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Campgrounds opening Friday in Lake Tahoe Basin

Campgrounds open Friday in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Provided / LTBMU

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Developed campgrounds in the Lake Tahoe Basin begin opening Friday.

The Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is asking campers to act responsibly to prevent a spike in COVID-19 and be self-sufficient during visits with some services still limited.

“Camping is a great way to enjoy our public lands and connect with the outdoors at Lake Tahoe,” said LTBMU Public Services Staff Officer Daniel Cressy said in a press release. “Visitors are encouraged to recreate responsibly, which plays an important role in the shared stewardship of public lands.”

LTBMU said recreating responsibly will help ensure expanded access to recreational facilities, services, and opportunities continue. 

Responsible recreation practices should be maintained at all times, including the following:

• Practice Social Distancing. Provide space of at least six feet at all times during your visit.

• Do Not Gather in Groups. Follow the latest guidance from officials.

• Share the Trail. Alert other trail users of your presence and step aside to let them pass.

• Pack Out Your Trash. Leave with everything you bring in and use.

Visitors are asked to stay as local as possible when choosing a site to visit and to pack out everything they bring, especially trash.

“While we understand there may be some excitement to return to these recreation areas, there may be limited services or spaces available” says LTBMU Acting Deputy Forest Supervisor Matthew Jedra. “We ask that visitors please continue to follow local, state and federal guidelines on staying safe and practice good hygiene and social distancing wherever they choose to visit.”

For a full list of open areas and up-to-date information, visit the LTBMU website

Eldorado National Forest campgrounds also opening

The Eldorado National Forest is opening 20 developed campgrounds and two other designated camping areas for individuals or families of the same household beginning Friday.

Group campgrounds will remain closed. Some campsites may not be available in order to allow for proper social distancing between sites and some shared areas may be closed.

The following campgrounds are open effective June 12:

Highway 88 corridor

  • PiPi Campground
  • Capps Crossing Campground
  • Middle Fork Cosumnes Campground
  • Pardoes Point Campground
  • Sugar Pine Point Campground
  • White Azalea Campground
  • Mokelumne River Campground

Highway 50 corridor

  • Gray Rock Dispersed Camping Area
  • Sand Flat Campground
  • China Flat Campground
  • Silver Fork Campground
  • Lovers Leap Campground

Crystal Basin Recreation Area

  • Icehouse Campground
  • Fashoda Campground
  • Gerle Creek Campground
  • Wench Creek Campground
  • West Point Campground
  • Yellowjacket Campground
  • Wolf Creek Campground
  • Loon Lake Campground
  • Loon Lake Equestrian (part of Loon Lake Campground)
  • Sunset Campground

Eldorado National Forest officials recommend people not travel long distances to recreate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time,” states forest spokesperson Jennifer Chapman in a press release. “All visitors should practice self-sufficiency during your visits to national forests. Recreating responsibly will help ensure that expanded access to recreational facilities, services and opportunities continues.”

Visitors are advised to bring all necessary cleaning and sanitizing supplies and a plastic tablecloth for picnic tables that can be disposed of or taken back home for washing.

Some activities may not be available such as group picnic areas, swimming beaches or amphitheaters.

“Please be aware that many of our campgrounds do not typically open until late May or June, even without the challenges associated with COVID-19, due to winter snow and the associated preparation of the sites for the season,” states Chapman.

Visitors are encouraged to check the forest website and social media pages for current information on what is open. Or, call the local ranger station during normal business hours, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Day usage

Day use, trailheads, boat ramps and staging areas continue to expand on the Eldorado National Forest.

For a full list of available day-use sites visit fs.usda.gov/eldorado.

Fire restrictions

Fire restrictions are in effect and campfires are prohibited on Eldorado National Forest lands.

The only exceptions include fires within stoves (including grills) and fire rings provided in developed campgrounds and recreation sites that are listed as exempt in the forest order.

People with a valid California campfire permit are not exempt from these restrictions, however, they may be able to use a portable campfire pit, stove or lantern that uses gas, kerosene, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel, with a shutoff valve in an area that is at least 3 feet from any flammable materials.

California campfire permits can be obtained online at readyforwildfire.org/permits/campfire-permit/.

Eldorado National Forest virtual offices are staffed to provide visitor information from 8 a.m. to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday at 530-303-2412.

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest opens 

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest also is opening all its campgrounds in California on Friday, June 12. 

Nevada group campsites and day use areas that hold less than 50 people will also reopen. Visitor centers and California group campsites remain closed.

“While we understand there may be some excitement to return to these recreation areas,” says Forest Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger. “As the public comes back to enjoy their favorite campground, we encourage them to continue to follow the latest state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health guidance.”The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest offices remain closed. Please contact the district directly for details on how to obtain firewood cutting or other permits.

The Mountain Democrat contributed to this report.


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