When you think of mountain passes in the winter, you think of “closed”. Carson Pass is an exception. Visitors traveling the historic highway 88 in east central California can not only cross the pass at 8600 feet, but stop and stay awhile to enjoy the views and local history. Like many of the treasures of the US, the pass is not found on the most traveled byways. Nevertheless, many early California settlers crossed the Sierra Nevada mountains on this road. Gold-maddened prospectors rushed to Sutter’s Fort in 1849. Pioneers looking for new starts traveled in wagon trains and crossed the Sierra Nevada Mountains using this route. Kit Carson, for whom the pass is named, led some of those wagon trains. He stopped once long enough to carve his name near the pass.

Known for its beautiful scenery in other seasons, wintertime and snow in Carson Pass is not to be missed. The area offers a good variety of winter activities, including good skiing.

Visitors use old logging tracks and the level areas of Hope Valley to snow-shoe, ski cross-country or dog-sled. Since snowmobiles are banned, the sound of silence enhances not only peace and beauty, but also the opportunity to see some of the area wildlife.

You can bring out your inner child in one of the four “Snow Parks” which supply safe places for kids of all ages to play in the snow. Build snow forts to use in challenging games of cowboys and Indians; make snow angels, slide or roll down some gentle slopes or build snowmen and fancier structures as desired.

After a day in the brisk air and the exercise of the activities, find yourself toasting your toes in front of a crackling fire with a tasty cup of hot chocolate or other warming drink. Relax in friendly company with family, friends or other snow worshipers, before you fall into a comfortable bed for a great night’s sleep.

Located in the heart of the Carson Pass and Gold Country area. we provide top-notch facilities and service at reasonable rates. We are pet friendly, too! Our staff knows the area and can offer tips and suggestions about the best way to enjoy your stay. Contact us soon for a great winter get-away in one of the most beautiful places and best-kept secrets in the state!