Fourth of July a busy time at Lake Tahoe |

Fourth of July a busy time at Lake Tahoe

The Fourth of July holiday weekend is the busiest time in the Lake Tahoe Basin. For those visiting during the weekend 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. Officials asked residents not to 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 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 are not permitted on National Forest beaches or in the general forest. For those planning to barbecue on the beach, bring gas barbeques instead of charcoal. This will help to reduce the danger of wildfire.

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 Additionally, 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, July 1-6. 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. 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 and the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, 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 fees for the Fourth of July at Pope, Baldwin, and Nevada beaches will be $20 and at Zephyr Cove Beach $25 to cover increased security and facility maintenance costs of the holiday.

Pets are not allowed at National Forest designated swim beaches, including Nevada, Pope, Baldwin, Meeks and William Kent. Leashed pets are welcome at Kiva Picnic Area from Valhalla Boathouse/Pier to Tallac Point in South Lake Tahoe, Echo Lakes on Echo Summit, Zephyr Shoals and Hidden and Chimney beaches on the East Shore, Coon Street Beach (at the boat launch) in King’s Beach, and Kaspian and 64 Acres beaches in Tahoe City. Please pick up after pets and keep them leashed at all times.

Trash and debris left behind after festivities can be harmful and even fatal to wildlife. It presents a human health hazard, and contributes to Lake Tahoe’s loss of clarity. Trash cans may become full, so plan ahead and pack out all garbage. Become part of the solution by volunteering for the League to Save Lake Tahoe’s Annual Keep Tahoe Red, White and Blue beach clean-ups from 9 a.m. to noon on July 5. Clean-up sites include Taylor Creek to the Tallac Historic Site and Regan Beach to Timber Cove on the South Shore, Nevada Beach and Zephyr Shoals on the East Shore, and Commons Beach on the North Shore. For information on volunteering, contact Marilee Movius at 530-541-5388 or email

For more information, visit the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit website at or call 530-543-2694, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., or the Taylor Creek Visitor Center at 530-543-2674 on weekends and holidays.