Lake Tahoe is the perfect place for your ideal weekend getaway into the great outdoors. At these campgrounds can camp underneath a canopy of pine trees and spend your days on clear sandy beaches. One of the most popular camping destinations for the summer, Lake Tahoe tends to get packed with travelers and nature enthusiasts during the season. With dozens of campgrounds spread around the circumference of the lake, these campgrounds promise an extended family feels and you can be assured to make a couple friends by the time your trip ends. With crystal clear waters and the periphery of alpine stretches, Lake Tahoe camping grounds offer some of the most picturesque experiences in California. Let’s know everything about the stunning campground.
Where is Lake Tahoe Located
Tahoe is located in the California-Nevada state line and is noted to be the largest alpine water body in the entire country. The campsite lines the seventy-one-mile shoreline and is nestled between the beach and the surrounding mountains. So whether you’re interested in a weekend of hiking, boating, swimming, biking or just relaxing in mother’s nature gallery, Lake Tahoe is without a doubt a camper’s dream. And the best part of camping here is the easy access to amenities like showers, toilets, barbeque grills, fire grates and even rental stores for boats and wood!
But we understand that choosing a campground from the plethora of options can get overwhelming at times. That’s where we come in; from setting up your tents at South Lake Tahoe to the best beach campsite spots and RV campgrounds, we have put together this list of highlights and tips to help you plan the perfect trip to the Lake Tahoe campgrounds.
The Best Of Lake Tahoe’s Campgrounds
The advantage of camping at Lake Tahoe is that you are welcomed with an array of choices to park your trailer and set up camp. These are some of the top campgrounds around Lake Tahoe that are ideal for the quintessential summer experience:
1. D. L. Bliss State Park
D. L. Bliss State Park has one of the best beaches in Lake Tahoe, with hilly surroundings and around 150 campsites. With an easy access to the bright blue waters and soft white sands of Lester beach, D. L. Bliss State Park is one of the more popular day spots for campers across the country. The sites are abundant and private with large areas of trailers and tents, equipped with picnic tables and fire pits. Lester beach is also the ideal location for a day of kayaking and canoeing, where you can even take a short two-mile ride to Emerald Bay. Campers also often indulge in a scenic hike to the Emerald Bay State Park, one of the many beautiful and densely forested trails.
You can even bring your furry friends along! The only rule regarding pets is that they aren’t allowed on the beaches, trails and off-trail areas.
2. Meek’s Bay Resort
Meek’s Bay Resort is the only campground with a resort on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe, with immediate access to the waters. The tent sites in the area can go up to $20 a night in the off-season and as high as $30 in the summer. For other lodging options, Meek’s Bay Resort offers cabins with BBQs, fire pits and picnic tables for the picture perfect outdoor experience. And while boating and kayaking are some of the more popular sports, several hikers flock by the bay to trek along the sandy white beaches and lakeside trails.
3. Fallen Leaf Lake Campground
The Fallen Leaf Lake lies scenically, right off the beaten path on the South Shore campground. While the sites may not be right near the water, campers can enjoy a short yet breathtaking walk through the grounds to the beautiful Fallen Leaf Lake, and it’s perfect for hikers and backpackers. The striking campground is spotted with pine trees and aspen and has over 205 sites showers, biking paths, picnic benches and fire pits. And the best part about the campground? You can even bring your pets along to enjoy a sunny hike outdoors.
4. Goose Meadows
The Goose Meadows is located on Highway 89, near Truckee River and is one of the lesser known campgrounds. With only 21 sites, and an easy access to a large fishing river and many private sites, this campground is definitely a treasure. The sites are sunny and fully equipped with grills, fire pits and even vault toilets! Another major bonus to camping here is the proximity to the numerous restaurants, bars and nightlife attractions in Truckee and Squaw Valley (located six miles away).
5. Donner Memorial State Park
The campground is perfect for daytime hiking and wildlife watching. With a clean beach area and one of the most interesting history museums, the Donner Memorial State Park is one of the more popular camping areas in Lake Tahoe amongst campers. The park has over 8 miles of hiking and over-the-snow trailheads, and the grounds become quite the popular spot for hikers during the winter.
6. Camp Richardson Resort
This is one of the few campgrounds that are open all year round, where campers can enjoy a dip in the lake or a refreshing bike ride in the warmth of summer and an exciting sleigh ride or a ski trip in the chilly winters. Located near one of the highly ranked ski resorts in the nation, Camp Richardson Resort is without a doubt, one of the best camping areas near Lake Tahoe.
