The Castle Peak trailhead is one of the most heavily utilized OHV/OSV and non-motorized use trailheads on the Truckee Ranger District. It is severely limited by undesignated parking and a lack of restroom facilities. The result is that users are forced to park unsafely on roads or in forested areas exacerbating soil compaction, runoff, and erosion resulting in environmental degradation and diminishing the user experience. These issues persist year-round but are especially challenging during the winter months when access is further limited by snow and snow removal. Creation of designated parking areas and restroom facilities will enhance user experience at the trailhead.
The Castle Trailhead Planning and Outreach project would plan for the development of a proposed year-round trailhead at the crest of the Sierras at Donner Summit, directly accessed by Interstate 80. Planning will be for an OSV/OHV parking area that also accommodates other uses, restrooms, access roads to and from the trailhead facility, kiosks, signs, and OHV/OSV loading ramp. The project planning process will include a public outreach component through the development of engineered designs for the trailhead and parking area. Geographic and environmental constraints will also be identified through the planning process. The final product of the Castle Trailhead Planning and Outreach project will be 100% engineered designs and a NEPA document. This will culminate the planning process to facilitate construction of the parking area in the future.
Goals for new parking area and trailhead:
- Improve User Experience
- Improve Recreational Access & Parking Capacity
- Reduce Soil Compaction and Erosion
- Reduce Impacts to Wetlands
- Improve Trailhead Drainage