Best Snowshoeing in California

Trying to find the best snowshoeing in California? Bivy has great hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, skiing, riding and more, with hand-curated trail maps, as well as detailed driving directions.


California, Shasta County

13 :40 hrs
6.9 mi
1113.5735 ft

This is a trail to Lassen Peak during winter months when the park road is closed. The trail begins from the Southwest entrance of Lassen National Park. It follows the windy park road, with some cross-country trek, as it weaves between scattered pine trees and past Sulphur Works, an active geothermal area where steam puffs out of the ground. The road ends at the base of Lassen Peak and makes several tight switchbacks as it makes a steep ascent to the summit. There are several amazing views from beginning to end of rocky jagged peaks and valleys all covered in snow. This trip is generally done as an overnight. Lassen Peak is exposed with slope degrees ideal for avalanches. High winds and avalanches are common, check with the park for weather conditions. The park road is generally open to vehicles in April when plowing begins, again, check with the park for open and closure dates of the road as they are dependent on snowfall. Restrooms are available at the parking lot.


California, Mariposa County

06 :00 hrs
9.9 mi
174.51636 ft

Located in Yosemite National Park, Dewey Point can be accessed year-round, however, some of the park roads are only open seasonally. This trail begins from Badger Pass, beyond this point the road is closed during winter months. The trail meanders through open meadows and between a forest of red firs and tall lodgepole pines. At the exposed rock point, Dewey Point, you will find amazing panoramic views of Yosemite Valley including El Capitan across the way. Be cautious of the steep drop offs at the point. This trail is not recommended for beginner skiers. Check with Yosemite National Park for up to date information on snow conditions and road closures.


California, Shasta County

14 :10 hrs
9.3 mi
966.54834 ft

The trail along Castle Creek to Horse Heaven Meadow follows the snow covered Castle Creek Road as it bends and winds through the canyon and follows and crosses the creek. Although the trail is lined by a forest of pines, as the trail gains elevation there are still several picturesque views of Castle Crags, Grey Rocks, and Flume Creek Ridge all dusted with snow. You'll cross a second bridge over Castle Creek and continue following the road as it makes a few more bends just before reaching Horse Heaven Meadow. Contact Shasta-Trinity National Forest for up to date weather conditions and road closure dates for Castle Creek Road. This hike is recommended to be done an overnight trip, but could be done as an all day hike. Snowmobilers commonly use the area as well.


California, Nevada County

04 :13 hrs
2.6 mi
227.17944 ft

This is a popular trail for not only snowshoers, but also skiers; with that said, the trail is packed down and should be easy to navigate. The trail to Peter Grubb and Round Valley follows a snow covered road through a mixed forest and open meadows to the saddle between Andesite Peak and Castle Peak. Spend some time here and enjoy the views of the two peaks and the surrounding area before descending along a section of the Pacific Crest Trail to the hut and into Round Valley. If you would like to stay a while and spend a night or two at the hut, contact the Sierra Club to make reservations.


California, Shasta County

06 :06 hrs
3.6 mi
447.885 ft

Beginning from the southwest entrance of Lassen National Park, Lake Helen Trail follows the park road, with some cross-country trek, as it winds through a thin forest of pines, open meadows, and past active geothermal areas. The trail is surrounded with several picturesque views of high peaks and valleys within the park and beyond. Lake Helen sits at the heart of the park and named after the first woman to climb Lassen Peak, a once active volcano that stands 10,457 feet high. The trail is a moderate grade from beginning to end. The park road is generally open to vehicles in April when plowing begins; check with the park for opening and closing dates as they are dependent on snowfall. Some areas are avalanche prone, again, check with the park for the most current conditions.


California, Shasta County

04 :52 hrs
3.2 mi
313.72998 ft

Chaos Crags Winter Trail follows the main park road of Lassen National Park as it meanders through a forest of pines and past Manzanita Lake. It briefly follows Manzanita Creek through a denser forest and ends in a rocky, rugged, and exposed terrain created by volcanic activity 1 million years ago. The trail ends along a ridge above Crags Lake, if you proceed to the lake, be cautious of rock falls and high winds. The park begins plowing in April which is about the time when the road is open to vehicles; check with the park on up to date information on road closures.


California, Mammoth Lakes

04 :34 hrs
2.4 mi
300.30737 ft

The trail along San Joaquin Ridge to Deadman Pass follows a dirt road as it wander along an exposed ridge with only few clusters of red firs, whitebark pines, and lodgepole pines. The trail is surrounded by panoramic views of the high sierras which include the Minarets, Mount Clyde, Mount Ritter, and Banner Peak. This trail can be snowshoed as late as April and even May; check with Ansel Adams Wilderness for more information about snowpack.


California, Nevada County

03 :14 hrs
4.6 mi
286.4087 ft

Andesite Peak Loop mostly follows a dirt road with a short cross-country hike to the summit of Andesite Peak. The trail meanders through pine forests, open meadows, and up and over an exposed rocky peak where you'll find excellent views of Castle Peak just across the way. There are a couple steep slopes along the trail.


California, Mono County

12 :21 hrs
6.1 mi
1001.75024 ft

Located in the small town of Lee Vining, Mono Dome Trail is a gently graded climb along a well marked road that weaves through aspen groves, pines, pinyon pines, and firs. The trail crosses and follows alongside a creek where the road eventually disappears and its a cross country trek through a rocky, open, and steep terrain to Mono Dome. There are spectacular views from the dome of Mono Lake, Mount Dana, and Mount Gibbs. The slope grade beyond the creek is steep and not recommended for cross-country skiers.


California, Truckee

06 :17 hrs
9.4 mi
442.9569 ft

Schallenberger Ridge Loop begins by following the California Trail, the same trail pioneers traveled on, as it wanders through Coldstream Valley and follows alongside Cold Creek to Merrill's Ponds. From here, it follows a snow covered road and logging road to Schallenberger Ridge where you'll find excellent views of Donner Lake below and mountain vistas. To complete the loop, the trail makes a cross-country trek as it descends along the ridge back to the trailhead.

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