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Public Lands Operational Update due to Closures

Last updated: September 2023

As wildfire conditions around Northern California and Northern Nevada remain dangerously high, many public lands throughout the states are closed or have modifications. A closure means no hiking, biking, camping or recreating of any kind on these lands.

We ask you to take these closures, modifications and any evacuation notices seriously for your safety, the safety of our community, and to allow firefighters to focus on suppressing these historic fires. When in doubt, please err on the side of caution.

See below for area closures and operational modifications as of September 18, 2020.

Elevated Fire Restrictions are in effect in all areas of the Tahoe Basin 

  • Elevated Fire Season Restrictions prohibit the burning of wood and charcoal on public or private property including residential properties, vacation/short-term rentals, campgrounds, resorts and other recreational areas throughout the Lake Tahoe/Truckee Region until the end of November or until rescinded, including all  at California State Parks and USFS sites across the Tahoe Basin.
  • Additionally, on all USFS lands all ignition sources are prohibited, including anything with a flame, until further notice.

These orders are in place to protect everyone during the current state of wildfire activity and limited fire response resources and will remain in place until further notice.

U.S. Forest Service

Due to unprecedented and historic fire conditions throughout the state, the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region temporarily closed all eighteen National Forests in California on September 10, 2020. 

Beginning at 8:00am on Saturday September 19, 2020 the USDA Forest Service Pacific Region will increase access to some of the National Forests in California including the Tahoe National Forest, Eldorado National Forest, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Lassen National Forest, Mendocino National Forest, Modoc National Forest, Plumas National Forest, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, and Stanislaus National Forest.

  • These forests will implement their own forest orders that will either limit dispersed use or provide for area closures around fires.
  • National Forest trails, trailheads, beaches and interpretive areas in the Lake Tahoe Basin will re-open for day-use only.
  • Camping and overnighting will not be permitted, and campgrounds will remain closed.
  • Emergency fire restrictions remain in effect through Nov. 30.
  • Please note that Conditions can change quickly. Therefore, we emphasize that all citizens heed local announcements for changes in conditions and potential evacuations.

The USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) manages 85 percent of the land of the Tahoe Basin and is part of the effort to combat historic fires and extreme fire behavior across California.

California State Parks

Due to the current state wildfire crisis, the closure of neighboring USFS lands, and COVID-19 and its impacts on Parks personnel to support basic operations, the following are in place. The District will continue to monitor conditions and may impose further restrictions and closures as necessary.

  • Campfires and charcoal BBQs are banned on all park lands. 
  • No walk-ins at any campgrounds for the remainder of the season and will be closing all remaining campgrounds on October 1. 
  • This impacts Malakoff, Sugar Pine, DL Bliss, and Grover. 
  • All existing camping reservations made prior to today (September 10) will be honored through October 1, but no new reservations are being accepted at this time.
  • Day use areas and trails remain open. 

Nevada State Parks

  • Sand Harbor, Cave Rock and Spooner Lake are open.
    • Spooner Backcountry is open, however, portions of the Flume Trail and Tahoe Rim Trail are closed under the USFS order. 
  • Van Sickle Bi-State Park  is closed until further notice.
  • Information resources can be found HERE.

Lake Tahoe Boat Launches

Boat ramps and marinas remain open and many are updating their hours of operation as the seasons change. Check hours of operation. Boaters that need an aquatic invasive species inspection need an appointment and space is limited.

Rafting on the Truckee River from Tahoe City

  • Commercial rafting operators are closed for the season.
  • The raft launch at 64 Acres in Tahoe City is closed.

Regional Bike Paths

North Lake Tahoe and Truckee paved bike paths remain open at this time.

Tahoe Public Beaches

Beaches across the Lake Tahoe basin remain open. Check www.tahoepublicbeaches.org/ for more detailed information on each beach.

Donner Lake

  • Access to Donner Lake is not affected by the USFS closure as it is state and private land.
  • Donner Lake public piers and boat launches are open.
  • Donner Lake Memorial State Park is open for day-use and beach access only. The campground has closed for the season. A fire ban is in place prohibiting campfires and charcoal grills.

North Tahoe Public Utilities District Facilities

  • All parks and recreation areas are open.
  • Tahoe Vista Recreation Area Boat Ramp (TVRA) operations go to weekends only, beginning Sunday, 9/13.
  • The boat ramp will be open weekends only (Fri-Sun) on 9/18-9/20 and 9/25-9/27. 9/27 is the final day of operations this season.
  • Additional information can be found HERE.

Tahoe City Public Utilities District Facilities

  • Parks and beaches are open; however, playgrounds, picnic tables and BBQs are closed.
  • Lake Forest Campground is closed until further notice. 
  • Community Centers, Facilities, and Athletic Fields are closed. 
  • 64 Acres in Tahoe City is closed under the USFS order.   
  • Tahoe City Golf Course remains open.

Northstar California Resort

  • Northstar California Resort operates on private land. The resort is open for on-mountain sight-seeing, hiking and mountain biking Fridays-Sundays, with a closing day of Oct. 4. The resort’s golf course is open daily.
  • While this closure does not impact Northstar operations, the resort will prohibit on-mountain smoking and on-mountain designated smoking areas will not be offered. Smoking will be allowed in the base area at the Lower Village Lot designated smoking area. 
  • Website Links:

Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows

  • Due to the temporary closure of Lake Tahoe Basin National Forest lands, the Granite Chief and Shirley Canyon trails based in Squaw Valley are currently closed. There are no other impacts to summer and fall operations at Squaw Valley. Visit squawalpine.com for updated hours of operations.
    • Open:
      • Lodging, shopping, activities and dining in The Village at Squaw Valley.
      • Tahoe Via Ferrata tours with Alpenglow Expeditions, located in The Village at Squaw Valley.
      • Golfing at The Resort at Squaw Creek
      • Area bike paths are open, and bike rentals are available Friday through Monday at Parallel Mountain Sports.
      • Hiking trails on Squaw Valley’s private lands. 
    • Closed:
      • Shirley Canyon, Granite Chief trails at Squaw Valley
      • Five Lakes Trail in Alpine Meadows.
      • Public access at Alpine Meadows ski resort is currently closed. This includes access from Sherwood and the backside of the mountain.