Forest Service closing Tahoe recreation facilities for winter

Nevada Beach in May 2021. Photo by Lisa Heron of the U.S. Forest Service

Nevada Beach in May 2021. Photo by Lisa Heron of the U.S. Forest Service

The annual process of closing National Forest recreational facilities around the Lake Tahoe Basin for the winter season begins in mid-October, according to the Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

Seasonal closures apply to many recreation areas and sites including beaches, campgrounds, forest roads, parking lots and picnic areas.

Campgrounds managed by Tahoe Recreation, a division of Vista Recreation, will close at noon on Oct. 15, and include Blackwood Canyon, Fallen Leaf, Kaspian, Meeks Bay, Nevada Beach, and William Kent. Beaches managed by Tahoe Recreation will close their gates at 7 p.m. Oct. 14, and include Baldwin, Pope, Meeks Bay, and Nevada beaches. Inspiration Point is scheduled to close on Nov. 30, but may close earlier due to conditions and weather. Bayview Day-Use Area and Trailhead was closed this season due to construction and is scheduled to reopen next season.

The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is scheduled to close on Oct. 22, and the Tallac Historic Site Museum closed on Oct. 1. Please be aware that bears may be highly active in the Highway 89 corridor this time of year. Always keep a safe distance from bears, leave food and other scented items at home, and stay on designated trails.

Camp Richardson Resort’s Badgers Den and Eagles Nest campgrounds have closed for the season and the RV Campground is scheduled to close Nov. 28, conditions and weather permitting. Meeks Bay Resort is scheduled to close Oct. 15, and Zephyr Cove Resort remains open year-round.

For public safety and resource protection, National Forest roads generally begin closing in mid-November. For specific closing dates, consult the LTBMU Motor Vehicle Use Maps. Big Meadow parking area, Genoa Peak Road, Luther Pass Campground, the Sand Pit OHV area, Sawmill Pond, and Watson Lake Campground gates are scheduled to close Nov. 15. Eagle Falls and Secret Harbor gates may close Oct. 31, when portable toilets are scheduled to be removed.

All dates are subject to change due to conditions and weather.

Although facilities close for the winter season, National Forest lands and lake access remain open year-round. During winter months, services such as water, restrooms and trash collection are unavailable. When accessing these areas in the winter, be sure to pack out garbage, pet waste, and everything brought in and used; park legally and avoid blocking closed gates.

“Enjoying our public lands after the seasonal closure of facilities is a great opportunity to experience the solitude of Lake Tahoe,” said Public Services Staff Officer, Daniel Cressy. “It also requires us all to plan ahead and take responsibility for taking care of this special place.”


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