South Lake Tahoe campground celebrates 40 years |

South Lake Tahoe campground celebrates 40 years

Jack Barnwell
Jason Collin (left) and Justin Sinner play a game of horseshoes at Tahoe Valley Campground during its 40th anniversary Thursday, Oct. 22. Tahoe Valley Campground opened in 1972 and acts as South Lake's year-round camping facility.
Jack Barnwell / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Tahoe Valley Campground recently celebrated four decades of local fun. It’s official anniversary party was on Oct. 22.

As a South Shore year-round destination since 1972, it consistently draws a robust summer crowd, according to resort manager Duane Jakob. He was hired in 2014 and currently resides on the grounds in his own RV.

“During the summer we have all types of activities, like a pancake breakfast every Saturday and Sunday, arts and crafts and three live music events over the season,” Jakob said. “It’s so packed that it’s just wall-to-wall people.”

Tahoe Valley Campground provides year-round camping options for tent and RV campers at more than 400 sites situated into four clusters. During the spring and summer, all four areas are open. One remains open during the winter. The campground spans more than 60 acres and includes a playground, a general store, a laundry site and more.

According to Jakob, the initial vision for the campground included an amphitheater and other visitor-focused amenities.

“We hope that there will be some inspiration toward that goal someday,” Jakob said.

While a sign from Highway 89 near the “Y” directs people to its location at 1175 Melba Drive, Jakob said that many people, including locals, either don’t realize the campground exists or understand how expansive it is.

Justin Sinner, a Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce employee, noted the campground’s isolation as well.

“When I first came here for a tour a few months back, I thought that this place was a beast and didn’t even know how big it was,” Sinner said, adding in jest: “I was kind of upset my parents never brought me here as a kid.”

Jakob said the recent approval of the city’s Tahoe Valley Area Plan, which includes a “greenbelt,” or pedestrian and bicycle path improvements, will likely bring more attention to the campground.

“We’re excited about that because it could tie into this area,” he explained.

Recent upgrades to the camp spot include its popular playground and four new cabins. There are now seven cabins in total. While small, they sleep up to six people.

“You could live in these things on a regular basis if that was a goal,” Jakob said.

For more information on Tahoe Valley Campground, visit

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