USFS seeks Echo tenant: No more SnoPark at old ski resort |

USFS seeks Echo tenant: No more SnoPark at old ski resort

Amanda Fehd

Changes are afoot at Echo Summit, where a former ski resort is heavily used as a sledding hill during winter and a lodge remains empty and without potable water.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation will no longer run the parking lot as a SnoPark.

The Forest Service has rescinded the SnoPark’s permit and is looking for a concessionaire to manage the area year round.

Whoever signs up to manage the area will have to take out liability insurance on the sledding hill, a responsibility neither the Forest Service nor State Parks has been willing to take on.

“The state is reluctant to assume liability on Forest Service property,” said Dave Quijada with the parks department’s off-highway vehicle division, which manages the SnoPark program. “We did assume liability on the parking lot because that’s the area that we actually lease from them.”

An e-mail petition from SnoLands Network indicates there is concern the parking lot will not remain public.

Eldorado National Forest district ranger Kathy Hardy said their intention is to keep the parking area open, if not expand upon it. The Forest Service will send out a prospectus soon looking for parties interested in managing the area for public use.

The California Conservation Corps moved out of the old lodge at the site two years ago. Hardy said that move is what instigated the changes now underway.

“We’d like to have someone up there to manage the hill for sledding, figuring out when it’s safe to have people sledding up there, and to make that more of an enjoyable experience for families,” she said.

Summer activities could include showers, lodging and meals for through hikers.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.