The Best Camping Spots at Lake Tahoe

Woman taking looking at Lake Tahoe
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Camping at Lake Tahoe should be at the top of the list for great outdoors experiences. The bright blue water, sandy beaches, and alpine landscape surrounding Lake Tahoe offer some of the most scenic campgrounds in California. Whether you are interested in hiking, biking, boating, or just relaxing, Lake Tahoe is a camping lover's dream.

Tahoe straddles the California-Nevada state line and is the largest alpine lake in North America. Campgrounds line the 71 miles of shoreline and are nestled in the surrounding mountains, so choosing the best Lake Tahoe campground for your vacation just depends on personal preference. 

From South Lake Tahoe camping to the best beach campsites or RV campgrounds, get ready to pack your tent and enjoy one of the many spectacular area sites.

01 of 06

Camp Richardson

A brilliant fall sunrise is reflected in Lake Tahoe, California.
Rachid Dahnoun/Getty Images
Camp Richardson, CA 96150, USA

The location and amenities on the California shores of South Lake Tahoe make the historic Camp Richardson an ideal family destination. RV and tent sites are close to the lake's shore, and a nearby bike path meanders through the forest.

It's almost unthinkable to have a family camping trip without a nearby ice cream parlor, and Camp Richardson has a great one. A mountain center with bike rentals is available, and boat rentals are convenient at the nearby marina.

Even though you might want Fido to be part of the holiday photos, Camp Richardson has a strict no-pet policy.  

02 of 06

Meeks Bay Resort

Murray and Carol's cabin nestles in the trees at Meeks Bay, Lake Tahoe

Ian Gratton/Flickr 

7941 Emerald Bay Rd, Tahoma, CA 96142, USA
Phone +1 530-525-6946

Meeks Bay Resort is on the west shore in California and 10 miles south of Tahoe City. This beautiful white sand beach has adjacent camping on a quiet bay, and it's the prime location for beach camping in Lake Tahoe.

You can rent kayaks, pedal boats, stand-up paddleboards, and powerboats at the adjacent marina. RV and tent sites are available but are limited and should be booked well in advance. Cabins are also available for those who would rather have indoor lodgings. Pets are not allowed at Meeks Bay. 

03 of 06

Zephyr Cove RV Park

Sightseeing cruise Tahoe Queen

maislam/Getty Images 

760 Hwy 50, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448, USA
Phone +1 775-589-4907

A lovely beach and a full-service marina are convenient for campers at Zephyr Cove. Located on the Nevada side in South Lake Tahoe, the RV park is just across the street from the beach.

RV sites are equipped with full hook-ups, including cable and Wi-Fi, so you can camp with all the comforts of home. The main shower house even has heated floors and coin laundry.

When booking a site, ask for 178 or 179. Both places back up to the surrounding forest and have the most space.

A suggest excursion is a boat trip on the Paddle Wheeler or Lake Yacht. Boats depart daily from the Zephyr Cove Marina and the evening cruise is a great way to enjoy the sunset.

04 of 06

Emerald Bay Boat Camp

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 Kevin Thrash/Getty Images

138 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA

The Emerald Bay Boat Camp is a one-of-a-kind camping experience to enjoy the lake's beauty in the seclusion of a wilderness area. The scenic boat-in campground on the north end of Emerald Bay State Park can only be reached by boat; no roads reach the campground. 

Located on the southwest corner of the lake in California, Emerald Bay is famous for its emerald green water. It's one of the most popular destinations for daily boat tours and is an excellent location for bird watching; bald eagle sightings are common.

Ninety seven campsites, including twenty-one lakefront campsites, a shared dock, and buoys are available and must be booked a few months in advance. Boat rentals are available at one of South Lake Tahoe's marinas. Be prepared to get a little wet on your way to the camp.

Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06

Sugar Pine Point State Park

Sugar Pine Point, Lake Tahoe

Michael Marfell/Getty Images 

7360 W Lake Blvd, Tahoma, CA 96142, USA
Phone +1 530-525-7982

If part of your camping experience must including biking, Sugar Pine State Park is for you. The quiet and forested nature area at Sugar Pine State Park is excellent for tent camping, and the adjacent bike path and mountain bike trails are convenient for cyclists.

While all the sites are beautiful and forested, the 126-175 loop is closest to the Lily Pond hiking and biking trailhead.

The paved bike path connecting Sugar Pine Point State Park and Tahoe City, about 10 miles long, is a popular bicycling route. The ​lakeshore at Edwin Z'berg Natural Preserve is just a short pedal or 10-minute walk from the campground.

06 of 06

Sand Harbor

Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe
Ropelato Photography; EarthScapes/Getty Images
Sand Harbor Beach, Nevada, USA

Sandy beaches, rocky coves, and turquoise water combine to make Sand Harbor a favorite destination for day camping on the east shore of Lake Tahoe.

Warm shallow water and Sand Harbor's lifeguards make swimming safe and fun for families. There's also a nature trail, picnic area, and marina with kayak and boat rentals.

The annual Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and bi-weekly lakeshore concert schedule keep the park busy with activities. Note: A daily Nevada State Park fee is charged for entrance.

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The Best Camping Spots at Lake Tahoe