Alpha Omega Scenic Overook
At one time Caltrans considered it as a highway rest area but lack of water supply relegated it to scenic overlook status. This spot has great off-road parking in good weather. During storms Caltrans uses it as a staging area for their equipment and that is why it is so well-plowed.
I would not suggest parking there during stormy weather. There are restrooms onsite. If snow conditions are adequate at 5,000 feet, it is a close-to-home spot for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and general family snow play. Snowmobiles are not permitted in the immediate area.
There is a second access with roadside parking farther east on Highway 20 beyond the traffic turn out. Caltrans graciously clears this roadside parking when possible. The rule for roadside parking is all tires off the pavement. Beware crossing Highway 20.
Nordic Skiers of Nevada County
Club meets the first Thursday of winter months at Seaman’s Lodge, Pioneer Park in Nevada City. Each meeting includes a potluck dinner, followed by a speaker on some related topic. Dinner starts 6:15 p.m., bring a dish to share plus your own plate and flatware.
The main function of the club is to organize outings. The trip ratings vary from beginner to advanced. In addition to skiers, there is a big contingent of snowshoe enthusiasts in the club. Carpooling is encouraged with a suggested fuel contribution schedule ranging from $3.00 for a trip to Alpha Omega to $15.00 for a trip to the Carson River area south of Lake Tahoe.
Snowshoes or Nordic skis can be rented for a modest sum here in town with returns the following day. Expect to pay less than $25for Nordic skis, poles and boots. Snowshoes and poles rent for less than $20 per day.