Hope Valley Sno-Park
The Hope Valley Sno-Park is in Alpine County on the south side of Highway 88 on Blue Lakes Road, 20.8 miles from South Lake Tahoe and 15.1 miles from Markleeville. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, the Hope Valley offers recreation opportunities year-round. It is a popular destination in the summer with campers and hikers, and in the fall with photographers and sightseers for the colorful aspen trees. The Carson River meanders through the valley floor, and is ideal for fishing and kayaking. The Hope Valley Wildlife Areais nearby, in addition to Hope Valley Outdoors, Wylder Hotels, and Kirkwood Mountain Resort. Hope Valley is located within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
The Hope Valley Sno-Park has a flat terrain and sledding is not recommended at this park, however it is ideal for cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snow play, and snowmobiling. The sno-park has extensive Nordic and snowmobiling trails.
Iron Mountain Sno-Park, Meiss Meadow Sno-Park, and Carson Pass Sno-Park are also located on Highway 88. Day use permits are required for all of the sno-parks and can be purchased on-line or from the vendors listed below for $5 per day, or a season pass can be purchased for $25.
Cross-country skiing, snow-showing, snowmobiling, snow play, and dog sledding are recommended activities at the Hope Valley Sno-Park. Hope Valley contains 11 miles of snowmobile trails. The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Carson Ranger District has a Winter Recreation Guide that contains useful information for snowmobile riders, including rules and regulations, avalanche hazard information, and maps of snowmobile trails throughout the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
The Hope Valley Sno-Park is open from November 1-May 30. Sno-Park permits are required, and are available from the list of vendors below or on-line.
Sno-Park Permit Vendors
Sno-Park permits can be purchased on-line from the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicular Recreation Division website or from several vendors throughout Alpine County and South Lake Tahoe:
Alpine County Chamber of Commerce, 3 Webster Drive, Markleeville, Ca. 96120, (530) 694-2475
Bear Valley Cross Country, 1 Bear Valley Road, Bear Valley, Ca. 95223, (209) 753-2834
Kirkwood Mountain Resort General Store, 1501 Kirkwood Meadows Drive, Kirkwood, Ca. 95646, (209) 258-7294
Explore Tahoe Visitors Center, 4114 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150, (530) 542-4637
Lake of the Sky Outfitters, Inc., 1023 Emerald Bay Road, South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150, (530) 541-1027
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
Carson City Ranger Station (ESIA), 1536 South Carson Street, Carson City, Nv. 89701, (775) 882-2766
Sno-Park Permit Sales, California Department of Parks and Recreation, 1725 23rd Street, #200, Sacramento, Ca. 95816-7100
Snowmobile Permit Vendors
Snowmobile Permits are available from the Carson City Ranger Station, the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce, the State Parks Sno-Park Permit Sales Office, the Kirkwood Mountain Resort Store, and the additional following vendors:
Woodfords Station, Highway 88, Woodfords, Ca. 96120, (530) 694-2930
Sorenson's Resort, 14255, Highway 88, Hope Valley, Ca. 96120, (530) 694-2203
South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, 3066 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, Ca. (530) 541-5255
Lake Tahoe Winter Sports, 3071 Highway 50, Tahoe Paradise, Ca. (530) 577-2940
REI, 2225 Harvard Way, Reno, Nv. (775) 828-9090
Reno Cycles and Gear, 3455 Kietzke Lane, Reno Nv. (775) 355-8810
Driving Directions to the Hope Valley Sno-Park:
From Reno/Carson City: Travel south on Highway 395. Turn south onto Highway 88 and travel 20 miles to Hope Valley Sno-Park located on the south side of Highway 88.
From Gardernville/Minden: Turn south onto Highway 88 and travel 20 miles to Hope Valley Sno-Park located on the south side of Highway 88.
From South Lake Tahoe: From Highway 50, turn east on Highway 89 and travel 11 miles to the junction with Highway 88 (Pickett's Junction). Turn right and travel west 2 miles to Hope Valley Sno- Park located on the south side of Highway 88.
From Sacramento: From Highway 50, turn east on Highway 89 and travel 11 miles to the junction with Highway 88 (Pickett's Pass). Turn right and travel west 2 miles to Hope Valley Sno-Park located on the south side of Highway 88.
From Jackson: Travel east on Highway 88 for 69 miles.
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.
Rules and Regulations
Motorized vehicles are not allowed in wilderness areas. Snowmobiles must be registered, and resident and non-resident stickers are required to ride in California forests. Out of state visitors must purchase a non-resident permit if they don't have a valid permit or registration from their home state. The California Department of Motor Vehicles and local snowmobile dealers can provide more information on registering your snowmobile, or you can can go to www.ohv.parks.ca.gov and click on "Green Stickers." You should never drink alcohol when operating a snowmobile.
The Hope Valley Sno-Park contains Nordic trails for cross-country skiers and snowmobile trails. Hope Valley has both groomed and ungroomed snowmobile trails.
There are four snowmobile trails in Hope Valley: Willow Creek, Blue Lakes Road, Forestdale Road, and Tamarack Lake. The Willow Creek Trail is an ungroomed 8.5 mile trail that ends near Armstrong Pass and crosses highways 88 and 89. The Blue Lakes Road Trail is a groomed 11.5 mile trail and ends at Lower Blue Lake. The Tamarack Lake Trail is a groomed 1.0 mile trail located near the end of the Blue Lakes Road Trail, and ends at Tamarack Lake. The Forestdale Road Trail is an ungroomed 3.5 mile trail that begins near Red Lake and ends at the Forestdale Divide. Snowmobile riders must stay in the designated areas and adhere to posted speed limits.
The El Dorado Nordic Ski Patrol provides emergency aid to snowshoers and cross-country skiers, and offer classes in winter back country skills, avalanche awareness, and lead back country tours.
Approximate Operating Season
November 1- May 30