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Meiss Meadow Sno-Park

Snow Sports Area

The Meiss Meadow Sno-Park is located on the north side of Highway 88 near Carson Pass and Caples Lake in the El Dorado National Forest. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, and snow play are recommended here. Snowmobiling is prohibited.

The Meiss Meadow Sno-Park is located in an area that offers year-round recreational opportunities. Outdoor activities including camping, hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, wildflower viewing in the spring, and fall color viewing in the fall are abundant at Carson Pass. Kirkwood Mountain Resortis located south of here on Highway 88. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail runs through the Meiss Meadow Sno-Park, and a portion of it serves as a Nordic ski trail in the winter.

The Carson Pass area can experience extreme winter weather- be sure to check weather and road conditions prior to visiting.

Other sno-parks near Carson Pass include the Carson Pass Sno-Park, the Hope Valley Sno Park, and the Iron Mountain Sno-Park. Permits are required for accessing Sno-Parks.

Recreation Activities

Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and snow play are recommended at Meiss Meadow. Snowmobiling is prohibited.

Seasons Accessible

The Meiss Meadow Sno-Park is open from November 1 through May 30. Sno-Park permits are required, and can be purchased onlineor from the list of vendors below.

Sno-Park Permit Vendors

Several vendors in the Carson Pass region are designated to sell Sno-Park permits. A full listing of vendors throughout Northern California is available here.

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 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.

Trail System

The Meiss Meadow Sno-Park provides access to the Woods Lake Trail and the Meiss Meadow Area Nordic Ski Trail.

The Woods Lake Trail is the easiest of the two, and is recommended for beginners. It is a 2 mile, downhill ski trail to Woods Lake from the Meiss Meadow Sno-Park. The trail head is marked and begins across the highway, with blue diamond markers on the trees. Woods Lake freezes over the winter, and it is not recommended to ski or walk on the frozen lake.

The Meiss Meadow Area Nordic Ski Trail trail is 4 miles one way, and the elevation changes from 8,200 feet to 8,900 feet. The difficulty level for this trail is difficult, and is recommended for experienced back country skiers. The Meiss Meadow Area Nordic Ski Trail is unmarked, and generally follows the Pacific Crest Trail from the Sno-Park for 2.5 miles, then swings north and down into Meiss Meadows. Make a loop around Meiss Lake, and return by the same route. Meiss Lake freezes over the winter, however do not attempt to ski or walk on the lake.

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

Nearby Places