What’s open? Tahoe parks, beaches, trails available in some capacity

Kiva Beach at Lake Tahoe will be open for day use starting Saturday, Sept. 19.
Provided/Ryan Hoffman

With weather as warm it has ever been for this time of year, and people going on their third month of sheltering in place, many are itching to get outside and enjoy Lake Tahoe’s parks and beaches.

With California entering Phase 2 of reopening, California State Parks are open for limited business, including D.L. Bliss, Emerald Bay and Sugar Pine State Parks on the south and west shores.

According to California State Parks Cultural Resources Program Supervisor, Sierra District, Alex Neeb, while the trails themselves never closed, the parking lots, restrooms and fee payment stations have now reopened.

“We are still asking people to stay active while in the parks,” Neeb said, adding that picnics, special events and tours are still prohibited and campgrounds are still closed for the time being.

The city of South Lake Tahoe opened its parks and beaches, including Bijou Park, Regan Beach and Lakeview Commons, on Friday, May 29.

Restrooms will be open from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and cleaned three times a day. Parking lots will also be open but playground equipment will be closed with temporary fencing.

All National Forest trails, trailheads and lands in the Tahoe Basin are open although the forest service has not yet hired the seasonal rangers who normally report on trail conditions. There is still a significant amount of snow above 8,000 feet.

“Hikers and backpackers should keep in mind visiting the upper elevations this time of year requires a certain level of expertise,” said Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Public Information Officer Lisa Herron. “Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots and proper clothing are recommended along with a map and compass or GPS and trekking poles, snowshoes and/or cross-county skis. Travel with a buddy, never alone and remember your mobile device may not work in some areas. Develop an emergency plan in case you are unable to call for help.”

Nevada, Pope, Kiva/Tallac Point, Baldwin, Chimney and Secret Harbor beaches (portable toilets available, no trash removal) are open for walk-in visitors only and have portable toilets available.

Eagle Falls Trailhead and Sawmill Pond are open with vault toilets available. None of those places have trash removal.

“Visitors should plan ahead, recognizing that limited restroom facilities are only as clean as the previous user,” Herron said. “In locations with no trash removal available, visitors should pack out everything they bring in and use.”

However, campgrounds and resorts are still closed.

On the Nevada side of the lake, state parks campgrounds opened Friday, May 29, at 50% capacity and visitor centers, museums, gift shops, offices and cabins are scheduled to reopen Monday, June 1.

However, the parking lot at Memorial Point and the Tahoe East Shore Trail between Memorial Point and Sand Harbor are closed until further notice as well as all group-use areas.

Round Hill Pines Beach Resort opened Thursday, May 28.

All parks and beaches are still asking people to socially distance and to not visit the area if they feel sick or have any symptoms.

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