Best Time To Camp In Lake Tahoe
Both the spring and fall can be great times to camp with fewer crowds, but for the nicest weather, the best time to camp in Lake Tahoe is the summer.
Early summer or late summer may be slightly less busy than peak summer .
Regardless, youll want to make reservations at least a few months in advance since Lake Tahoe campgrounds fill up quickly.
If you can, just avoid camping on holiday weekends in Lake Tahoe unless you love crowds and traffic.
The Gems Of Lake Tahoe Camping
Whatever your style, RV campground, RV resort, or RV boondocking, youre sure to find your best Lake Tahoe camping experience if you choose one of these RV spots. With your home always underfoot and ready to go, Lake Tahoe will be waiting for you.
Will you be ready for all the fun it has to offer? With these gems, youll be well-rested and ready for all the action that surrounds the Lake Tahoe area.
Free Camping Near Lake Tahoe
While tenters may have better luck if theyre willing to hike into the many national forests or find the increasingly rare slice of the beach where camping hasnt been specifically marked as prohibited, free camping in a van or RV near Lake Tahoe is next to impossible to find.
About the author: When exploring California, Nathan is most impressed by the way the state has gone and snatched up all of the tallest, largest and oldest trees, and spread them around its most impressive deserts, mountains and coastlines.
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Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort California
While Lake Tahoe gets the award for the most beautiful lake in California it can be difficult to get a campsite there. Another under-the-radar lake in the Golden State is Lake Siskiyou near beautiful Mount Shasta.
A post shared by Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort on Sep 10, 2020 at 9:38am PDT
At this end of the lake is the Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort with room for large rigs and plenty of water fun on their private beach and splash park. They have 360 sites with full hookups as well as cabins, tent sites, and retro trailer rentals.
Gold Ranch Casino And Rv Resort
Youll find the Gold Ranch Casino and RV Resort just outside of Reno on the Nevada-California border. About 40 minutes away from the north shore of Lake Tahoe, youll be able to explore Reno and its casinos before heading down to Lake Tahoe and its surrounding hiking trails!
You can expect full hookups at Gold Ranch, and if you want to try out Nevadas largest enterprise, theres a conveniently located casino! Gold Ranch has 46 total RV sites, with 14 of them available for back-in, 29 for pull-through, and 3 for pull-in, so you have all the options you could want! No matter how you park, youll have electrical, water, and sewer hookups with free wifi and a clubhouse!
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Caddo Lake State Park Texas
Full of cypress trees, Spanish moss, and even alligators, Caddo Lake in east Texas is an exciting place to do some kayaking or canoeing.
Canoeing on Caddo Lake Texas Parks & Wildlife
The state park has over 60 full and partial hookup sites, screened shelters, and ADA accessible cabins. Caddo Lake also has over 70 species of fish, so this lakeside location is a fishermans paradise.
Cisco Grove Campground & Rv
While Cisco Grove Campground provides a great location for hiking, biking, rock climbing, and bouldering. The South Fork of the Yuba River runs directly through the campground, so swimming and fishing are also an option. Its centrally located between Truckee and Auburn, CA, making it a great place to stay on your way into or out of the mountains. They currently offer only long-term stays but plan to open for short-term camping sometime this year.
- Closest Town: Emigrant Gap, CA
- Specs: 406 Tent/RV, electric, full hookups, pull-through sites, pets allowed, usage moderate, open year-round
- Amenities: Potable water, flush toilets
- Reservations: Yes, at 426-1600
- Address: 48415 Hampshire Rocks Rd, Emigrant Gap, CA 95715
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Best Lake Tahoe Campgrounds
Our list of 10 best Lake Tahoe campgrounds are found around the lake with one in Nevada and ten in California. With the exception of Fallen Leaf Lake and Camp Shelly, the other 8 campgrounds are within walking distance of the lake shore.
All of these campgrounds sell out quickly so get your reservations in early. Try our Campsite Assist tool if you dont get a reservation. It will alert you when a cancelled campsite becomes available so you can try and reserve it.
Camp Richardson Resort is located in South Lake Tahoe and has approximately 210 campsites located in three campgrounds. There is also a hotel and cabins available for overnight lodging. Reservations are recommended.
Badgers Den campground has 84 campsites and is located closest to the lake. Campsites are tent-only and can accommodate either 2 tents/6 people, 4 tents/12 people or 3 tents/18 people. It also has drinking water, flush toilets and hot showers.
Eagles Nest campground has 30 campsites for tents only. It also has 6 group campsites . Amenities include drinking water, flush toilets and hot showers.
