Eldorado National Forest

Eldorado National Forest
Eldorado National Forest (USDA Forest Service)

The hiking is fine in Eldorado National Forest; all in all, there are 350 miles of trails through the forest. Hikers have their pick between trails in the foothills and trails in the high Sierra. It's a matter of seasons. The foothill trails stay open long after high altitude trails are made impassable by snow. In the summer, however, the high Sierra offers cool relief to the heat-buzzed lower elevations.

Wilderness areas within the forest include Mokelumne and Desolation Wilderness Areas. Check out the glacier-sculpted terrain of the Desolation trails.

Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail extends 2,600 miles from Canada to Mexico. It passes through 23 National Forests, including several wilderness areas, 7 National Parks, other Federal lands, and numerous portions of state, local government, and private lands.

In California the trail begins at the California-Oregon border south of Observation Peak in the Siskiyou Mountain Range, and ends at the Mexican Border near Campo.

From the north, the Pacific Crest Trail enters the Eldorado National Forest in Desolation Wilderness. It continues south jogging back and forth between the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and the Toiyabe and Eldorado National Forests.

Designated access points are located at Norden on Interstate 80, Echo Lake on Highway 50, Carson Pass on Highway 88, and Ebbetts Pass on Highway 4.

The entire Pacific Crest Trail is closed to all types of vehicles, including bicycles.

A permit is not required for travel on the Pacific Crest Trail as such, but a permit is required for travel through wilderness and other special areas. A campfire permit is required for portable campstoves or for building campfires in wildlands.

Pacific Crest Trail permits are issued by the agency at which point the traveler enters the trail. Thus, the Forest Service will issue permits for trips originating on National Forests, and the Park Service will issue permits for the trips starting in National Parks. The permit will cover the entire trip. For trips originating on the Eldorado National Forest, Pacific Crest Trail permits may be obtained by contacting the Eldorado Information Center.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 12 Oct 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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