The Best Places To Camp At Lake Tahoe
Snuggled between California and Nevada sits the more than 1,600-foot-deep Lake Tahoe. Camping around lakes means you may encounter some questionable water quality, but Lake Tahoe’s water is almost as pure as drinking water. Today we’ll look at 11 of the best Lake Tahoe camping spots. Let’s get started!
The 11 Best Camping Spots at Lake Tahoe
There’s no dispersed camping in the Lake Tahoe Basin. As a result, you’ll need to secure a camping spot at a campground for the best access to Lake Tahoe. We’ve got 11 of the best options for you to consider for your trip to Lake Tahoe. Let’s take a look!
1. Campground By The Lake
Campground By The Lake is a seasonal campground that is open from April through October and sits just across Highway 50 from Lake Tahoe. You can quickly access Lake Tahoe and South Tahoe’s most popular beaches and parks from any of the 178 campsites at this campground. The City of South Lake Tahoe Recreation Services Department manages the campground.
Campground By The Lake offers a variety of site options. There are sites for tents, cabins, no hookups, and electric or water sites. Depending on the season, prices range from $37 to $80.50, tax not included. Electric and water hookup sites are available in A Loop, and B Loop offers some sites with only electricity.
The campground has many amenities, especially water activities. Here you’ll enjoy access to El Dorado Beach, a boat launch, and the Lake Tahoe Visitor Center. The campground offers flush toilets, tap water, and WiFi. You’ll also find picnic tables, food lockers, and fire rings at many of the sites.
2. Lake Forest Campground
If you’re lucky enough to snag one of the 20 first-come, first-served campsites sites at Lake Forest Campground, you’re in for a real treat. This seasonal campground is open May through October and has a maximum vehicle length of 25 feet. You’ll have quick and easy access to both Lake Forest Beach and Pomin Park.
There are no showers, hookups, or dumping stations. You should come prepared to be completely self-sufficient for this Lake Tahoe camping experience.
This campground is 100% dry camping, but you can enjoy a boat ramp, fishing, and access to the water. Sites have picnic tables and fire rings and offer incredible views of the night sky. There’s access to water and trash available.
3. Camp Richardson Historic Resort
You’ll find plenty to do at the year-round camping location of Camp Richardson Historic Resort. With more than 300 tent and RV campsites, there’s plenty of space for everyone. There’s a maximum length restriction of 35 feet, so be sure to keep that in mind when booking your reservation.
If you’re in an RV, you’ll be happy to hear that every site has water and electricity (30 amp), and there are some full hookup sites. There’s also an onsite dump station to make it convenient for dumping your tanks.
When it comes to amenities, Camp Richardson Historic Resort doesn’t disappoint. You’ll find a playground, fishing, boat rentals at the marina, water access, and a recreational trail. Whether you’re looking for land or water activities, you can fill a day making adventurous memories at Camp Richardson Historic Resort.
4. Zephyr Cove RV Park
At Zephyr Cove RV Park, you’ll find 93 RV campsites and 47 walk-in campsites. One unique option is their Airstream camping experience. At this award-winning RV park and campground, you’ll have all the comforts of home but in a serene wooded setting. You’ll be a short walk from the southeast shore of Lake Tahoe and have easy beach access.
There are 93 RV campsites with water, sewer, and 30/50 amp electrical connections. These sites have a length restriction of 40 feet, and several of their sites also have room for an additional tent.
Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. RV sites also include cable TV, and tent sites include bear-proof food lockers and barbecues. You can enjoy horseback riding, fishing, beach activities, and even parasailing while at this campground. If you’re interested in watercraft rentals, they’ve got those too. If you’re tired of preparing your meals over a fire or at your campsite, the Zephyr Cove Restaurant and Sunset Bar and Grille offer some incredible dining options.
5. Tahoe State Recreation Area
The Tahoe State Recreation Area offers 23 campsites and allows trailers up to 15 feet and RVs and campers up to 21 feet. This small campground is best for tent camping or small trailers and RVs. Black bears are very active in this area, and those interested in camping here must familiarize themselves with best practices for camping in bear territory.
There are no shower or restroom facilities at this campground. The Tahoe State Recreation Area also does not have a dump station. Campers may run generators from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and quiet hours are 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
This is a very rustic campground in the middle of active bear country. A food storage locker is available at each campsite, and all campers must make use of them if they’re storing food or beverages. There’s water access and plenty of trails to explore. Sites also have fire rings and picnic tables to make your stay a bit more enjoyable.
6. William Kent Campground
Just south of Tahoe City, you’ll find William Kent Campground. This campground sits on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. There are 84 sites at this seasonal campground. Book between May and October. Residential dwellings surround the campground, and those on the outside of the campground may get more of a residential vibe.
