The high country of the Sierra provides some of the finest winter recreation opportunities in California. The Winter Recreation Program is one of the Department of Parks and Recreation's best kept secrets.
The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division of California State Parks, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, Caltrans, counties and local landowners, operate 18 SNO-PARKs and 29 Snowmobile Trailheads. These areas afford opportunities for snow play, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. At the SNO-PARKs and Trailheads you will find cleared parking lots, restrooms, and garbage receptacles.
SNO-Parks can be identified by distinctive brown signs located along the highways throughout the Sierra Nevadas. Keep in mind that it is against the law to park on highway interchanges. Either a day or season permit is required for every vehicle parked at a SNO-Park site from November 1 – May 30. The permit must be displayed on the left side of the vehicle dashboard where it can be seen clearly from the outside of the vehicle. Learn more about the SNO-Park permit program by visiting their page.
Tips for Visiting your favorite SNO-Park
Remember that SNO-Park plowing cannot be maintained without highway plowing. For this reason, under certain weather conditions, some SNO-Parks may not be cleared for vehicle parking until the highways have been cleared.
Parking is first come, first serve at all SNO-Park sites. No refunds are issued if your favorite SNO-Park is full.
Park and drive carefully within SNO-Park sites. Watch for pedestrians.
Overnight parking, including in-vehicle camping is allowed except where noted or signed at SNO-Park sites.
When overnight parking is allowed tent camping or sleeping outside a vehicle in the parking area is prohibited at all SNO-Park sites.
Vehicles parked overnight need to be staked at all 4 corners with 1x2 inch by 8-foot poles to prevent accidental damage by snow removal equipment.
Educator Package: Includes educational resources, interactive project ideas, engaging activities, direct experiential opportunities to help better connect the experience with your students AND SNO Park Pass.
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