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Photo by Debra Sutherland

Snowshoeing at the Coyote SNO-PARK Area

Photo by Debra Kincade

You never really know how long March snow will stick around. I did know that snow was up in our local mountains, plenty of it to snowshoe on, so we packed up our ride with 5 hikers, our snowshoes and headed for the SNO-PARK areas above Shaver Lake.

Where: Coyote SNO-PARK, Sierra National Forest
Distance: 5.89 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevational Range: 7,454′ to 7,719′
Date:March 19, 2018
Maps: High Sierra Ranger District Winter Recreation Guide, Dinky Creek Topographic Quad
Dog Hike? Maybe

We drove up Hwy 168 to Shaver Lake and stopped by Shaver Lake Sports to pick up a Day Permit for $5 which is required November 1 through May 30 for each vehicle parked at a SNO Park site. You can also purchase a Season Permit for $25 Season Permit for $25. This money pays for plowing of the SNO-PLAY parking areas and sanitation facilities. You can also pick up a free map that is perfect for this area. It is called the High Sierra Ranger District Winter Recreation Guide and has the trails, along with additional information such as trail etiquette, winter travel safety and the type of equipment that you should bring to be prepared for winter recreation in this area. Some of the trails are only for cross country skiing and some are snowmobile trails. There are also areas just for snow play. There are several areas where you can purchase your permit and the SNO-Park link at the bottom gives you that list. Also note that there is a fine of $94.50 for parking in the SNO Park areas without a permit displayed.

We continued up the road to the Coyote SNO-PARK, located on the left side of the road after the Tamarack Ridge SNO PARK. The Coyote SNO-PARK’s recommended activities include cross-country skiing, dog sledding, and snow play. No snowmobiles are allowed in this area. That snow looked beautiful, still clinging to the trees and between 1 to 2 feet deep. The trail had been broken for us almost all of the way. And we had a surprise to see several members of the Sierra Hiking Seniors pull up with their skis. One member was snowshoeing and joined our group of 5 for our adventure.

 

 

We slapped our snowshoes on and headed up the Coyote Trail.

The snow was so beautiful.

We could even make out animal tracks but please don’t ask me what this critter was because I don’t know. Maybe you have an idea?

deb

Photo by Debra Sutherland

I looked back to see what was taking my group so long.

They were taking pictures of icicles on a tree.

gail

Photo by Gail Gilbert

deb

Photo by Debra Sutherland

deb

Photo by Debra Sutherland

Photo by Debra Kincade

They did capture some beautiful pictures but it was time for us to move on.

The trail took us through tunnels of snow covered trees.

deb

Photo by Debra Sutherland

After wandering around a bit and turning around when we would have needed to break trail, we headed for an overlook for lunch.

deb

Photo by Debra Sutherland

I wondered what the view would look like.

We all pulled up a good spot to sit, admire the view and eat our lunch.

deb

Photo by Debra Sutherland

deb

Photo by Debra Sutherland

And what a great view it was!

A big thank you to Phil for taking this picture of our group.

After that gorgeous lunch spot, it was time to head back.

gail

Photo by Gail Gilbert

 If you plan on venturing up to our local mountains, you need to be aware of the area, weather, route and limitations of your body and equipment. You may encounter icy roads, wind, cold and snow without any notice. Bring a good map and know how to use it. Let people know where you are going, including your planned route of travel, departure and return times. I always check the weather forecasts right up to the time of our hikes to avoid storms. Wear the right clothes and layer them. I didn’t come close to covering all of the information that you need to enjoy winter sports in our local mountains. There are many places that can give you additional information and the California State Parks SNO-PARKS Brochure linked under Sources is a good place to start for some good winter tips.

Dog Hike: Maybe

I didn’t bring Sally on this hike but she has hiked in the Tamarack SNO-PLAY area across the road. We did see a dog with the skiers and that lab was having a wonderful time! This is one of those instances where you will need to know your dog’s limitations, how well it can tolerate the cold and dress them accordingly.

Here are the Sierra National Forest rules for pets from their website:

Domestic pets are allowed in wilderness areas. You are responsible for their actions as well as their welfare. Pets should either be leashed or under direct voice control. When camping in areas with other visitors, pets should be kept on a leash. Wilderness visitor’s who plan to travel into an adjacent National Park should be aware that National Parks do not permit pets.

When in campgrounds, public beaches or on trails local ordinances require pets to be leashed. As a consideration to others, please refrain from taking pets to beach areas to prevent contamination. Domestic pets are allowed in wilderness areas. You are responsible for their actions as well as their welfare. Pets should either be leashed or under direct voice control. When camping in areas with other visitors, pets should be kept on a leash. Wilderness visitor’s who plan to travel into an adjacent National Park should be aware that National Parks do not permit pets.

  • Clean up after your pet. It will only take a few minutes and there is no single action that will more favorably impress your fellow campers.

Map and Profile:

Coyote Doarama

Prior Blogs in this Area:

Snowshoeing Tamarack Ridge January 13, 2017

Tamarack Ridge Snowshoe Hike March 8, 2014

Sources:

California State Parks SNO PARK Brochure

Coyote SNO-Park Information

SNO-Park Information

Sierra National Forest SNO-PARK Information and Areas

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