Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
Virtually the entire forest is
open for snowshoeing and Nordic skiing, with
options ranging from beginner-level flat,
groomed track to challenging peaks and
backcountry calling for more advanced
telemarking skill. Before venturing off,
especially in an unmarked area, make sure to
check weather conditions, bring adequate
clothing, gear, food and water, and let someone
know (a park ranger, friend or relative) where
Volcanic National Park is just 35 miles
from Chester on Highway 36/89. Lassen
Volcanic National Park boasts over 150 miles
of marked and unmarked trails for
non-motorized winter sports. Ranger-led
snowshoe hikes and ski tours are held on
Saturdays during the winter. Contact Lassen
Park (530) 595-4480 for details.
In Indian Valley, several unplowed roads and trails offer excellent routes for snowshoers and skiers. A favorite is the road leading out to Antelope Lake, beginning just past Genesee.
In the eastern portion of the county, beginner ski trails are maintained in Plumas-Eureka State Park, including the 2.5-mile groomed Jamison Canyon Ski Trail that takes off from the park museum parking lot. Other trails begin at the Eureka Bowl downhill ski area, and more advanced terrain suited for telemarking leads to Eureka Peak. On February 16, 2013, the California State Snowshoe Championships will be held here.
The new Lakes Basin Ski Trail takes off from the Gold Lake Staging Area south of Graeagle in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area. Open only to non-motorized users, the marked and groomed moderate trail continues 1.5 miles, paralleling Graeagle Creek.
Intermediate and advanced unmarked routes are featured elsewhere in the Lakes Basin, which is also a popular destination for snowmobilers.
The Bucks Lake Area near Quincy is a popular winter sports staging area that offers skiers and snowshoers a marked loop trail as well as miles of backcountry groomed and ungroomed trails. Vehicles are excluded on the Bucks Summit Loop Trail, and within the Bucks Lake Wilderness Area, including the trail to Spanish Peak. Skiers share the remaining trails with snowmobilers. Other areas near Quincy include Snake Lake and Argentine Ridge.
The La Porte Area also offers good winter sports terrain and staging areas. During winter, La Porte is generally accessible only from the southern route (from Marysville/Oroville, via Highway 20 and County Road E-21). Skiers and snowshoers can follow groomed snowmobile trails along Little Grass Valley Reservoir and can find other shared trails at Lexington Hill.
For more information
Cross country ski equipment may be rented at the following locations:
Lost Sierra Adventures