Visit to California

Visit to California


811,740 acres. Situated in the Sierras of north-central California, northwest of Lake Tahoe, this National Forest has high peaks, rocky knobs and outcrops, and deep river canyons with sheer cliffs. Elevations range from 1,500 feet to 9,400 feet.

The North Fork American River, a National Wild and Scenic River, is one of several major waterways here. There are also many streams and small alpine lakes, plus fir, pine, and hemlock forests, including some old-growth stands, along with hardwoods.

Mule deer, black bear, mountain lion, coyote, and bobcat are among the wildlife. The National Forest has one designated wilderness area, the 25,000-acre Granite Chief Wilderness.

Activities: Backpacking and hiking are possible on about 500 miles of trails, including a section of the Pacific Crest Trail (see entry page 113). Difficulty varies from easy to strenuous. Some trails at high elevations are under snow until July each year.

Rafting, kayaking, and canoeing are available on several rivers. Horseback riding is allowed on most trails, as is mountain biking except in wilderness areas. Some trails are designated for Nordic skiing. Fishing is feasible alongside rivers, streams, and lakes. Hunting is permitted in season.

Camping Regulations: Camping is allowed in most areas of the National Forest, except where posted otherwise. Campsites should be well away from water sources and trails.

A fire permit is necessary if one wishes to have a campfire or use a stove from May through the fire season, which usually ends in November. Wilderness permits are not required.

For Further Information: Tahoe National Forest, Highway 49 & Coyote Street, Nevada City, CA 95959; (916)265-4531.

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