SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif., July 1, 2022 – The Fourth of July holiday is here and marks the busiest time of year in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) has provided the following helpful links and safety tips to ensure a safe holiday weekend at Lake Tahoe. Visit the LTBMU website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and information.
“With the July Fourth weekend upon us, we anticipate a significant number of visitors heading to Lake Tahoe,” said Forest Supervisor, Erick Walker. “Our number one priority is the safety of our employees, residents, visitors, and recreationists. We ask everyone to make smart decisions to ensure a safe visit for all.”
To promote public safety, the annual alcohol prohibition will be in effect at Nevada Beach and Zephyr Cove Resort on July 4, and Chamber’s Landing Beach from July 1-4.
The Forest Order with maps are posted on the LTBMU forest orders webpage. To ensure compliance, these areas will be patrolled by law enforcement personnel from the Forest Service, state and local law enforcement, and private security staff.
Campfires, Charcoal, Fireworks and Fire Restrictions
Wildfire prevention is everyone’s responsibility! Residents and visitors should do their part to keep Tahoe wildfire ready. If you see something, say something by reporting illegal fire activity to 911 immediately. Learn how to Get Prepared, Get Informed and Get Involved at Tahoe Living with Fire.
Enhanced fire restrictions are in effect on National Forest lands at Lake Tahoe. Wood and charcoal fires are only permitted within provided metal fire rings and grills in campgrounds with an onsite host. The Forest Order is posted on the LTBMU forest orders webpage. Unless restricted, portable stoves with on/off valves are allowed with a valid CA Campfire Permit.
All personal use fireworks are illegal in the Lake Tahoe Basin because of the wildfire danger they pose to our communities and forests. Leave the personal use fireworks at home and attend one of the professional displays over Lake Tahoe instead. For information on public events, please view Visit Lake Tahoe and Go Tahoe North.
Camping, Beaches, Picnic Areas and Parking
July 4 is one of the busiest weekends at Lake Tahoe. Visitors should arrive early as parking areas at beaches, trailheads and picnic areas fill up quickly. Campsites should be reserved before traveling to Tahoe and are typically at capacity this time of year. View a list of Lake Tahoe campgrounds. Please keep in mind, camping at Lake Tahoe is only permitted in designated campgrounds. Dispersed or “car camping” is not allowed. View the camping restrictions forest order.
Consider public transportation as holiday traffic causes extremely crowded roads and parking areas. Walk, carpool, or bicycle to avoid limited parking in crowded recreation areas, heavy traffic and delays after the firework displays.
At most developed recreation sites, parking is only permitted in designated parking spaces inside the parking lots, not along the roadway. When parking, do not block road access or narrow lanes, which could delay an emergency response. Where parking on the side of the road is allowed, be careful to not park on vegetation as this causes damage to the environment and can spark a wildfire.
To cover increased security and facility maintenance costs of the holiday, day-use parking fees on July 4 at Baldwin, Pope and Nevada beaches will be $35 and at Zephyr Cove Resort Beach the fee will be $40 per day July 1-4.
Leave No Trace
Trash and debris left behind can be harmful and even fatal to wildlife. It represents a human health hazard and degrades Lake Tahoe. Every year, volunteers pick up thousands of pounds of trash left behind after holiday weekends. Plan ahead and bring a trash bag in case trash cans and dumpsters are full or unavailable. Become part of the solution and pack out your own garbage. Learn more about Leave No Trace Principles.
Consider volunteering for the League to Save Lake Tahoe’s Annual Keep Tahoe Red, White and Blue Beach Clean-Up from 8-11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5, to help clean-up sites all around Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe is bear country. Help keep Tahoe bears wild by properly securing food, garbage, and other scented items. Never approach bears or cubs, always keep your distance. Don’t feed bears or other wildlife, it’s illegal. Feeding wildlife encourages them enter human occupied areas to seek out human food and garbage, and disturbs their natural feeding habits. Bear canisters are highly recommended in the backcountry. Visit Tahoe Bears.Org for more information.
Cold water shock is real and can be life-threatening. Visitors should exercise caution when swimming and participating in water activities at Lake Tahoe. Wearing a life jacket even if you’re a strong swimmer significantly increases your chance of survival. Visit these links to learn more about cold water safety and how to prevent cold water shock.
Caldor Fire Area
Recreationists should use caution when recreating in the 2021 Caldor Fire area. Burned landscapes present numerous safety hazards that either did not exist prior to the fire or have been worsened by the effects of the fire. Hikers and mountain bikers should be on the lookout for falling trees and limbs, ash pits, and burned stump holes and root chambers. Read More.
Backcountry enthusiasts should always tell a family member or friend where they are going, when they expect to return and then stick to the plan. Always check the weather before heading out. Sturdy footwear, proper clothing and gear is essential, and an old-fashioned paper map and compass can come in handy. Always travel with a buddy, never alone. Keep in mind that mobile devices may not work in remote areas. Develop an emergency plan in case you cannot call for help.
Weather in the mountains can change rapidly. Summers are typically warm in the afternoon and cold at night. Afternoon thunderstorms are typical in the summer, and snow is possible during any month of the year. Be prepared for changeable weather and bring clothing that will keep you warm and dry. Always check the forecast before heading out and follow the National Weather Service on social media for the latest updates.
For more information on recreating responsibly, visit Know Before You Go and Recreate Responsibly.
The LTBMU wishes everyone a safe and fun Independence Day!
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