High Sierras, California

Sierra Campgrounds Cater to Winter Sports

Sierra campgrounds are bracing for El Niño and with it, some great winter lineups.  Forecasts are calling for early Sierra snows and a wet winter.  Campgrounds up and down the Sierra are prepping for a winter full of campers and winter sports enthusiasts. 


“Once we get major snow, we open up a snow park with sledding and tubing,” said Cisco Grove owner Debbie Martin, adding that her 5,800-foot park, which typically receives five to 12 feet of snow in a good year, is also popular with snowmobile enthusiasts who enjoy exploring ATV trails and skiers who enjoy Lake Tahoe area resorts. Dog sledding tours are also available in the area, she said. 

“Cisco Grove is one of several privately owned and operated campgrounds from Mammoth and Yosemite northward to Quincy that stay open through the winter months,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds, which hosts the Camp-California.com travel planning website. 


“These campgrounds stay open specifically to accommodate downhill and cross-country ski enthusiasts as well as people who enjoy 

snowboarding, snowmobiling, snow tubing and other winter activities from snow camping to tubing and dog sledding,” Sipe said. 

Sierra Nevada campgrounds and RV parks that stay open during the winter season include:

  • Coachland RV Park in Truckee: This 131-site park provides water, sewer and cable TV service as well as 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups and wireless Internet or Wi-Fi service. www.coachlandrvpark.com
  • Eagle Ridge RV Park in Graeagle: This 44-site park is located at the 4,600-foot level near a remote winter recreation area in the northern Sierra. Water lines are deep underground so they don’t freeze. The park also provides its guests with electricity, cable TV, sewer and campsite snow removal services as well as information on nearby winter recreation activities. eagleridgervpark.webs.com 
  • Lake of the Springs RV Resort in Oregon House: This 556-site Equity LifeStyle Properties park sits on a 950-acre property in the western foothills of the Sierra. Rental accommodations include trailers, park model RVs, cabins and yurts. RVontheGo.com/CA
  • Mammoth Mountain RV Park in Mammoth Lakes: This park features plowed RV sites with electrical hookups as well as a water filling station and dump station. Other amenities include restrooms with hot showers and an indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
  • Pioneer RV Park in Quincy: This 62-site park, which is about 10 miles from a popular snowmobile area, is open throughout the winter. pioneerrvpark.com
  • Snowflower RV in Emigrant Gap: This 208-site Equity LifeStyle Properties park is located off I-80 at Exit 160. Rental accommodations include cabins, yurts and chalets, which are three-level apartments that sleep up to 12 people. RVontheGo.com/CA
  • Tahoe Valley Campground in South Lake Tahoe: This Equity LifeStyle Properties park has about 400 sites that are kept open during the winter months based on demand. Campsite amenities include water, sewer, 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups and Wi-Fi service. The park also has four cabin rentals. RVontheGo.com/CA
  • Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging in Groveland: This park, located near one of the western entrances to Yosemite National Park, features park model cabins and yurts in addition to RV sites. yosemitepinesrv.com 

While winter sports enthusiasts have yet to make reservations in big numbers, Martin of Cisco Grove said several scouting groups have already made their reservations for January and February, which is typically the busiest winter period at Cisco Grove, which has RV and tent sites as well as six motel rooms. 


“Our biggest winter camping is from scouting,” Martin said. “Scout groups come up and do their winter camping up here. They build snow caves and some of them even sleep in them. They learn about winter survival, how to keep your feet dry and different techniques for survival in the snow. We are starting to get girl scouts doing this, too.” 


Tahoe Valley Resort is also reporting advance reservations consistent with last winter’s figures, said Mark Vander Tuig, a regional manager for Equity LifeStyle Properties, which owns and operates Tahoe Valley Resort and several other resorts in the Sierra and across the country. 


Mammoth Mountain RV Resort in Mammoth Lakes is also reporting reservations consistent with last winter’s figures. But if you’re looking to book one of the cabins, you better call soon. Park operators say they book up quickly during the winter months. 


For more information on campgrounds that are open in the Sierra during the winter months, please visit www.Camp-California.com.