Day 3 – Be a Friend in the Backcountry

Day 3 is about taking care of the outdoor spaces where we love to play and practicing proper backcountry etiquette.

Backcountry Tips and Etiquette

Know Before You Go

Knowing the snow conditions and weather forecast are essential before you get out into the backcountry. Check out these two lectures from 2022 hosted by UC Davis TERC to learn about snow conditions and Tahoe’s winter weather.

Watch Andrew Schwartz, the Lead Scientist at the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab, present on Changing Snowpack, Hazards, and Backcountry Safety:


Watch Chris Smallcomb, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service, give a lecture on Winter Weather Predictions for Tahoe in 2022-23. In summary, Chris saw that huge winter coming!

Advocacy Panel

Check out this panel from 2022 about sharing the backcountry with multiple different user groups, as well as how we can all work to increase backcountry access in Tahoe.

Featuring: Cecilia Reed, Liz Moore, Geoff Quine, Todd Wold, and Jen Callahan


Relive this wonderful panel from 2021. Members of the human-powered and motorized winter sports community get together to chat about safety and issues affecting their user groups.

Jill Sanford – Sierra Business Council

Greg Garrison – Tahoe Backcountry Alliance
Devin Middlebrook – Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and City of South Lake Tahoe
Todd Wold – Lake Tahoe Snowmobilers

Sierra Business Council / Tahoe Backcountry Alliance/ Lake Tahoe Snowmobilers / Tahoe Regional Planning Agency / Outdoor Alliance California

Skin Track Etiquette

On your way up the mountain, be sure to practice proper skin track etiquette. 

  • Bathroom breaks minimum 25′ away from skin track
  • Do not bootpack in the skin track
  • Minimize the amount of skin tracks on the mountain

Parking Lot Etiquette

Where to park and parking lot etiquette are an important part of being a Friend in the Backcountry. 

  • Respect private property
  • Respect parking closures
  • Maximize parking at congested trailheads
  • Carpool when you can
  • Be friendly and courteous

Motorized & Non-Motorized Resources and Maps


Check out this incredible interactive map of winter recreation locations: Sustainable Truckee Winter Recreation Map 

Be informed about forest boundaries and OSV (Over the Snow Vehicles) riding areas. > Resources > Resources and Maps.

Over Snow Vehicle Boundary Maps
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit OSV Map

Humboldt-Toiyabe (Mount Rose) OSV Map

Tahoe National Forest OSV Map

Win a Free Spot in an AAIRE Course!

During Backcountry Safety Awareness Week, Alpenglow Expeditions generously donated two free spots to their AIARE courses to help our community access this critical safety education.

How to enter:

Keep an eye out for this giveaway next year, and visit the @alpenglowexpeditions Instagram page to learn how you can enter to win.

Learn more and see their full course offerings:

Alpenglow Expeditions Avalanche Courses

Golden State Guiding Avalanche Courses 

View Day 1 Content: “Welcome to the Backcountry!”

View Day 2 Content: “Preparing for the Backcountry”

Partners and Resources 

 The Tahoe Backcountry Alliance is the voice for the human-powered winter backcountry community in the Lake Tahoe area, advocating for and informing our community about critical issues affecting winter backcountry recreation in and around Tahoe.


Sierra Avalanche Center’s mission is to inform and educate the public about backcountry avalanche conditions in the greater Lake Tahoe area.


Alpenglow Expeditions is the only guide service in Tahoe accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association. Join our professional mountain guides for an inspiring adventure in the Tahoe backcountry, whether it be our industry-leading AIARE 1 courses with both traditional and hybrid options, or a day of powder skiing bliss in the Palisades Backcountry. Give our team a call to discover your options – we’re open 7 days a week in the Village at Palisades Tahoe.

877-873-5376 |


The Lake Tahoe Snowmobilers is a 501(c)3 run by a group of volunteers committed to winter avalanche safety education and practice, promoting positive backcountry experiences and snowmobile for all backcountry users, and advocating for motorized backcountry experiences and access for all, regardless of health-status, physical abilities, socioeconomic background, or culture. Reach out to [email protected] with any questions or find us at or
@laketahoesnowmobilers on Facebook and Instagram.

Visit Truckee-Tahoe (VTT) is the 501c6 Destination Marketing & Management Organization (DMMO) for Truckee, California. VTT promotes, protects and enhances Truckee as an authentic mountain town. Sustainable Truckee is a Visit Truckee-Tahoe initiative that promotes stewardship programs and services. Sustainable Truckee programs for winter 2021-22 include Truckee Trail Host Ambassadors, Winter Recreation & Safety Trailhead Signage, Winter Recreation & Safety Map, and Truckee-Tahoe Travel Alert. Learn more at

Founded by IFMGA/American Mountain Guide Zeb Blais, Blackbird Mountain Guides offers a full range of mountain adventures and skills courses to up your game in the backcountry.   From AIARE avalanche education and heli-accessed BC lodge ski touring to rock and alpine climbing across the globe, their AIARE and AMGA trained guides can make your mountain dreams a reality. Set up a trip or book a course with them today!


Golden State Guiding is a full service Guide Service in California offering privately guided backcountry splitboarding and skiing programs, AIARE Avalanche Courses, and rock, ice, and alpine climbing programs. GSG is also a 1% for the Planet member and our main beneficiaries are the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center, Protect Our Winters, Yosemite Conservancy and Friends of Joshua Tree.

For over 40 years IAG/ASI team have been guiding throughout California, as well as on many of the great peaks of the world. As one of the most experienced and oldest guide services in California, we bring to you the highest standards in the mountain guiding industry.

More partners include: UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, USDA Forest Service Region 5, Tahoe Mountain Sports, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Lake Tahoe Community College, Lake Tahoe Snowmobilers, Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center, Tahoe Fund, Outdoor Alliance, Tahoe Sports Hub, North America Ski Training & Climbing, International Alpine Guides, Backcountry Babes, Sierra Mountain Guides, Incline Village General Improvement District, Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, North Tahoe Community Alliance, Town of Truckee, Nevada Department of Outdoor Recreation, and Sports Basement.