7. Kaspian Campground
This one is a true hidden gem amongst all the campgrounds at Lake Tahoe. One of the quieter campgrounds in the area, campers can enjoy a relaxing evening by a bonfire against a scenic sunset. The Kaspian campground is also an excellent option for bikers, because of its amazing biking trail.
8. Emerald Bay State Park
If there’s one thing you cannot miss out when camping at Lake Tahoe, it is the view from the Emerald Bay State Park campground. The Eagle Point at the Emerald Bay State Park lies nestled under the dense forest of trees, from where every camper can get an amazing view of the entire bay. Visitors can also experience the joys of cliff diving and hike along the ground’s trail.
The Emerald Bay State Park is also famous for bird watching, where bald eagle sightings are more common than expected.
Happen to forget your fishing pole at the Emerald Bay? Don’t worry. Almost every camp host at the Eagle Point is always ready to lend you pole or a box of matches, when necessary.
9. Sugar Pine Point State Park
With around 120 campsites and 10 group sites for the summer, the Sugar Pine Point State Park has its spaces open throughout the year! The campgrounds are equipped with flush toilets and water, and the icing on the cake is the immediate access to its own beach! Campers can spend an entire day at this large beach swimming off the pier and relaxing by the shore.
The Perfect RV Getaway
Camping at Lake Tahoe provides you with a chance to pitch your tent and enjoy the many comforts of the surrounding amenities. And if you happen to be looking for the ideal combination of high-amenity services and the roughness of the outdoors, the iconic Camp Richardson is your answer.
Being one of the most child-friendly campgrounds, Camp Richardson offers more than 300 campsites and an abundance of hookups and electrical and potable water points - making it the perfect spot for RVs and families. One of the best South Lake Tahoe camping spots, Camp Richardson is equipped with bike and boat rental stores - located at the nearby marina.
However, they have a strict no-pet policy and it might not be the best option to bring your furry friends along for the trip.
Lake Tahoe Camping Highlights
Boat-In Camping At Emerald Bay Boat Park
The scenic boat-in campgrounds located at the northern end of Emerald Bay Boat Park can only be accessed by boat. This one of a kind camping experience allows campers to experience the wonders of Lakeside and the serenity of the surrounding wilderness. The Emerald Bay Boat Park is named after its emerald green waters and is one of the most popular tourist spots for a daily boat ride. Remember to make reservations for your lakefront campsites and buoys in advance.
Cycling At The Sugar Pine Point State Park
The Sugar Pine Point State Park is a must visit for cycling enthusiasts. The quiet and thickly forested area of the campground has one of the most popular mountain biking paths and trails, adjacent to the campgrounds. The 126-175 loop is closest known hiking and biking trailhead to the Lily Pond, and the paved biking path linking Tahoe City and the Sugar Pine Point State Park is a famous cycling route.
A Day At The Beach, In Sand Harbor
Sand Harbor offers the perfect combination of rocky coves, crystal clear waters and long stretches of sandy beaches. A very popular destination amongst campers, the Sand Harbor Park is the perfect spot for a day of camping on the east shore of Lake Tahoe. With warm and shallow waters, in addition to the stationed lifeguards, swimming in Sand Harbor is extremely safe and enjoyable for kids and families. An added bonus is the nature trail, picnic area and several kayaks and boat rental stores, making your stay at the Sand Harbor comfortable and convenient.
RV Camping At Zephyr Cove Park
With a lovely beach and a full-service marine, campers at the Zephyr Cove always end up experiencing a convenient and relaxing stay. Located on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe, the Zephyr Cove RV park is a simple street walk away from the beach. Most of the RV sites a fully equipped with hookups, including cable, showers, heated floors and even WiFi, giving you the comforts of your home in the great outdoors.
With its turquoise waters, a rich cover of forests and the magnificent spread of the alpine landscapes, camping at Lake Tahoe is definitely an outdoor experience worth seeking. The campgrounds of Lake Tahoe have so much to offer in terms of surrounding area’s scenic beauty and the convenience of camping services and amenities for all its visitors; making it one of the most popular campsites in the state of California. It has an outlet for campers and enthusiasts of all kinds; hiking, tent-camping, biking, swimming, mountain climbing, and the list goes on!
At each campsite situated around Lake Tahoe, you won’t fail to find a small home away from home. By the end of your trip, you’ll be heading back with a backpack full of cherishable memories, some fishing game and maybe even some new friendships.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your tents and rev up your RVs, and get ready to enjoy some of the many breathtaking wonders at the Lake Tahoe campgrounds.