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South Lake Tahoe
Logistical Center

South Lake Tahoe

 
South Lake Tahoe

Page Type: Logistical Center

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.91401°N / 120.00435°W

Object Title: South Lake Tahoe

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope, Bouldering, Ice Climbing, Aid Climbing, Mixed, Scrambling, Skiing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

 

Page By: JasonH

Created/Edited: Jul 23, 2009 / Jul 24, 2009

Object ID: 532542

Hits: 9516 

Page Score: 83.1%  - 16 Votes 

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Overview

 
Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe from Freel Peak.
South Lake Tahoe is a town of 23,609 located on the south shore of Lake Tahoe. The west side of the city is at the junction of US Highway 50 and California State Highway 89 and it stretches to Stateline at the California/Nevada border. The area is a tourist Mecca for both outdoor enthusiast and tourons who visit the area for the casinos in Nevada. During winter the name of the game is skiing, with many great ski resorts surrounding the lake. When the snow melts out there are hundreds of miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking.

For purposes of this page I set the area of South Lake Tahoe from as far north as Tahoma on the west shore and Glenbrook on the east shore. I also included Hope Valley and Desolation Wilderness.

Major Peaks

Freel Peak(10,881 feet): This is the highest peak in the Lake Tahoe Basin, as well as the highpoint of El Dorado County and the Carson Range. It is south of the city of South Lake Tahoe.

Job’s Sister(10,823 feet): This is the second highest peak in the Lake Tahoe Basin and an almost identical twin to Freel Peak.

Jobs Peak(10,633 feet): The forth highest peak in the Lake Tahoe Basin. It is just south east of Jobs Sister.

Monumnet Peak(10,067 feet): South Lake Tahoe is at the base of this massive peak. This is the mountain that Heavenly Ski Resort occupies.

Pyramid Peak(9,983 feet): The alpha peak of Desolation Wilderness and the Crystal Range.

Dicks Peak(9,974 feet): This it the third highest peak in Desolation.

Jacks Peak(9,856 feet): This is the twin peak to Dicks Peak.

Mount Tallac(9,735 feet): Perhaps the most popular mountain top in the entire Lake Tahoe Basin.

Waterhouse Peak(9,497 feet): This large peak is right off of Luther Pass along Highway 89.

Rock Climbing

Eagle Lake Buttress(8,640feet): This isn’t big wall climbing, but the easiest way up is Class 4. It is located in Desolation.

Lovers Leap(6,944 feet): Located just off of Highway 50, west of Echo Summit. It is the areas only big wall.

Phantom Spires(6,000 feet): Less crowded then Lovers Leap, but it still has challenging routes.

Mount Tallac
Mount Tallac



Getting To South Lake Tahoe

Getting to South Lake Tahoe by Car



Getting to South Lake Tahoe From San Francisco: 188 Miles – About 3 Hours.
Take Interstate 80 east towards Sacramento. I-80 crosses the bay with the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge. Stay on 80 as it passes through Vallejo, Fairfield, Vacaville and Davis. Once you reach Sacramento, follow the directions below.

Getting to South Lake Tahoe From Sacramento: 102 Miles – About 2 Hours.  
Kingsbury Grade
 


Take U.S. Highway 50 east to South Lake Tahoe. This is a great drive in the summer time. During winter it is subject to closures during storms and when it clear it is clogged with traffic heading up to ski at one of the many ski areas that ring Lake Tahoe. Highway 50 make a nice gradual climb up the west side of the Sierra Nevada Range, passing the popular rock climbing areas Phantom Spires and Lovers Leap until it tops out at Echo Summit. You then begin a series of hairpin turns as you descend down into the Tahoe Valley. The first town you will get to is Meyers, which is just north of the junction of Highways 50 and 89. Keep driving on Highway 50/89 for about 5 miles until you 50 and 89 split again in South Lake Tahoe.


An alternate route from Sacramento would be to take Interstate 80 east towards Truckee and Reno
and follow the directions listed below for Truckee. Interstate 80 is a nice route head up. It travels
through Donnor Pass to other climbing and hiking areas such as Castle Peak and Mount Lola.


Getting to South Lake Tahoe From Reno and Carson City: 60 Miles – About 1 hour from reno and 28 Miles – About half an hours from Carson City
Take U.S. Highway 50 west to Stateline and South Lake Tahoe. When you get to Glenbrook Highway 50 turns south and follows the east shore of Lake Tahoe. Shortly after passing over the State Line (this will be easy to notice because the California side lacks the casinos.), you will find yourself in South Lake Tahoe.


Getting to South Lake Tahoe From Truckee: 46 Miles – About 1 hour.
Take Highway 89 south from Interstate 80. This is a wonderful and scenic drive that takes you past Squaw Valley and along the west shore of Lake Tahoe. Shortly after passing the Tahoe Keys, Highway 89 and Highway 50 connect in the city of South Lake Tahoe



Airports




Lake Tahoe Airport: 1901 Airport Road, South Lake Tahoe, California 96150, (530) 541-4082. The Lake Tahoe Airport is located in Tahoe Valley between Meyers and the city of South Lake Tahoe. It can actually be seen from the summit of most of the peaks surrounding South Lake Tahoe, but it is a small airport and probably more expensive to fly into.

