10918 Brockway Rd, Truckee CA 96161 866.582.5655 | 530.582.5655


    ExperienceWilderness Snowshoeing

    Wilderness Snowshoeing

    Snowshoeing in the Truckee/Tahoe area is a great way to experience the winter wonderland of the high sierra, without having to ski or snowboard. For those heading out into the vast wilderness, the rewards are unlimited, yet so are the dangers. Please be sure you are prepared for winter weather and emergencies; plan and pack your food and hydration needs, and understand the avalanche hazards. All the mentioned wilderness snowshoe trails are dog friendly. We rent snowshoes through the front desk of the Cedar House. We have a brand new inventory of “Tubbs” snowshoes, which are revered as some of the best, if not the best brand. Rentals are $20/day per pair.

    We recommend checking the Sierra Avalanche Center before your excursion.


    CastlePeak Area

    Approx. 4 to 8 MILES OUT AND BACK

    Moderate to challenging terrain

    Castle Peak (elevation 9,103) is one of the icons of Donner Summit. It hosts hikers to immense-pristine forests, majestic granite faces, classic vista views, and an indescribable summit environment. At the summit, hikers navigate ancient cathedral-sized granite structures, while overlooking massive canyons and valleys below. This terrain is perfect for avid to expert snow travelers. The avalanche dangers and other winter hazards are frequent in this area. Please be sure you’re prepared for such hazards.

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    MartisCreek Wildlife Area

    APPROX. 4 to 5 MILE LOOP

    Easy terrain

    This is a 4 to 5-mile loop around a vast wilderness valley bordering Martis Camp and the Northstar Golf Course. Adventurers are treated to unique local vegetation landscapes, pristine creeks, views of the surrounding high sierra, and the Mt. Rose range dominating the eastern horizon. This is a great hike for those looking to stay close to the hotel or wanting a shorter day.

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    APPROX. 5.5 to 6 MILE LOOP

    Moderate terrain

    This is a beautiful hike that treats adventurers to a pristine wilderness setting filled with pine, fir, cedar, and hemlock groves; unique boulder fields; magnificent canyon cliffs; and beautiful vistas. The terrain here in the winter especially makes one feel as if they are in an “enchanted forest.” The avalanche and other winter hazards can be very prevalent in this area. Please be sure to plan for such dangers.

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    MountRose Wilderness Snowplay and Summit Area

    or 4 to 5 mile roundtrip summits

    Beginner to moderate terrain

    The Mt. Rose Wilderness is one of the first established wilderness areas in the U.S. With over 11,000 acres to explore complete with towering 10,000-foot peaks laden with chutes, pristine manzanita and sage-covered meadows, clear winter creeks, frozen waterfalls, and powdered filled ski bowls. The area provides easy access to various summits like Tamarack and Incline Peak for the avid to expert snowshoer. The wilderness also hosts a meadows area with parking. This is an excellent place to stretch your legs, explore the various pine and fir laden tree groves, snow tube, and summit Incline Peak or Chickadee ridge via snowshoes. Both Incline Peak and Chickadee ridge provide amazing views of Lake Tahoe and the Washoe Valley desert floor.

    For those wanting to spend a full day hiking, continue through the meadows and park at Mt. Rose summit parking shortly past the meadows on the left. From here, you can summit various ridgelines to find priceless views of the valley floor and high alpine. This parking area also provides an impressive view of Mt. Rose proper, which towers above the other mountains in the area at 10,778 feet. The mountain itself displays vast coulure’s, chutes, and old-growth forest areas. Though summiting Mt. Rose is a very advanced hike, the ridges around are easy for the avid adventurer.

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    Resort Snowshoeing

    Most of the ski resorts around Truckee/Tahoe also host snowshoeing through their cross-country centers. The most popular resorts for snowshoeing are Northstar California Resort, Squaw Valley, Royal Gorge Resort, Tahoe Donner Ski Area, Tahoe Cross-Country Center, and Spooner Lake. All of the resorts will offer equipment rentals. Royal Gorge, Tahoe Cross-Country, and Tahoe Donner each have dog-friendly trail(s). You can rent snowshoes at the Front Desk of the Cedar House if you do not want to rent from the resort. We have a brand-new inventory of “Tubbs” Snowshoes, which are revered as some of the best, if not the best brand. Rentals are $20/day per pair.

