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Blackwood Canyon / Barker Pass

A popular gateway to the high country is Barker Pass Road, two miles south of Sunnyside off Highway 89, which takes you into Blackwood Canyon.

The first few miles of the road are straight and fairly level, with smooth pavement that makes it popular with in-line skaters. There's plenty of parking at the higway, if you want to park to roller-blade.

If you continue up Barker Pass Road about nine miles you can park at the pass where the pavement ends and find some great displays of wildflowers. One half mile further, where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses the road, is a larger parking lot. This is a good jumping-off point for mountain bikers of all skill levels, although they are not allowed on the Pacific Crest Trail. Beginners will have a blast exploring the logging roads that crisscross the area, and more advanced riders will be challenged by heading southwest and linking up with the Rubicon Jeep trail. Maps and a good sense of direction are a must.

Rustic campsites are available free of charge in the summer, but you may not stay more than fourteen days.

In winter, Blackwood is popular with cross-country skiers and snow mobilers. A Snow Park Permit is required, which you can pick up at the hardware store one mile south in Homewood.

Back at the highway, the Kaspian Picnic Area is a good place to have a picnic and watch waterskiers and the vintage wooden speedboats that often ply the waters of the Tahoe's West Shore.

Photos: Dick Singer
Text: Mike Stuckey / Jill Beede

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