El Dorado National Forest – Sierra Nevada
The El Dorado National Forest is situated to the southeast of the Lake Tahoe area. It makes up the rising slope from the Sacramento Valley up to the Sierra Nevada crest. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails in varied terrain make this an easy shot from the Sacramento and Bay areas. A rich history of outdoors activities allows the El Dorado area to be used year round in a variety of capacities. Its extensive system of lakes and streams filled with snowmelt runoff provide scenic fishing in the heart of the California Gold Rush territory.
In winter, this region is host to a number of alpine and Nordic ski areas including Kirkwood and Sierra-at-Tahoe. Both of these are among the most famed in the nation. Sno-Parks provide roadside parking for access to backcountry skiing and Nordic paths. Permits are needed to park in these and are available at most local shops. Echo Summit, Carson Pass, and Iron Mountain are among the most popular off these Sno-Parks and parking can be scarce after a good snow. As always, be sure you are prepared before any sort of mountain travel in winter months.
Wilderness areas inside the El Dorado National Forest include and Desolation Wilderness, Pacific Crest Trail and Mokelumne Wilderness. As usual, these areas are off limits to mechanized travel such as motor vehicles and bicycles.
Be sure to check the matrix of the front of the map for details.