    Northstar California Resort

    Phone: 530-562-1010

    • 65 km of the cross-country trail system
    • No dogs
    • Snowshoe Rentals, food, and beverage at the Cross-Country Center
    • Trails include a forest setting with a loop around a high alpine reservoir.

    Royal Gorge Resort

    Phone: 530-426-3871

    • North America’s largest cross-country ski resort
    • 90 groomed trails
    • Rentals provided Cross-Country Center
    • 1 dog-friendly trail
    • Trails range from dense forest, beautiful vistas, and vast open valleys surrounded by high alpine peaks.

    Squaw Valley @ the Resort at Squaw Creek

    Phone: 530-583-6300

    • 18 groomed km
    • Snowshoe Rentals and access to the Resort at Squaw Creek food and beverage
    • No dogs
    • Trails range from dense to sparse forest settings, filled with hemlock, pine, and fir tree groves, and open valleys surrounded by the epic peaks of Squaw Valley.

    Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center

    Phone: 530-587-9484

    • 100 groomed km
    • 3 dog-friendly trails
    • Rentals available at XC center and Cedar House front desk
    • Trails treat guests to classic Tahoe Donner forests, picturesque vistas, and views of the daunting Sierra Crest.

    Tahoe Cross Country Center

    Phone: 530-583-5475

    • 65 km trail system
    • 2 dog-friendly trails
    • Rentals recommended at Cedar House Front Desk
    • Trails hosts adventurers to coveted lake views, pristine forest, and views of the ever-looming peaks of the high sierra.

    Mount Rose Wilderness Snowplay and Summit areas Direction:

    From the hotel, take highway 267 into Kings Beach, followed by a left turn on Highway 28. Continue on Highway 28 until you reach Incline Village, NV. Here you will take a left on Highway 431 (AKA Mt. Rose Highway). On 431, travel approx 8 miles until you see the snow play parking in the Tahoe Meadows. There is parking on either side of the road, and the area is marked by “recreation area” signs.

    For Mt. Rose summit parking, continue through the meadows and look for the Mt. Rose summit parking on the left. From here, you can easily access the high alpine of the Mt. Rose range.

    Coldstream Canyon Direction:

    This trail starts off by the Chevron Gas Station off of Donner Pass Road. Park along the fence across from the hotel. There is a closed gate, the road behind the gate is the access to the canyon. If there is snow on the road, you can snowshoe down the road; if not, you can snowshoe on the trail to the left of the road. At the end of the paved road, follow the forest road to the left, there will be a junction, follow the trail to the left along the canyon. The trail will start to climb from here and will take you to 2 ponds that are connected and will continue counterclockwise around the ponds and then back.

    Martis Creek Wildlife area Direction:

    The trail starts on the right side off of Highway 267, look for a blue “don’t drink and drive” sign. The parking lot turnout is right after the sign. After pulling into the parking area, park in front of the gate. Then walk past the gate to the trailhead. You can make the loop counterclockwise or clockwise. The clockwise option allows for great views of the Pacific Crest.

    Castle Peak Area Direction:

    This mountain is visible and easily accessible from nearby Interstate 80. The hike begins on the south side of Interstate 80 at the Castle Peak exit/PCT parking lot. Go underneath the freeway and turn left towards the Boreal Inn. The parking lot is located at the end of the street. A Sno-Park permit is required for parking; this can be purchased online and printed at the front desk. Start hiking on the PCT(Pacific Crest Trail) until you come to a junction, take a left towards Castle Peak and I-80. You will go through a tunnel underneath the freeway. In a mile and a half, you’ll reach another junction; here, you can stay on the PCT towards Peter Grubb Hut/Castle Peak or turn right towards Summit Lake and Frog lake overlook. Keep in mind several snowmobilers enjoy this trail and area as well. Your inclination may be to follow a random trail, but it could lead you into the abyss or an avalanche area, so keep to the obvious snowshoe path.