Lake Alpine Sno-Park
The Lake Alpine Sno-Park is located at the winter closure gate on Highway 4 in Alpine County, within the Stanislaus National Forest near Ebbetts Pass and the Bear Valley Mountain Ski Resort. It is approximately 48.2 miles from Angels Camp. Cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, and snow play are recommended activities at the Lake Alpine Sno-Park.
The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail crosses Ebbetts Pass near here, and hiking, fishing, horseback riding, boating, wildlife viewing, and camping are popular outdoor activities in the summer. The Bear Valley to Lake Alpine Trail and the trail to Inspiration Point from Lake Alpine is also located here. The Lake Alpine Sno-Park is part of theLake Alpine Recreation Area.
Two additional sno-parks are located nearby: Spicer Sno-Park is located south of here on Highway 4 in Calaveras County, and the newly-added Round Valley Sno-Park is 0.2 miles from Highway 4 on Highway 207. Ebbetts Pass is usually closed after the Lake Alpine Sno-Park on Highway 4, and winter weather conditions here can be variable- be sure to check weather and road conditions prior to visiting.
Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, and snow play are permitted at this Sno-Park. Permits are required to use Sno-Parks, and can be purchased online for from the list of vendors below.
Lake Alpine Sno-Park is open from November 1 - May 30.
Sno-Park Permit Vendors
Sno-Park permits are available from several designated vendors in the Ebbetts Pass area. A complete listing of Sno-Park permit vendors throughout Northern California is available here.
Bear Valley Cross Country, 1 Bear Valley Road, Bear Valley, Ca. 95223, (209) 295-4251
Bear Valley Snowmobile Service, 132 Bear Valley Road, Bear Valley, Ca. 95223, (209) 753-2834
Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods, 925 Highway 4, Building A, Arnold, Ca. 95223, (209) 795-1686
Sierra Nevada Adventure Company, 2293 HIghway 4, Arnold, Ca. 95223, (209) 795-9310
Sno-Park Permit Sales, California Department of Parks and Recreation, 1725 23rd Street, #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 $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.
Cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are popular activities at the Lake Alpine Sno-Park. Once Highway 4 is closed for the winter, it is often used as a moderate snowmobile and cross country trail.
Cross-country skiing can be accessed on Highway 4 after the Sno-Park. The first section of the trail is downhill, and be aware of snowmobile riders. The trail passes Lake Alpine for approximately 1 miles. Turn right at the end of Lake Alpine for a snowmobile-free trail towards Duck Lake. The rail loops around the lake, however this portion around the lake can be difficult to follow and is not recommended for beginners. There is a river crossing below a dam that is hard to locate and can be challenging to cross.
Approximate Operating Season
November 1 - May 30