Reserve Information

Contact | Waivers | Rules | Rates | Directions

Contact Information

Onion Creek Experimental Forest
University of California, Berkeley

10162 Bunny Hill Road - PO Box 810
Soda Springs, 95728


ALL visitors must sign and return a waiver agreement prior to visiting a reserve.
If your application is approved, the group leader (person who is listed as contact for the requested activity) will be responsible for ensuring that all necessary waivers are submitted to reserve staff prior to the proposed visit. Waiver agreements for minors must be signed by the parent or legal gardian.

Site Use Waiver
Waiver of liability for individual visitors.
Group Use Waiver
To be completed for groups after each visitor reads the Lab Use Waiver.
Supplemental Application 2022
This supplemental application is required to visit or work at the lab during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Reserve Rules and Regulations

You, as the applicant, are responsible for ensuring that you and any members of your group adhere to the rules and policies of the Onion Creek Experimental Forest. If the following outlined rules are not followed, your visit on the site and all related research activities will be be stopped immediately.

1) No open flames or campfires at any time.

2) No tobacco products use on-site. Tobacco products of any type are not permitted on property owned or managed by the University of California.

3) No pets (except service animals).

4) No guns or firearms.

5) All use and visits must be approved prior to arrival; each separate visit requires its own online reserve use activity to be submitted and approved.

6) Visitor/Group coordinator is responsible for compliance with rules, policies, and procedures for their group's visit and/or use of the area.

7) Fully completed waivers for non-UC visitors are required prior to anything beginning, as well as copies of all permits.


Day Use


The Onion Creek Experimental Forest is located approximately 9.5 miles southwest of Truckee on Soda Springs Road. While access to the site is straightforward in the summer, the dirt road to the site is in poor condition and may pose problems for travel, particularly for vehicles with low clearance or without 4 wheel drive. Once snowpack has developed on the road, only snowmobiles and/or snowcats can make the trip to the site. Please consult with the site manager to ensure appropriate trip planning and safe travel to/from the site.

Directions to Onion Creek Experimental Forest from I-80:
* Exit I-80 and go east on Donner Pass Road for ~0.7 miles.

* Turn right onto Soda Springs Road.

* Continue on Soda Springs Road for ~3 miles.

* The road changes from pavement to rutted dirt road at this point. Continue only if you have 4 wheel drive and high clearance on your vehicle.

* If it is summer, continue for another 4.5 miles down Soda Springs Road.

* Find a location to park along the road once at Onion Creek.

* If it is winter, Soda Springs Road will not be plowed past Serene Lakes. Prior parking arrangements will need to be made and the only access to the Onion Creek Experimental Forest is through skiing/snowshoeing or snowmobile/snowcat. Please speak with the site manager prior to booking a visit in the winter.