes and streams, and just driving through the Forest enjoying the majestic and beautiful landscapes.

Map of Tahoe Nat'l Forest

Latitude, Longitude: 38.782262, -120.360366



  • Boating

    Many lakes have boat access in the Forest for both motorized and non-motorized use.

  • Bicycling

    Many trails in the Forest are designated multi-use and can be used by mountain bikes. Check with each Ranger District before using the trails.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Scenic driving is very popular in the Tahoe National Forest with hundreds of miles of beautiful routes. One route, The Yuba Scenic Byway, circles 170 miles of California State Highways 89, 49, and 20 and Interstate 80, while weaving through the Tahoe National Forest and travels through history commemorating the ill-fated Donner Party and other '49ers who forged mountainous wilderness in search of gold, land, and other treasures.

  • Camping

    Visitors have a wide range of camping opportunities in Tahoe including: developed campgrounds, shoreline campgrounds, and remote, backcountry camping.

  • Fishing

    Tahoe National Forest has numerous lakes, streams, and rivers for the pleasure of fly and bank fishing or just enjoying the view. Many of the lakes also have boat access.

  • Hiking

    There are hundreds of miles of scenic trails throughout the Forest. Hikers can enjoy relaxing day hikes or more challenging backpacking trips through rugged and amazing landscapes.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horses are allowed on designated multi-use trails. Check with each Ranger District for trail usage before using.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is regulated by the Calfiornia Fish and Wildlife Department.

  • Picnicking

    There are numerous picknick areas located throughout the Forest for day use and group use.

  • Water Sports

    There are many lakes, rivers, and streams located in the Forest for fun and exciting water sports. Popular water activities in the Forest include rafting, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.

  • Winter Sports

    In the winter time there are many fun sports for visitors to enjoy such as cross-country skiing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.


Weather conditions vary across the Forest, where elevation ranges from 1,500 feet in the American River Canyon to over 9,400 feet over Mount Lola at the Sierra Nevada crest. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather. Check the forecast before you adventure out.



From Nevada City California, state highways 49 and 20 lead you to the forest.


The Forest is located less than an hour and a half drive from the greater Sacramento Area and less than an hour from Reno, Nevada.

Phone Numbers


(530) 265-4531