Enjoy the Winter Weather at a SNO-PARK
The high country of the Sierra provides some of the finest winter recreation opportunities in California. The Winter Recreation Program is one of the Department of Parks and Recreation's best kept secrets.
The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division of California State Parks, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, Caltrans, counties and local landowners, operate 19 SNO-PARKs and 29 Snowmobile Trailheads. These areas afford opportunities for snow play, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. At the SNO-PARKs and Trailheads you will find cleared parking lots, restrooms, and garbage receptacles. During the winter months families venture out in record numbers; it is not uncommon for these areas to reach capacity by mid morning.
If you wish to visit one of California's 19 SNO-PARKs, a permit is required. Permits are $5 per day or $25 for a season pass which lasts from November 1 through May 30. Permits can be purchased from vendors throughout northern California or through the OHMVR Division Headquarters. A list of vendors can be found at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov. If you are visiting a location which is a Trailhead only, and not part of a SNO-PARK system, no permit is required.
The OHMVR Division also operates a Sno-PALs program. Free snowmobile operation classes are available for kids ages twelve to fifteen. These classes provide instruction in winter safety skills, equipment preparation procedures and snowmobile operating techniques to promote safe and responsible riding. Classes take place every weekend in February on Saturdays and Sundays at 8:30am and 12:30pm. The OHMVR Division provides the snowmobiles and basic safety equipment including helmets, snow pants, gloves and jackets.
If you would like to learn more about the SNO-PARKs, Trailheads, Sno-Pals Program, or are interested in a brochure or any information on the winter recreation program, please call 916-324-4442 or log on at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov.