Safety first on Tahoe’s South Shore this Fourth of July
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The Fourth of July holiday period is the busiest time of year in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
For those visiting during the holiday and attending one of the firework displays over the lake, expect extremely crowded conditions and excess traffic. Because of the basin’s high elevation, expect intense sunlight during the day and much lower temperatures at night. Bring sunscreen, a jacket and carry a flashlight. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. If planning to camp overnight at a designated campground, make reservations ahead of time at http://www.recreation.gov.
In addition, keep the following information in mind to help everyone enjoy a safe and fun holiday:
Wildfire prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Possession of fireworks of any kind, including firecrackers and sparklers, is illegal in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Campfires and portable charcoal grills are not permitted on National Forest beaches or in the general forest. If planning to barbecue on the beach, bring a portable gas grill instead of charcoal. This will reduce the danger of wildfire in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Remember, a hot ember can travel for miles in the wind and it only takes one small spark to ignite a large wildfire. Fire restrictions on National Forest System land in the Lake Tahoe Basin begin Friday, July 1. For complete information on fire restrictions, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/firerestrictions.
The annual alcohol ban will be in effect at Nevada Beach, Zephyr Cove Resort and Zephyr Shoals (the former Dreyfus Estate) from 6 a.m. to midnight on July 4. The Forest Order and maps will be posted at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/forestorders. In addition, county and state laws ban the possession or consumption of alcohol on the Truckee River from Tahoe City to Alpine Meadows and Chamber’s Landing Beach on the West Shore, beginning July 1 and continuing through July 6. These areas will be patrolled by law enforcement personnel from the Forest Service, Douglas and Placer counties, the Carson City Sheriff’s Department and private security staff.
Consider public transportation during the holiday, as holiday traffic and road construction make for extremely crowded roads and parking areas. Walk, carpool or bicycle to avoid limited parking in crowded recreation areas and heavy traffic and delays after the firework displays. The Nifty Fifty Trolley stops at National Forest beaches along the South and West shores of Lake Tahoe. At developed recreation sites, such as Kiva, Tallac Historic Site, Taylor Creek Visitor Center, and Echo Lake and Angora Lake resorts, parking is allowed only in designated parking spaces inside the parking lots, not along the roadway. When parking, do not block road access or narrow lanes, which could impede response in an emergency. Where parking on the side of the road is allowed, be careful to not park on vegetation as this can cause damage to the environment and can spark a fire.
Day-use parking fees for July 4 at Pope, Baldwin, and Nevada beaches will be $20 and it will be $25 at Zephyr Cove Beach to cover increased security and facility maintenance costs of the holiday.
For information on rules regarding pets, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/dogs.
Trash and debris left behind after festivities can be harmful and even fatal to wildlife. It represents a human health hazard and degrades Lake Tahoe. Trash cans may become full, so plan ahead and pack out all garbage. Become part of the solution by volunteering for the Adopt-A-Beach program coordinated by Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and the City of South Lake Tahoe or the League to Save Lake Tahoe’s Annual Keep Tahoe Red, White and Blue beach cleanups from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, July 5. Clean-up sites include areas all around Lake Tahoe. To volunteer and learn more, visit http://www.adoptabeachtahoe.com or http://www.keeptahoeblue.org/news/events.
For more information on the July 4 holiday, visit the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/ltbmu or call 530-543-2600, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or the Taylor Creek Visitor Center at 530-543-2674 on weekends and holidays.