Horseback riding enthusiasts have an abundance of trails to choose from, including ones in the Tahoe National Forest, historic Empire Mine State Park and other locations.

The trails follow historic routes, such as the Emigrant Trail, or Empire Mine State Park, once California’s largest gold mine. Examples include:

Highway 20 between Bear Valley and Nevada City, which largely follows the trace of the 1850 cutoff of the Emigrant Trail. Areas for horse riding at Highway 20 are:

Interstate 80 bisects the Tahoe National Forest and is one of the main corridors to access recreation sites. Areas for horse riding at I-80*:

  • Boca Springs Campground
  • Donner Pct Access Trail
  • Donner Summit Pac Crest Trailhead
  • Donner Summit Snowpark
  • Glacer Meadow Loop Trail
  • Mt. Judah Loop Trail
  • Painted Rock Trail
  • Pacific Crest Trail

*Some trails criss-cross Nevada and Placer Counties

For more information about horseback riding in these areas and others, visit Tahoe National Forest.

Empire Mine State Park

Open the gates at the Penn Gate parking area, and you’ll see a large staging area for horse trailers. Please stay on marked trails. You and your horse are welcome to explore the miles of trails, but horses are not permitted on the Park’s historic grounds. Ride safely and considerately – and have fun exploring. (Open from sunrise to sunset.)


Rice’s Crossing

Sources: Tahoe National Forest, Empire Mine State Park and Bear Yuba Land Trust