The RV camp has approximately 96 campsites. Partial and full hookup campsites are available. Each site also has a table fire ring and grate. Some also a have bear-proof storage box. Sites 4 to 35 are very close to the main road and are on the small side.
Emerald Bay State Park has 97 campsites and overlooks Lake Tahoes Emerald Bay.
Thousand Trails Tahoe Valley Campground South Lake Tahoe California
Looking to keep your family entertained without squabbles deciding on what to do? Tahoe Valley Campground has something for everyone. Just a few of those somethings include playgrounds, volleyball, ping pong, swimming, pool tables, horseshoes, basketball, movie nights, and more.
Located on Lake Tahoe, youll find mountain vistas, rolling rivers, lakefront access and access to trails for hiking, biking, and strolling. With over 400 RV spots available and all the activities within and around the resort, Lake Tahoe camping will spoil you silly.
Rates: For around $80/night, youll get full hookups along with all the resort has to offer. Rates are dependent upon dates and RV sites and sizes. Tahoe Valley Campground is a Thousand Trails Campground, so you could even stay here for free if you are a Thousand Trails member.
Ann from Texas had this to say, The people who work there are awesome. Fellow RVers are very friendly and the location of this campground is perfect to see all of Lake Tahoe.
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Explore More Camping & Outdoor Destinations In California
- Camping: Within a day’s drive of Lake Tahoe are some of California’s most epic camping destinations. Find the best campgrounds in the timeless forests of giant sequoias in Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park. Head to the coast and set up your tent or RV among the towering redwoods of Redwood National and State Parks. Alternatively, head south to the desert, and discover the best places to camp in Joshua Tree National Park.
- Hiking: While you’re here, you’ll want to check out at least some of the hiking trails around Lake Tahoe. If you’re interested in hiking, you’re in the right park of the country. Consider visiting some other parks, and make the most of your hiking time with our guides to the best hikes at South Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, Redwood National and State Parks, and the overall best hiking trails in California. If you happen to be heading towards Las Vegas, also see our article on the best hikes near Las Vegas.
Hope Valley Dispersed Camping Hope Valley Ca
Not everyones gem is an RV park. For those that dont mind roughing it a bit with boondocking, meaning no hookups and generally no amenities, including toilets, there is dispersed camping. Which usually means no cost to you.
While Hope Valley is located along Highway 88 adding a bit of road noise to your camping evenings, it is free, only 30 minutes from South Lake Tahoe, and it is in a meadow surrounded by beautiful forested regions. Cell service can be spotty, but it is evident and the freedom of being directly in nature without the hindrance of RV park rules can sometimes be very invigorating. While there may be less rules, theres also no trash pickup, so please pack out your trash. Dispersed camping sites are being closed down because we are not caring for our campgrounds. Lake Tahoe camping areas deserve to be as pristine as they were before we arrived there.
Rates: zero, zilch, nada, free
Cute tree-lined foothill next to open meadow with river access a short hike away. Plenty of dispersed sites that can accommodate any rig of any size. Lots of people and sometimes fairly close, but you still retain decent privacy. No water nor electrical nor dump, haphazard cell service. Would definitely camp here again. Happy Camper with a full wallet
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The Ultimate Lake Tahoe Camping Guide
Fresh alpine air, starry nights around the campfire, sips of hot coffee during a sunrise over the laketheres simply nothing like camping in Lake Tahoe. Generally open from mid-May to mid-October, Lake Tahoes campgrounds make the perfect home base for exploring all the epic around the basin.
Youll find that theres camping options all around the lake, from North Shore to South, and in typical Lake Tahoe fashion, each has a personality all its own. Discover the best Lake Tahoe camping here then pack up the camping gear, ice down the cooler and come explore!
Dl Bliss State Park Campground
D.L. Bliss State Park has one of the most scenic locations on Lake Tahoe. A beautiful stretch of golden sand, bounded by impressive rock outcroppings, lines the waterfront. The water is crystal clear, and in the distance, you can see the mountains on the opposite shore.
Kayakers can put in from the beach and explore the shores, children can play in the shallow water, and hikers can access the popular Rubicon hiking trail directly from the park.
The park’s campground is set high up above the lake, with sites closest to the lake offering glimpses of the water through the pine trees. Sites are set in a heavily wooded area and are generally well-spaced and private.
The campground is divided into five loops, all of which are more than acceptable. The Beach Camp Loop, which includes sites 142 to 165, is closest to the beach and is the most desirable camping area in the park.
Sites can be reserved online up to six months in advance. Note that the campground is not designed for large RVs. The maximum size is 18 feet, and the maximum size for a trailer is 15 feet. Showers and a dump station are available.
