Winter Travel Management

Eldorado National Forest


Eldorado National Forest is the third of five forests to commence winter travel management pursuant to a settlement between the Forest Service and Snowlands Network. Eldorado NF has issued its scoping notice, and comments are due by April 20, 2015. This is the time to tell the Forest Service that you care about winter travel management and demand protection of more lands exclusively for nonmotorized recreation.


Please tell the Forest Service that you want more areas in the Eldorado NF managed for clean and quiet winter recreation. You may submit your comments in four ways:


The deadline for submitting scoping comments on the Eldorado proposal is April 20, 2015. (This is an extended date from the original deadline.)


Tell Eldorado NF that you are submitting comments to the scoping notice on Over-Snow Vehicle Use Designation.

Tell Eldorado NF about your interest in backcountry skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing and why you believe that more lands should be set aside exclusively for nonmotorized winter recreation.

Snowlands is submitting a proposal which the Forest Service will evaluate in the planning analysis process. Please support our proposal in your own words. Our proposal includes the following winter motor vehicle closures:

  • Formal closure of the areas immediately north and south of the Carson Pass and Meiss Sno-Parks. This includes the area around Woods Lake and the approach to Winnemucca Lake as well as the south facing slopes above the  Kirkwood cross-country center. It also includes the approach that leads to Meiss Meadow. These areas were historically managed as nonmotorized but the Eldorado NF does NOT include these areas as nonmotorized in its scoping notice.

  • Formal closure of the crest between Echo Summit and Carson Pass.  This area is traversed by the Pacific Crest Trail.  The Echo to Carson tour is a popular backcountry ski route but only a portion of this area is closed under the Eldorado’s scoping notice.

  • Formal closure of the Martin Meadow area of Highway 88.  This area also has been popular with skiers and snowshoers but is not included in the Eldorado’s scoping notice.

  • Formal closure of the meadows and other terrain around the Van Vleck Bunkhouse and the formerly closed Van Vleck Nonmotorized Closure area near Loon Lake. Snowmobile access to the bunkhouse would continue.  This area had previously been closed to motorized use but the forest order implementing such closure is no longer in effect. It, too, is a popular ski and snowshoe area, in particular for persons staying at the bunkhouse.

  • Creation of a new nonmotorized area around Foster Meadow Road and Anderson Ridge along Highway 88.  Snowlands has marked ski trails in this area and long sought to have it closed to motorized vehicles.

These designations will also improve habitat for wildlife, including the Sierra Nevada Red Fox, by restricting snowmobile cross-country travel.

You may wish to demand restrictions in addition to those listed above.


Snowlands Network and Winter Wildlands Alliance submitted a proposed alternative for managing OSV recreation on Eldorado NF. You may download these documents as PDF documents here:

Eldorado Proposal
Map of OSV closures


This is the time for you to let the Eldorado NF know what changes you want to see in order to improve backcountry skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Please send comments now and try to attend one of the meetings!

Thank you for participating in this community effort.