Visitor Information

All Sagehen visitors should familiarize themselves with the information on this page.


Winter Visit to Sagehen

Weather and Road Conditions

Current weather

Report unusual weather or flooding to the National Weather Service: (800) 446-1428

Road conditions

Hwy-89 north of Truckee is the military route over the Sierra Nevada and is (virtually) always kept open, even when I-80 over Donner Pass is closed by weather or idiot truck drivers.

The 1.8 mi. access road to Sagehen from Hwy-89 is unpaved, but the station managers now remove snow as far as the field station. High clearance vehicles will have an easier time, but are not mandatory. All cars traveling to Sagehen or elsewhere in the Tahoe area during winter should have snow tires and/or carry tire chains. Carrying extra winter clothing, snow boots and a little food and water is also wise.

Snowmobiles, snow cats, snowshoes and skis are used to access the road into the upper Sagehen basin beyond the station between roughly November to May (roughly 6.5-miles to the end of the road from the station). Motorized vehicles operating in the basin–including over-snow vehicles–must remain on designated roads at all times. When possible, Sagehen track packs this road to facilitate researcher access, however recent budget cuts have made this impossible in recent years. If your project requires this service, get in touch about funding requirements.


Use these live cameras to get an idea about road & mountain conditions in and near Sagehen.

  • Tahoe-Truckee Highway cams
  • Squaw High Camp Cam: conditions in the mountains near Donner Pass on the Sagehen side of the crest at 8200′. Sagehen’s major facilities lie at 6400′. The watershed tops out at 8600′.
  • Sagehen Fire Cam looks out over the basin from Carpenter Ridge and the view can be moved remotely.

Emergency and Medical

Fire Safety

Living with Wild Animals

Sagehen doesn’t have problem animals. Help us keep it that way!

NEVER feed wildlife! Store all food in the kitchen dry boxes and refrigerators, not in your cabin or car. Eat only in the designated dining areas. Keep the place clean, and put all trash in the bear-proof dumpster.

Learn more:

Vector-borne disease (and noxious organisms) that may occur near Sagehen

Sagehen is a relatively benign place. There are no venomous snakes, nor any poison ivy/oak/sumac (too high). Aside from a few obnoxious hornets, our insect and spider fauna is generally pretty harmless to humans. Historically, there have been no (or very few) disease-carrying mosquitoes or ticks at the station. While our ground rodents do carry plague, we lack the fleas that transfer the disease to humans.

With global warming, however, all this is changing! The range of disease-bearing arthropods is expanding, so we can no longer state unequivocally that ticks, fleas and mosquitoes are not going to be a potential health problem at Sagehen. Rattlesnakes and West Nile carrying mosquitoes have appeared at the Sierra Crest, well above our elevation. Sagehen, like everywhere, has plenty of mice. And the suspected range of Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) caused by spores in airborne dust now includes nearby South Lake Tahoe and our own Nevada County.

Use standard precautions to protect yourself from all potential infections, and read the following information carefully:

IMPORTANT! Sagehen has never had a reported case of any of these diseases, but if you come down with a bad cold or the flu within a month after visiting us, see a doctor and explain where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing. Most of these illnesses are easily managed if you catch them early, but very serious if you don’t.

Code of Conduct at Sagehen

Though we are located out in the woods far from campus, Sagehen expects our visitors to behave respectfully toward each other, and toward the station itself. Please let the managers know of any issues you experience or witness. However, all station visitors should read the following information, first.

As a facility of the University of California, Sagehen has obligations under Title IX. Title IX guarantees that the university will act on any situation that denies equal access to education based on gender. If the university doesn’t act, they/we are subject to severe penalties and loss of federal funding.

Unlike criminal proceedings that require “beyond a reasonable doubt” standards of guilt, Title IX only requires a “more likely it happened than it didn’t” standard in order to take action to protect the complainants education access rights.

If you experience (or witness) sexual harassment, assault, stalking, or other gender-based discrimination that potentially interferes with someone’s education at Sagehen, please let us know so we can help. But, you should be aware that we are obligated by law to report any incidents for which we receive information. If you would prefer to discuss your situation and options with a confidential advocate first, we will be happy to connect you, or use the information below.


to avoid getting entangled in Title IX investigations, be a good citizen to facilitate communal living at Sagehen: don’t be abusive, nor offload your share of clean-up duties onto others (that can be, and has been, considered gender-based discrimination, too). And always use the tea test in your interpersonal relations!