All food must be stored in the storage lockers provided, as black bears are prevalent.
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Truckees Top Tent And Rv Campgrounds
Note that most of the campgrounds in the area are managed by USFS Tahoe National Forest. Wildlife encounters are fairly common, so the use of bear boxes is required. Potable water access is dependent on the season. Pitch your tent or park your RV at these top campgrounds.
Here are the best and closest campgrounds to Truckee and Lake Tahoe, CA, in order of proximity:
The Top 5 Lake Tahoe Campgrounds
Theres something about visiting Tahoe that just puts people in the mood to have a good time and few places where RVers can camp in Tahoe receive negative reviews. Still, someone has to be the best. Here are the top five places to stay in your RV, most of them on the south and western shores of the lake.
Nevada Beach Campground Photo by: Kate at The Scenic Route
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The 11 Best Camping Spots At Lake Tahoe
Theres no dispersed camping in the Lake Tahoe Basin. As a result, youll need to secure a camping spot at a campground for the best access to Lake Tahoe. Weve got 11 of the best options for you to consider for your trip to Lake Tahoe. Lets 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 Tahoes 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 youll enjoy access to El Dorado Beach, a boat launch, and the Lake Tahoe Visitor Center. The campground offers flush toilets, tap water, and WiFi. Youll also find picnic tables, food lockers, and fire rings at many of the sites.
2. Lake Forest Campground
There are no showers, hookups, or dumping stations. You should come prepared to be completely self-sufficient for this Lake Tahoe camping experience.
3. Camp Richardson Historic Resort
4. Zephyr Cove RV Park
Frontenac State Park Campground Minnesota
Of course, we cant forget the Land of 10,000 Lakes the state of Minnesota. So, which one do you choose? How about Frontenac State Park Campground on Lake Pepin?
Lake Pepin is actually the widest part of the Mississippi River, so you get two bodies of water in one. The Frontenac State Park Campground is surrounded by trees and has views of the lake and river. The park has about 60 sites, some with electric hookups, pit toilets, and access to nearby trails.
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Alamo Lake State Park Arizona
If you love the desert and want some year-round lake views, check out the Alamo Lake State Park campground. With six loops, this large campground has both full hookups and dry camping sites. The park also has cabins for rent with views of the water.
Fishing in the desert. Photo: Arizona State Parks
Lake Alamo is nicely remote. Its located about two hours from Parker and the RV-centric town of Quartzsite.
The Best Time To Go Camping In Tahoe
The best time to camp in Tahoe is in the summer, from June through August, when the temperatures are in the upper 70s, the skies are usually sunny, and the trails are free of snow.
For those who are enjoy skiing, pack your skis, and come camping in May some of the campsites are open, and you may get to shred some late-season snow up in the mountains, while near the campsites therell be minimal snow on the ground.
However, if you want a quiet, peaceful campground, pack up your gear and enjoy a mid-week stay in September when the crowds are all gone, but the weather is still very nice.
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Six Great Rv Campgrounds In South Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe is a majestic playground abundant in natural beauty with plenty of things to do. It offers a range of accommodation options. For those who want to camp in one of the numerous RV parks around the area, here are six profiles of some great RV campgrounds in Lake Tahoe. There are also plenty of lodges, cabins, motels and other choice accommodations in this remarkable, naturally beautiful locale.
1) Chris Haven Mobile home and RV Community: Located about 3 miles from the southern end of Lake Tahoe on the California side of the lake, Chris Haven offers 96 full-hookup sites and a wide range of amenities. They provide wireless internet, cable TV, showers and restrooms, laundry, paved roads and allow pets in its convenient location. It is very close to shopping, city bus services, all the south lakeshore activities, ski areas and golf courses. It is a mile from the airport and car rentals. The park has recently been completely renovated, is open all year, offering daily, weekly, monthly and full winter rates.
4) Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina: Camp Richardson is located just off Highway 89, Emerald Bay Road, and offers three distinct campground opportunities: the RV Village, directly across from the Hotel Badgers Den Campground, located a short walk from the shore of Lake Tahoe and Eagles Nest, across the road from Badgers Den Campground. This is a spectacular lakeside resort with a long history.
What To Pack For Camping In Lake Tahoe
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meredith is a biologist and writer based in Californias Sierra Nevada. She has lived in six states as a biologist, so her intel on hiking and camping is *chefs kiss* next level. One of her earliest camping memories was being too scared to find a bathroom at night on a family camping trip. Thankfully, shes come a long way since then and she can help you get there too!
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