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The jewel of the Sierra, Lake Tahoe is renowned for its stunning scenery, with clear blue waters, snow-capped mountains, and towering pine forests. The largest and second deepest alpine lake in the country, it offers 72 miles of shoreline, beaches and parks, and hundreds of miles of trails.

Camping is a great option for experiencing Lake Tahoe. And while there are more than 15 campgrounds around the lake, only 9 are truly lakeside, where you won’t have to cross a busy highway. Some are even lakefront and offer stunning views.

All campsites offer picnic tables, fire rings, grills, and food lockers. Bears are active in the area, and you must lock your food away. Aside from Camp Richardson, campgrounds are seasonal (May or June to September or October, weather dependent).

Here’s what to know about lakeside camping around Lake Tahoe (starting with the south shore and going around the lake clockwise).


Nevada Beach Campground

US 50 at Elks Point Road, Zephyr Cove, NV

(775) 588-5562; Reserve online, six months in advance

Link to the campground map.

US Forest Service/concessionaire: $41-43/night

Located on the southeastern shore of Lake Tahoe, just 2 miles north of the California/Nevada stateline, Nevada Beach Campground is one of the most popular campgrounds around the lake. It’s close to amenities and it’s tough to beat its scenic setting, nestled in a sparse pine forest, right next to the beach.

The 0.7-mile-long Nevada Beach is the widest on the lake (300 yards at some points) and generally quiet with a relaxed vibe, though it can get windy. There’s a dog beach at the south end. The Lam Wa Tah Trail runs nearby. Groceries, food, and other services are available 0.5 miles away at Round Hill Village.

Two loops offer 54 spacious sites for tents and RVs up to 45 feet (no hookups), all within walking distance of the lake. Most sites have filtered lake views, with some lakefront sites (#20, 22, 23 in particular). There are no showers, but flush toilets are available. Leashed pets are allowed at the campground, but not on the beach (except at the dog beach).


Historic Camp Richardson Resort

1900 Jameson Beach Road

(800) 544-1801 or book online

Link to tent campground map and RV village map

Single ($50-$55), double ($100-$110), and triple tent sites ($165-$180)

RVs ($70-$75 partial, $75-$80 full hookup)

USFS special permit; marina is privately owned

Located just 2 miles west of South Lake Tahoe, Historic Camp Richardson is a popular resort with plenty of amenities, including a full service marina, boat cruises, general store, ice cream parlor, coffee and confectionary shop, mountain sports center, and the Beacon Bar & Grill (famous for their rum runners) on-site.

The property covers both sides of Highway 89. There are two tent campgrounds, one RV area, and lodging options. The Badger’s Den Campground is on the lake side, and offers 84 single and double tent sites across four loops. Altogether, there are 223 sites for tents and 112 sites for RVs up to 35 feet. Flush toilets, showers, drinking water, and a dump station are available.

Although it’s a long walk or short bike ride to the lake from the campground, the on-site amenities make up for it. The Valhalla Historic Site and Pope Beach are both next door and a bike trail runs across the property. The campground is close to the highway, so noise can be an issue.


Eagle Point Campground

11001 Highway 89

Campground Kiosk (530) 541-3030

(800) 444-7275 for reservations, six months in advance

Book online for Upper Eagle Point (sites 1-33)

Book online for Lower Eagle Point (sites 34-100)

Link to the campground map

California State Park: $25-45/site

Located at the entrance to Emerald Bay, the Eagle Point Campground is a large campground with some truly incredible views of Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay. Its location on a promontory also makes it feel like you’re truly in the wilderness.

Two loops offer 45 tent-only sites and 52 for tents or small RVs/trailers up to 24/18 feet (no hookups). The lower loop offers closer beach access. Book a premium site for the best views—sites #77, 87, and 88 are especially scenic. Potable water, flush toilets and coin showers are available.

Several trails can be accessed from the campground, including several overlooks, a trail to the (private) beach, and the Rubicon Trail. It’s also close to the sunken barge in Emerald Bay. 

RVs can be delivered to your campsite from the concessionaire-approved vendor, Tahoe RV Rentals at (530) 721-5183.


Emerald Bay State Park Boat-In Campground

(800) 444-7275 for reservations or book online

(FCFS, then reservations from early June)

California State Park: $35 a night

Located at the site of the old Emerald Bay Resort, on the north side of Emerald Bay, the Boat In Campground offers 20 primitive tent sites on land, with several lakefront options. Sites B1, B21, and B22 are the closest to the lake and come with their own little stretch of beach. Water and vault toilets are available. Dogs are only allowed on the campground. 

