Forest officials ask visitors to be responsible, ‘Leave No Trace’
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — After multiple feet of snow blanketed Lake Tahoe this week, and with sunny skies in the weekend forecast, sledding and recreation areas are expected to be busy which has prompted officials to ask that everyone recreate responsibly and follow the “Leave No Trace” guidelines.
Tahoe Meadows, located off Nevada State Highway 431 (Mount Rose Highway) on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s Carson Ranger District, is a favorite location for winter recreation and will likely see a massive amount of people playing in the fresh snow.
“Once the roads are plowed, Tahoe Meadows is a short drive from both Incline Village and south Reno,” said Acting Deputy District Ranger Brian Hansen. “However, the only parking in the area is along the highway, so it is easy for crowds to overwhelm the limited parking, creating unsafe conditions and blocking the road.
“I suggest arriving early on weekends and holidays to get a parking space,” Hansen continued. “Weekdays and non-holiday times may provide fewer crowds and better access. It is extremely important to avoid blocking traffic waiting for a space to become available. When a parking spot is available, make sure all tires are to the right of the white line and avoid exiting your vehicle into traffic lanes.”
Hansen also said that due to the lack of trash bins and bathrooms, everyone needs to bring their own trash bags to take home all their garbage (e.g., food scraps, paper, plastic, and broken sleds, etc.) and waste.
“It is advisable to use the bathroom at home before leaving or stopping along the way,” he said. “If a person does need to use the bathroom while at Tahoe Meadows, they should follow the Leave No Trace guidelines. “Remember, leave no trace other than footprints and snowmen.”
The guidelines can be found at https://bit.ly/LNTPackOutWaste.
Before traveling to Tahoe Meadows, Hansen suggested checking driving and weather conditions, chain requirements, and road closures. For real-time road information call 511 within Nevada or visit https://www.nvroads.com. For current weather conditions, visit the National Weather Service website at https://bit.ly/WeatherTahoeMeadows or view the “SR431 West Side Meadows” webcam at https://nvroads.com.
“The SR431 West Side Meadows webcam is a great tool to see how busy the meadow is before leaving home,” said Hansen.
Carson Ranger District Acting Recreation Officer Jared Bowman also provided some safety tips for pet owners and people who enjoy sledding at Tahoe Meadows.
“Although dogs are allowed in the meadow, they need to be kept on a leash less than 6 feet long and their waste taken home for disposal,” he said. “They also need to be kept away from the path of sledders, snowmobilers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers.
“For those who enjoy sledding in Tahoe Meadow, it is important to only sled in areas with at least 12 inches of snow; wearing a helmet and going downhill feet first,” Bowman added. “Avoid sledding into roads and near dangerous objects like trees and rocks, and use sturdy sleds for snow play, not makeshift items like cardboard boxes.”
Bowman also reminds winter recreationists to wear sun block. Tahoe Meadows is at an elevation of over 8,000 feet. The sun is much more intense, and a sunburn will set in more quickly. It is also easy to become dehydrated, so drink plenty of water and eat plenty of healthy food and snacks.
For additional information on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, visit https://fs.usda.gov/htnf.
Source: Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
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