All of the 84 sites are non-electric, but there is water available. There’s a dump station that costs $7 for each use.
While this campground lacks any hookups, it’s certainly not lacking in amenities. Here you’ll have easy access to swimming and fishing spots, biking, flush toilets, grills/fire rings, and a food locker. If you’re looking for a quiet Lake Tahoe camping location away from the hustle and bustle of traffic and crowds at Lake Tahoe, this might just be it.
7. Tahoe Valley Campground
Tahoe Valley Campground is a massive campground and part of the Thousand Trails Campground network. It sits on the southern part of Lake Tahoe and provides views of gorgeous pines and mountain vistas. You’ll be minutes from the lake, and it’s only a short drive if you’re hoping to test your luck at a casino. The campground is open all year round.
At Tahoe Valley Campground, you’ll find pull-through sites and back-in sites. The sites are all full hookup sites but vary between 30 amp and 50 amp electrical connections. There’s also a dump station on-site if needed.
If you’ve stayed at a Thousand Trails campground before, this is a rather typical example. The sites are often narrow, close together, and gravel, but they’re usually middle of the road in terms of quality. The campground offers fishing, volleyball, WiFi, a swimming pool, and a playground.
8. Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park
Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park is open year-round and full of activities for every season. The busiest times of the year are the warmer months as families, and outdoor enthusiasts hit up trails and the lake for water activities. There’s a 26-foot length restriction on vehicles and trailers. Motorhomes can go to 32 feet. Bear boxes are at each site, and campers must use them except when preparing or consuming food. The park sits in the middle of bear country and being bear-aware while camping is essential.
The Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park does not have hookups, but a dump station is available. Generators may run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and quiet hours are 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
This park is a nature lover’s paradise. There are miles of hiking trails, a beach for swimming, fishing, cross-country skiing, and a nature center. This is a popular location during the summer months, so be sure to plan if you’re hoping to camp here or make use of the day-use activities.
9. D.L. Bliss State Park
D.L. Bliss State Park is a dry camping situation. The max trailer length is 15 feet, and motorhomes must not be longer than 18 feet. This historic campground doesn’t have the infrastructure for larger modern RVs. Like many dry camping campgrounds in the area, generators may run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Camping at D.L. Bliss State Park means dry camping. There’s typically a water connection for filling your fresh tank and a dump station, but that depends on the status of the spring supplying the park. This means that there’s a chance that bathroom facilities will be closed as well. Verify water availability before your arrival.
When you camp at D.L. Bliss State Park, you’ll have access to not only water activities like fishing and swimming but also a couple of hikes. There’s a one-mile hike from the Visitor Center to the Rubicon Trailhead, a 16-mile hike with incredible lake views. If a rugged hike isn’t your thing, there’s a two-mile hike to the beaches.
10. Meeks Bay Campground
Meeks Bay is a small campground but a great way to experience all that Tahoe offers. While the sites are rather close together, you still feel tucked back into the woods. Larger rigs will want to be careful as some of the campground’s roads are very narrow.
This is dry camping, so you should come expecting no electrical connection for your RV. There is access to water, but there’s no dump station on site.
Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. There’s access to flush toilets, trash, and water. Camping at Meeks Bay Campground puts you close to Lake Tahoe and away from large crowds. There’s access to a boat ramp, a beach, a picnic area, and a hiking trail. If you’re looking for a relaxing weekend at Lake Tahoe, Meeks Bay Campground is a great place to stay.
11. Meeks Bay Resort
If you’re looking for a few more amenities and luxuries than a state or local campground, Meeks Bay Resort may be the answer. This resort has opportunities for tent and RV camping, but both require a two-night minimum stay. The tent camping sites are available for tents and pop-up trailers 20 feet or smaller.
All tent sites are dry camping with no water or electricity. RV sites are full hookup sites with water, sewer, and electricity.
Meeks Bay Resort offers plenty of lakefront activities. If you forget your lake toys, you can rent them. There are picnic tables, bear boxes, a restaurant, and bathroom facilities. This is a great place to relax and enjoy the lake while doing some Lake Tahoe camping.
Why Should You Visit Lake Tahoe?
Not only does Lake Tahoe provide incredible views, but the water offers a playground for young and old alike. Whether you enjoy fishing, jet skiing, or just relaxing by the water, you and your family can make some incredible memories.
There’s nothing like getting out in nature and experiencing the great outdoors. Visiting Lake Tahoe provides you with limitless opportunities to experience nature and make memories. Have you visited Lake Tahoe yet?
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