Foresthill Divide Tahoe National Forest
The Foresthill Divide provides an amazing array of outdoor activities for every age outlined below.
The American River Ranger Station, located at 22830 Foresthill Road, should be your first stop for exploring the many outdoor activities located in the Tahoe National Forest on the Foresthill Divide.
Here, you will find a wealth of free information including OHV and trail maps, booklets guiding visitors along the Foresthill Divide Driving Tour, Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Foresthill, Self-Guided walking tour of Placer Big Trees Grove and Historic Points of Interest in the Tahoe National Forest. You can also apply for back country camping and fire permits at the station as well as get current information on road closings and campsite availability.
Sugar Pine Reservoir:
Sugar Pine Reservoir was created by Sugar Pine Dam across Shirttail Creek. The dam is a feature of the Central Valley project, American River Division, Folsom Auburn Unit. The reservoir offers four main recreation areas around the lake. The complex, which opened in May 1985, contains two campgrounds, boat ramp, hiking trails, picnic area, swimming beach, and a trailer dump station. Most facilities have been designed to accommodate wheelchairs. Some facilities are available on a reservation basis only. Fishing for warm and cold water species is good. There is a boating speed limit on the lake of ten miles per hour. The Sugar Pine/Big Reservoir area is approximately 18 miles northeast of Foresthill, up the Foresthill Divide. The primary season of use is May-October each year.
Morning Star Reservoir (aka Big Reservoir):
Big Reservoir/Morning Star, located near Sugar Pine Reservoir, is privately operated. This smaller reservoir features a family campground, group area, small store, paddle-boat rentals, pay phone, and private (fee charged) fishing access. Frequenly stocked with rainbow trout, Morning Star sits at an elevation of 4,050 feet and is within minutes of the Foresthill OHV recreation area and Sugar Pine Reservoir. On site managers may be contacted at 530-367-2129.
Parker Flat and Sugar Pine OHV Staging are provided primarily for OHV users. Both sites have vault toilets and a loading ramp. Parker Flat is suitable for car and tent campers. Sugar Pine Staging is for RV use and day parking; tent camping is not permitted. Both provide easy access to the Foresthill OHV trail system. See the OHV page for current status of the trail system.
The power plant just below the dam at Oxbow Reservoir is probably memorable to thousands of white water rafters as this is the launching point for rafting companies who float the Class III and IV rapids of the Middle Fork of the American River. Oxbow is 20 miles from downtown Foresthill on Mosquito Ridge Road and provides great access to not only whitewater enthusiasts, but accesses a small 5-table picnic area and fine fishing locations along the American River bank.
French Meadows Reservoir:
French Meadows reservoir is located 36 miles east of Foresthill on Mosquito Ridge road. Activities include fishing, boating, swimming, picnicking, hiking, and viewing scenery. In the French Meadows basin, camping is permitted only within developed camp grounds. This area is located within a State Game Refuge. Possession or use of firearms, pellet guns, or bows is not allowed.