There’s a boat pier for loading and unloading and buoys for boats and kayaks to tie off. While boat traffic can be busy in Emerald Bay during the day, after sunset, you’ll be pretty much by yourself.

The campground can also be accessed by hiking the Rubicon Trail from Eagle Point Campground, Vikingsholm (vehicles are not permitted to park overnight at the parking lot), or D.L. Bliss State Park (closed for 2023 season).


D.L. Bliss State Park [CLOSED FOR 2023 SEASON]

9881 Highway 89

(530)525-7277 / (800) 444-7275 for reservations, six months in advance

Link to campground map

California State Park: $35-$45/night

A popular state park set on one of the prettiest stretches of Lake Tahoe (from Emerald Point to Rubicon Point), there are five campgrounds offering 147 sites for tents and RVs up to 18 feet (no hookups), 2 hike-in/bike-in sites, and a group site for up to 50 people. Flush toilets, coin showers, and a dump station are available. Leashed pets are allowed at the campground. The Beach Camp offers the closest access to the lake. 

The Rubicon Trail and Balancing Rock Trail are at the park, as are Lester Beach and Calawee Cove, where you can launch watercrafts and go scuba diving.


Meeks Bay Campground

Highway 89, at Meeks Bay Avenue, Tahoma

(530) 525-4733; Book online, six months in advance

Link to the campground map

US Forest Service/concessionaire: $35/night

Located on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, (between Ed Z’Berg Sugar Pine Point State Park and D.L. Bliss State Park), the Meeks Bay Campground is a small campground with easy access to a beach, ideal for launching kayaks and paddleboards, and windsurfing (when winds pick up in the afternoon). Rentals are available, with more options at the marina next door. There’s also a bike path nearby.

The campground offers 16 tent-only sites and 20 sites for tents and RV up to 20 feet long (no hookups), over four loops. Some sites offer filtered views of the lake. There are flush toilets but no showers. Some of the sites are close together (and even share a parking spur) and don’t offer much privacy. Pets are only allowed at the campground, not at the beach. The campground is close to the highway, so noise can be an issue.


Meeks Bay Resort and Marina

7941 Highway 89, Tahoma

(530)525-6946 or online, up to 10 months in advance

$20-30/night for tent sites and $30-50/night for RV sites

Private resort owned by Washoe Tribe

Located just north of the Meeks Bay Campground, Meeks Bay Resort and Marina is popular with families and boaters, and offers a boat launch on-site. There is also a swimming beach, with a volleyball area, and a bike path nearby. The resort also offers a restaurant and sundries in the main lodge, watersport rentals (kayaks and paddleboards), in addition to cabin and other lodging options.

There are 14 sites for tents and pop-up tent trailers, and 23 full-hookup RV sites; a few can accommodate 60 feet RVs. Restrooms and showers are available. Pets are not allowed anywhere at the resort.


Tahoe State Recreation Area

Off Highway 28, 0.25 miles east of Tahoe City (530) 583-3074

(800) 444-7275 for reservations; book online, 6 months in advance

Link to the campground map

California State Park: $35/night

Located near Tahoe City on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, Tahoe State Recreation Area is a small and popular campground, offering easy access to the lake and amenities in Tahoe City, which can be accessed via a bike path. There is a grocery store and several restaurants within walking distance.

The campground offers 23 sites for tents or RVs/trailers up to 21 feet/15 feet (no hookups) and one bike-in campsite. Coin showers and vault toilets are available. Leashed pets are permitted in certain areas.

There are hillside and lakeside loop campsites, though there is a portion of private property between some campsites and the lake. The campground is close to the highway, so noise can be an issue.


Lake Forest Campground

2500 Lake Forest Road and Highway 28

(530) 583-3440, extension 10

Link to campground map

Tahoe City Public Utility District: $25/night

Located 2.5 miles northeast of Tahoe City, this small campground is just a few blocks away from Lake Forest Beach and next door to Pomin Park and its large athletic field, playground, batting cage, and picnic area. There’s also a boat ramp nearby.

This is the only lakeside campground that is first-come, first-served, and offers 20 sites for tents and RVs/trailers up to 30/25 feet (no hookups). Potable water and portable restrooms are available at the campground, with flush toilets at Pomin Park.90-  There are no showers. Leashed dogs are allowed at the campground.














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