Blackwood Canyon Sno-Park
The Blackwood Canyon Sno-Park in Placer County is located on the west side of Highway 89 in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Situated three miles south of Tahoe City, this is the only state managed sno-park on Lake Tahoe's north shore. Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snow play, dog sledding, and snowshoeing are recommended activities here.
Blackwood Canyon Sno-Park is set back from the lake in the rugged Blackwood Canyon within the Kaspian Recreation Area. Blackwood Creek runs through the relatively flat canyon, which becomes steeper as you progress through the canyon floor. Barker Pass Road serves as a trail for snowmobiling and cross-country skiers, and the top of the pass offers views of the canyon below. Barker Pass, Stanford Rock, Ellis Peak, and Blackwood Ridge are prominent downhill ski locations that are not easily accessible but offer excellent backcountry experience and can be reached by snowmobiles. Homewood Mountain Ski Resort, Squaw Valley Resort, the Rubicon Trail, the Tahoe State Recreation Area, and Burton Creek State Park are all located nearby. The entire Lake Tahoe Basin offers year-round recreation opportunities, and the Blackwood Canyon Sno-Park is one of the many winter recreation areas in the region.
Snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog sledding, cross-country skiing, and snow play activities are recommended at the Blackwood Canyon Sno-Park.
The Blackwood Canyon Sno-Park is open from November 1 through May 30. Sno-Park permits are required and can be found online or purchased from designated vendors in the area.
Sno-Park Permit Vendors
Permits for the Blackwood Canyon Sno-Park are available online from the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division or from local vendors. A complete listing of Sno-Park permit vendors throughout Northern California is available here. Permits are $5 per day or $25 for a season pass.
Alpenglow Sports, 415 North Lake Boulevard, Tahoe City, Ca. 96145, (530) 583-6917
Tahoe Dave's Skis and Boards, 590 North Lake Boulevard, Tahoe City, Ca. 96145, (530) 583-8833
Tahoe Dave's Skis and Boards, 8299 North Lake Boulevard, Kings Beach, Ca. 96143, (530) 546-5800
Tahoe Dave's Skis and Boards, 3039 Highway 89, Olympic Valley, Ca. 96146, (530) 583-5665
Sno-Park Permit Sales, California Department of Parks and Recreation, 1725 23rd Street, Suite 200, Sacramento, Ca. 95816, (916) 324-1222 or (916) 324-4442
California State Parks Division of Vehicular Recreation Sno-Park Program
Sno-parks provide access to cross country ski trails, snowmobile routes, and snow play areas. Sno-parks are operated by the California State Parks and Recreation Office of Highway Motor Vehicular Recreation (OHMVR) in cooperation with the United States Forest Service. All of the sno-parks in California are in the Sierra Nevada’s, and are open from November 1 through May 30. The California Sno-Park Hotline can be reached at (916) 324-1222. Sno-Parks operated by the state are designated by brown signs located along highways.
There are 19 sno-parks operated by the OHMVR, and permits are required for each one. Day permits for $5 and season permits for $30 are available from designated Sno-Park vendors, by mail from OHMVR, or on-line. On-line purchases are subject to an additional $1.95 service fee. Permits must be displayed on the left side of the dashboard, and clearly seen from the outside of the vehicle. Permits are non-refundable and non-transferable, and parking at a Sno-Park without a permit may result in a $94.50 fine. California Sno-Park permits are also valid in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.
Parking is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sanitation facilities are provided at each of the parks. Camping, littering, and over-night parking are prohibited.
The Sno-Parks are located in areas that can experience road closures in harsh weather conditions. Call CalTrans at 1-800-427-7623 or check the CalTrans website to get information on roadway conditions when planning your trip, and carry chains and a shovel. Winter recreation can be hazardous, so it is important you consider your skill level, wear proper clothing, have respect for the terrain and park rules and regulations, and adhere to posted warnings for your safety.
A printable brochure of Sno-Park locations is available from the OHMVR website and can be found here.
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Best Access and Parking Area
The trails at Blackwood Canyon are accessible from the Blackwood Canyon Trail that follows Barker Pass Road. Blackwood Ridge, Stanford Rock, and Ellis Peak trails stem from the Barker Pass Road. The Rubicon Trail can also be access from the Blackwood Canyon Trail.
Rules and Regulations
Permits are required.
Approximate Operating Season
November 1 - May 30