What is Winter Trails Day?
Winter Trails Day is a great opportunity to learn more about safe and fun family recreation in the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains. There are numerous free organized events from which to choose, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, educational hikes, and winter safety activities. This is a family-friendly event with snacks and hot drinks.
Winter Trails Day 2013 is on Saturday, January 12. Premier sponsors are Atlas Snow-Shoe Company, Tubbs Snowshoes, MSR, and Snowsports Industries America. Local sponsors include the Tahoe Rim Trail Association (TRTA), other area outdoor organizations and retailers like REI, and Lake Tahoe area ski resorts. If you've ever wanted to try snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or learn more about safely enjoying the outdoors during winter, this event is a great opportunity.
The Winter Trails Day event in 2012 fizzled due to a lack of snow. That shouldn't happen in 2013. There has been plenty of snowfall so far during the winter of 2012 - 2013 and the storms keep coming. Because of that, be sure to check the weather forecast and highway conditions before heading out for your day of winter snow activities.
Winter Trails Day at Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Resort
Winter Trails Day at Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Resort is brought to you in cooperation with the REI store in Sacramento. Kids and adults can try snowshoeing and cross country skiing for free, along with free lessons and product demos. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tahoe Donner Cross Country is west of Reno on I80 at 15275 Alder Creek Road in Truckee, CA. Overflow parking will be at The Lodge, 12850 Northwoods Boulevard, with shuttles to the resort. A $5 donation is asked to help support the Truckee High Nordic Ski Team. To participate, registration is required through REI. For more information, call (530) 587-9484.
Winter Trails Day at Tahoe Meadows, North Lake Tahoe
This Winter Trails Day event is sponsored by the Tahoe Rim Trail Association (TRTA). The fun at Tahoe Meadows, on the east side of the Mt. Rose Highway (Nevada 431), begins at 10 a.m. and goes until 2 p.m. In addition to guided showshoe hikes, there will be snow safety demonstrations, guided snowshoe hikes, winter camping demonstration, snowman making, avalanche beacon scavenger hunts, winter gear demos, winter safety advice, and free hot chocolate and snacks. To participate in this free north Lake Tahoe event, TRTA asks that you fill out the online general registration form. Separate registration is required to participate in any of several snowshoe hikes that will be offered during the event. The snowshoe hike registration page also has descriptions for each hike. Note that registering for a snowshoe hike automatically includes registering for the event and entry in a raffle. For more information, call TRTA (775) 298-0012.
Winter Trails Day at Kirkwood Cross Country and Snowshoe Center
Winter Trails Day at Kirkwood is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free snowshoe demos will be available through out the day, along with free mini beginning ski lessons from Kirkwood Cross Country. The free package includes lesson and equipment rental. Discounted trail passes (only $16) will be available to those wanting to keep skiing after the lesson. Lessons will be on the hour every hour, from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. and reservations are required. Call (209) 258-7248 for more information or to make a reservation (required).
Kirkwood Cross Country is on Highway 88, half a mile east of the Kirkwood downhill ski area. I've skied here and it's a nice place, but parking is limited - carpool if you can.
Winter Trails Day at Carson Pass Sno-Park
Carson Pass Sno-Park is part of the California SNO-PARKS system. On Winter Trails Day, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Eldorado Nordic Ski Patrol will be on hand to point you toward great winter trails and update you on safety issues before venturing out. The Patrol will have informtaion on the area, hot drinks and cookies. You can even just come in and warm up by the fire for a while. The Patrol will be at both the Carson Pass Information Center and on the trails to assist visitors. Carson Pass is on Highway 88, east of Kirkwood and Caples Lake. Note: You must bring your own snowshoes and/or skiing equipment. For more information, call (530) 647-1825.
Winter Trails Day at Bear Valley Cross Country
On Winter Trails Day, Bear Valley Cross Country will offer first-time, never before cross country skiers (ages 9 and up) a one - time - only free introductory cross country ski package, including beginner lesson, equipment rental and trail pass. After the lesson, skiers will receive a discount coupon good for savings on future visits. Demo snowshoes will also be available for registered participants to try out. A $5 pre-registration fee is required to participate. Pre-register for Winter Trails Day no later than Wednesday, January 9, 2013, by calling (209) 753-2834. Participants must sign-in at Bear Valley Cross Country at 9:00 a.m. to take part in their free 9:30 a.m. lesson. Space is limited. It's a long way to Bear Valley from Reno in the winter because Ebbetts Pass is closed by snow. Get driving directions from the Bear Valley Cross Country website.
Get Your Own Snowshoes
You can rent snowshoes at REI and Reno Mountain Sports in Reno. However, if you want to trek the snowy mountains on a regular basis, owning your own snowshoes is the way to go. Click the link to see what's available for both children and adults in your family.