What We’re Working On & How You Can Help
We want to ensure permanent, sustainable winter access to the Tahoe backcountry. Click on any of the current projects we’re actively working on to learn what we’re doing and how you can help.
Donner Lake Run
Descending from the historic Donner Summit skyline, the Donner Lake Run is one of the most picturesque backcountry ski descents in Tahoe. Known for its exciting terrain, copious snow, and stunning views of Donner Lake, Truckee, and the Mt. Rose region, the Lake Run has become increasingly popular with backcountry users.
During the winter of 2019-2020, the Donner Lake Woods Homeowners Association (HOA) approached the Tahoe Backcountry Alliance (TBA) and Truckee Donner Land Trust (TDLT) about an increase in illegal parking throughout the neighborhood at the west end of Donner Lake. Monitoring the zone, the TBA and TDLT determined that much of the increase in parking citations stemmed from winter backcountry users on the Lake Run.
TBA Current Proposed Solution
Public support for a parking solution has been strong and TBA is in final stages of approval for a revised proposal to fund and ensure that the West End Beach parking lot on Donner Lake remains plowed and maintained as a public and free lot throughout winter 2020-2021. TBA would fund all plowing and maintenance operations of the West End lot with no cost to local residents or the City of Truckee.
Public support for a parking solution has been strong and TBA is in final stages of approval of a revised proposal to fund and ensure that the West End Beach parking lot on Donner Lake remains plowed and maintained throughout winter 2020-2021. TBA would fund all plowing and maintenance operations of the West End lot–free and open to the public–with no cost to local residents or the City of Truckee.
On 8/28/20, the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District Board appeared supportive of TBA’s new parking proposal, but a final decision is pending and should be announced by mid-September. We need your help to get it to the finish line!
How to Help
Public support is essential to the success of the Donner Lake Run project. Please write the TDRPD board at firstname.lastname@example.org to express your ideas for the project.
Rubicon is a gorgeous, treed peak on the West Shore of Tahoe with outstanding views of Lake Tahoe to the east and Desolation Wilderness to the west. Providing nearly 2000 feet of treed, old growth, fall line skiing on north and east aspects, Rubicon contains few avalanche start zones, preserves cold snow and makes for a great half or full day out, even on storm days.
Parking at Rubicon is very limited. When plowed, no more than 10 vehicles can fit into the dead end of Highview Court, where the skin track begins. During large storm cycles or in years of deep snowpack, skiers can begin their day along CA 89 to add nearly 700’ of descent, but parking along CA 89 is extremely limited. Unfortunately, each year we receive reports of ticketing at both the lower and upper parking zones when people have reportedly parked legally. The inconsistency in ticketing and lack of available parking are primary reasons TBA has focused on Rubicon as a project site.
TBA would like to achieve a solution in which the backcountry community can have consistent, legal access to the USFS public land encompassing the Rubicon Peak backcountry.
TBA Proposed Solution
The end of Highview Court is blocked by an unused, US Forest Service gate that blocks access to a graded, gravel flat behind it, owned by El Dorado county. Working with neighbors, land managers from both the USFS and El Dorado County, TBA proposes the following:
-Remove the current gate, expanding access to the graded gravel flat on El Dorado County land
-TBA covers cost of grading and paving flat area currently behind the gate
-TBA pays for plowing of parking area each winter, ensuring backcountry access
How to Help:
Have comments and/or ideas? Contact local land managers and voice your opinion. Thoughts for us? Click below and share your comments and ideas.
Bliss Peak (Hidden Peak)
Bliss Peak offers a rare opportunity to ski mellow terrain near town with easy access from CA 89. In the past, Bliss has been popular as an alternative to Jake’s Peak for escaping some of the crowds and parking challenges on busy weekends. Bliss Peak has mostly low angle slopes descending through mature, well-spaced forest, providing relatively safe skiing during and after storm cycles. While the view from the summit isn’t as expansive as its neighbors to the north and south, Bliss still provides great skiing in a beautiful setting.
During the winter of 2017, local agencies reduced the size of the Bliss Peak pullout parking along CA 89 by removing asphalt and installing large boulders to discourage parking and impede plowing operations. Comments opposing the project by the local backcountry community went unanswered and the TRPA and CalTrans moved forward with their project. The changes reduced parking capacity from around 15 vehicles, to five.
TBA Proposed Solution
TBA would like to see the recently installed boulders removed and previous parking area restored and plowed throughout the winter months.
How to Help
Contact local land managers (TRPA and CalTrans) and request that the Bliss Parking pullouts along CA 89 be restored to their previous sizes.