Sno-Parks an option for the more adventuresome
If you find yourself making the leap from renting snowmobiles and taking guided tours to venturing out on your own, California’s Sno-Park program gives you more trails and options as a rider.
The Sno-Park program is coordinated and administered by the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division of the California Department of Parks and Recreation, with the assistance from the U.S. Forest Service, Caltrans, and the California Highway Patrol.
Sno-Parks are easy to identify because of the distinctive brown highway signs directing people to them on the main highways in the snow country.
The Sno-Park season is from Nov. 1 to May 30, with some adjustments based on snow conditions.
In order to park in a Sno-Park, a vehicle must have a permit displayed on the dashboard. A day permit costs $5. It is good at any Sno-Park on the date it is issued. A season permit is $25. Any vehicle parked in a Sno-Park without displaying the valid permit is subject to a $75 citation.
In most Sno-Parks, overnight parking is allowed, including camping in your vehicle. When parked overnight, the vehicle must be staked with 8-foot high poles at each corner to help protect it from being hit by snow removal equipment.
Revenues from the sale of permits pay for snow removal, sanitation, signs and trailhead markings. Sno-Parks are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Oregon and California have a reciprocal agreement allowing permits from one state to be used at Sno-Parks in the other state.
Permits are sold at sporting goods stores throughout California, at various businesses located near the Sno-Parks, at selected units of the State Park System and, for members only, at all Northern California State Automobile Association offices. You can call the Sno-Park Program hot line at (916) 324-1222.
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