Enjoy winter recreation safety ahead of Presidents Day Weekend

US Forest Service

Media Contact: D’Artanyan Ratley, R5 Public Affairs Officer

Tips for Recreating on Snow and Ice

VALLEJO, California, February 17, 2023 — With Presidents Day weekend quickly approaching, remember to plan ahead for this fee-free day. Ensure your vehicles are snow ready, and practice caution when enjoying winter recreation on California’s national forests.

Brush up on winter safety tips from Recreate Responsibly, and follow these tips for a safe, fun outing on snow and ice:

  • Know Before You Go — Check the weather at your destination, road conditions, tire chain requirements, and potential closures. Avoid detours around road or other closures. Alternative routes suggested by travel apps and online map services may not reflect the situation on the ground. You run the risk of getting lost or trapped. Instead, use the Caltrans QuickMap.
  • Be Prepared — Check tire pressures and tread. Top off windshield fluid. Carry tire chains, ice scraper, extra blanket, water and provisions in your car in case you get stuck roadside.
  • Keep in Touch — Tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Stick to your plan.
  • Play It Safe — Know your limits. Slow down and choose lower-risk activities.
  • Check Ski/Snowboard Conditions — Before traveling, check conditions and operating status before hitting the slopes. Keep in mind conditions might change fast. Please follow all safety guidelines. Use Ski California – Avalanche Safety for a refresher on mountain.
  • Be Cautious on Ice — Temperatures change daily. Areas that appear solid may quickly thaw and become impassible. Ice skating, fishing, or trekking on frozen lakes, ponds, rivers, or reservoirs is not advised. Consider an indoor skating facility as a safer alternative.
  • Be Avalanche Aware — Backcountry users should exercise extreme caution, travel in groups if possible, carry proper avalanche equipment, and check the avalanche report ahead of time. Helpful resources include Eastern Sierra Avalanche ForecastSierra Avalanche Center for Lake Tahoe area, and Mount Shasta Avalanche Center.

Stay current on regional happenings. Follow the Pacific Southwest Region on Facebook and Twitter. Or search for individual national forests on Twitter.

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