Canoeing & Kayaking
Paddlers can take canoes, rowboats, and kayaks on any of the park lakes except Reflection, Emerald, Helen, and Boiling Springs. Motors, including electric motors, are prohibited on all park waters. Lakes accessible from the main park road include Manzanita and Summit. You can get to Butte Lake, in the northeast section of the park, on a gravel road from Calif. 44. Juniper Lake is accessible from a gravel road in the southeast section of the park. Kayak rentals ($10 an hour) are available at the camper store at Manzanita Lake.
Winter Sports & Activities
The main park road usually closes to cars in late October due to snow, and most years it doesn't open until June, so winter recreationists have their run of the area. Snowmobiles are forbidden.
Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing -- Trails of all skill levels leave from the northwest and southwest entrances. Heated bathrooms and running water are available at Loomis Plaza at Manzanita Lake and in the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. Popular trips are the trails to Sulphur Works. More advanced skiers and snowshoers can make the trek to Lake Helen.
You can also ski the popular 30-mile course of the main park road, but doing this overnight trek involves a long car shuttle. For safety reasons, the park requires all skiers to register at the southwest entrance or Loomis Ranger Station before heading into the backcountry, even for a day trip. A free wilderness permit is required for overnight camping.
Sledding -- During winter, heavy snows close the main road through the park, but roads going into both the southwest and northwest entrances are kept open for a mile or two. On weekends, you can bring the family, snow toys, and picnic baskets to enjoy the slopes.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.