You’ve heard of Lake Tahoe, but you may not have heard of the Tahoe National Forest. The lake isn’t included within the boundaries of the National Forest, but the forest itself is worth examination.
Here’s what you need to know about Tahoe National Forest.
First, Tahoe National Forest is about two hours west from Reno. The forest is in California, and it covers an area of almost 872,000 square acres. The forest mainly includes Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, white fir, sugar pine, California incense cedar, California black oak, lodgepole pine, and red fir.
It also includes a small grove of exceptional trees. The forest has six old-growth Sequoias, which can only be found in one other place — Sequoia National Park.
Besides its tree population, Tahoe National Forest is also known for its peaks. The Sierra Butte peak is the largest, and it measures about 85,000 feet. From there, one can see Mount Lassen and Mount Shasta, which are both active volcanos. The National Forest also includes hundreds of lakes and reservoirs, but, as mentioned, it does not include Lake Tahoe.
Many recreational activities are available in Tahoe National Forest. Hikers would enjoy the many trails carved out of the woods. In fact, a section of the Pacific Crest Trail crosses through the National Forest. There are dozens of backpacking trails and day hiking trails. There are trails perfect of both the avid hiker and the beginner as well. Hikers and bikers are encouraged to bring water, snacks, and a water filtration system.
Besides enjoying the natural beauty of the area, there are many historical sites to explore as well. The Donner Camp Trail explains the history of this infamous group that was trapped while traveling to California. You will remember this group as the one that had to resort to cannibalism to survive being snowbound in the mountains. Some of the other trails highlight how the gold rush affected the area.
There are dozens of campsites located in the National Forest. Tent campers are welcome, as well as those with RVs. There are also cabins available for rent on the property.
Those who enjoy fishing may try their hands at catching coldwater fish, such as trout.
Winter sports are also available at Tahoe National Forest. One popular winter activity starts around the middle part of November each year. Nearby residents can trek into the park and cut their own Christmas tree to take home and decorate. The trees are only $10, and those who participate describe it as a magical experience.
Visitors can also cut a limited amount of firewood in the park as long as they have a special permit.
Although the area is given only the National Forest designation, it has been protected since 1893. It is one of eight National Forests located along the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The other National Forests along this mountain range are Plumas, Tahoe, Eldorado, Toiyabe, Stanislaus, Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia.