Echo Lake Sno-Park
Echo Summit in El Dorado County is a popular year-round destination for outdoor recreation. In the winter, the Echo Lake Sno-Park offers family-oriented winter fun. Located on the north side of Highway 50 on Echo Lake Road, the Echo Lake Sno-Park is 11 miles south of Lake Tahoe. Nearby Adventure Mountain, Blizzard Mountain, and Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort provide additional winter activities including downhill skiing and snowboarding.
Tubing, cross country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, and snow-play are suggested at the Echo Lake Sno-Park. Snowmobiling is prohibited here.
Echo Lake Sno-Park is open from November 1 though May 30. Sno-Park permits are required, and are available from nearby vendors or online.
Sno-Park Permit Vendors
El Dorado National Forest Interpretive Association, 100 Forni Road, Placerville, Ca. 95667, (530) 662-5061
Explore Tahoe Visitors Center, 4114 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150, (530) 542-4637
Kyburz Towing & Mini Mart, 13686 Highway 50, Kyburz, Ca. 95720, (530) 293-3232
Lake of the Sky Outfitters Inc., 1023 Emerald Bay Road, South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 95150, (530) 541-1027
Pacific Ranger District (ENFIA), 7887 Highway 50, Pollock Pines, Ca. 95726, (530) 644-2349
Placerville Polaris, 673 Placerville Drive, Placerville, Ca. 95667, (530) 622-9079
Placerville Ranger District (ENFIA), 4260 Eight Mile Road, Camino, Ca. 95709 (530) 647-5300
Sunrise Ski and Snowboard Rental, 3202 Highway 50, South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150, (530) 577-3176
Tahoe Paradise Chevron, 2986 Highway 50, South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150, (530) 577-1127
Sno-Park Permit Sales, California Department of Parks and Recreation Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, 1725 23rdStreet, #200, Sacramento, Ca. 95816, (916) 324-1222 and (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 $25 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.
Share your experience. Please leave a comment below if you've visited this sno-park.
Best Access and Parking Area
Park in the designated parking areas. No parking on entry road.
Rules and Regulations
Permits required. Snowmobiling prohibited.
There are four cross-country ski trails accessible from Echo Lake Sno-Park. The Little Shorty Loop, Big Shorty Loop, and the Echo Lakes Ski Trail are relatively easy trails. The Ridge Loop has a moderate difficulty level. The US Forest Service has a map of the trails available here.
The Little Shorty Loop is 0.4 miles and is a great warm-up loop. It begins 100 feet south of the parking lot down a main trail that leads to two other loop trails. The trail is marked by blue diamonds and blue signs with yellow arrows. The trail leads through rolling terrain in a conifer forest.
The Big Shorty Loop is 0.5 miles long and starts 200 feet south of the junction with Little Shorty Loop. The trail runs through a small basin dominated by lodgepole pine. The trail leads back to the main trail south of where the trail first connects.
Echo Lakes Ski Trail is 1.1 miles long and follows Echo Lakes Road. The terrain is gentle and offers views of Echo Lakes.
The Ridge Loop Trail has a higher difficulty level than the other three trails in the park. The terrain is steeper on this trail.
Approximate Operating Season
November 1 - May 30