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Stories from the valley

Carson Pass Information Station

Contributed by Carl Gwyn

The source of information for the Carson Pass Area

As the snow melts and the warm weather is upon us, many adventurers are looking to head into the Sierras for hiking, backpacking, and camping. A particularly good informational resource is the Carson Pass Information Station. An attractive log cabin located at the summit of Carson Pass on Highway 88, the station is owned by the U.S. Forest Service and operated by the El Dorado National Forest Interpretive Association (ENFIA).

Friendly, trained docents will greet you inside the station and answer any of your questions on the Mokelumne Wilderness and surrounding area. The knowledgeable docents will provide you with wildflower statuses, trail tips, and camping information. The station is also your source for wilderness permits, campfire permits, maps, and books about hiking and the rich history of the area.

There are several docent-led interpretive walks during the season, which focus on the history of the pass, identification of wildflowers, and the geology of the area. Dates and times of the walks can be found on the Facebook page of the Carson Pass Information Station. You will also meet docents out on the trails, recognizable by their green vests.

If you spend some time at the station, you are likely to encounter cross-country cyclists and Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) trekkers. The latter are particularly interesting to speak with as they share their tales of hiking the 2,650 mile PCT, which runs from Mexico to Canada.

So, whether you’re seeking information or just an enjoyable stop as you travel through the Sierras, checking out Carson Pass Station is highly recommended. The station usually opens on Memorial Day weekend, but due to the large amount of snow this year, the opening date has been delayed until June 3.

The dates and times of operation for the 2017 season are:

June 3-9                          9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

June 10-Sept. 17            Mon-Thurs  8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Fri-Sun 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sept 18-Oct 1                  Fri-Sun only 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

You can also call for information and conditions: (209)258-8606.

Have a wonderful time outdoors this summer.