Truckee-Tahoe Airport: 10356 Truckee Airport Rd, Truckee, CA 96161, (530) 587-4119. This airport is a lot like the Lake Tahoe airport. No airlines fly into it.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO): 2001 E. Plumb Lane, Reno, NV 89502, 775) 328-6400. This airport is located in Reno and is the closest major airport to the whole Lake Tahoe Basin. Most major U.S. carriers fly into Reno.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO): San Francisco International Airport is located approximately 13 miles south of San Francisco, near the junction of Highways 101 and 380. SFO is located in San Francisco and is about three and a half hours form Lake Tahoe. Not as convenient as Sacramento or Reno-Tahoe, but for international travelers it is the only real option outside of LAX. Other options in the Bay Area are Oakland International and San Jose International Airports.

Sacramento International Airport (SMF):This airport is located north west of Sacramento, and is the biggest airport within two hours drive of Lake Tahoe. Sacramento International has all the major U.S. airlines as well as a few international carriers.


Public Transportation



Bluego: This is the largest transit system in the South Lake Tahoe area. It offers routes around the city, south to Meyers. It has a bus that travels as far north on Highway 89 to the town or Tahoma on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. Bluego also routes on the east shore in Nevada, that go to Zephyr Cove, Kingsbury, Gardnerville, and Carson City. Fares are $2.00 one way, with the option to buy discounted passes.

TAHOE AREA REGIONAL TRANSIT : This is the main public bus line for the north shore. It offers routes for Truckee, Incline Village, Tahoe City and Tahoma. Fares are $1.75 one-way, with the option to buy discounted passes.

Douglas Area Rapid Transit: DART offers Dial-a-Ride transportation for seniors, special needs, and the general public, in the Carson Valley. Advance rides requests are required.

Eastern Sierra Transit Authority: This bus service operates on Highway 395 on the east side of the Sierra Nevada from Reno in the north to Lancaster in the south. Fares are based on starting point and the destination. Discount passes are available.


Shuttle Buses and Charters

Discover Lake Tahoe: 1-530-542-1080
Lake Tahoe Tours: 1-888-838-8923
Tahoe Ski Shuttle: 1-866-374-8855


Getting to South Lake Tahoe by Bus



Greyhound Bus Lines: Greyhound is the largest bus carrier in the United States. It has direct routes to South Lake Tahoe, with stations in South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and Reno. You can also use Amador Stage Lines

Greyhound Bus Lines South Lake Tahoe:
4123 Laurel Ave
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 543-1050

Greyhound Bus Lines Truckee:
GLASFORMS GLASS BLOWING
10065 DONNER PASS RD
GALLERY
Truckee (e), CA 96161
(530) 587-3822

Greyhound Bus Lines Reno:
155 Stevenson St
Reno, NV 89503
(775) 322-2970

Amador Stage Lines: This is a small carrier that has buses from Sacramento to the Sierra foothills and the Lake Tahoe area. The South Tahoe Express goes between The Reno/Tahoe Airport and South Lake Tahoe.


Getting to South Lake Tahoe by Train



Amtrak: Amtrak is the only major passenger train service in the United States. Unfortunately Amtrak doesn’t have a direct line to South Lake Tahoe, but the California Zephyr line stops in Truckee and Reno. From these stops you can catch a Amtrak bus down to South Lake Tahoe.

Amtrak Truckee Station:
10065 Donner Pass Rd
Truckee, CA 96161-0409

Amtrak Sparks Station :
280 N. Center St
Reno, NV 89501

Amtrak South Lake Tahoe Bus Station :
1000 Emerald Bay Rd (US Highway 50/89)
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96151
Location: South Y Transit Station

Amtrak Stateline Bus Station : Currently the stop is located at Harvey's Casino, Bus Area, on the north side of Stateline Avenue and Lake Tahoe Blvd




Red Tape

Red Tape for Lake Tahoe Basin Unit



Permits
You do not need a permit to hike or camp inside the Lake Tahoe Basin Unit. However you will need a permit for campfires, fuel cutting, cutting Christmas trees, Sno-Park, special use, and Wilderness Use (see Desolation Wilderness. Campfire permits are required for stoves, lanterns, charcoal barbecues, or wood campfire outside of developed campgrounds. They are free of charge and are available at Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest Supervisor's Office or the Taylor Creek Visitor Center. For information about the other permit requirements, visit the Lake Tahoe Basin Unit site.

Quotas
There are no quotas for areas outside of Wilderness boundaries.

Miscellaneous Red Tape
1. Be aware of your surroundings. There are many private withholding within the Lake Tahoe Basin Unit. Some people may not mind people hiking across their land, but more often then not they will mind.
2. Certain trails allow mountain biking. Make sure the trail you are going to take allows mountain bikes, some don’t. For example, you can ride your bike on the Tahoe Rim Trail up to the Freel Peak Trail junction. But you may not take the bike up the Freel Peak Trail.
3. Dogs must be on a leash at all times.

For a list of rules and regulations, visit the Lake Tahoe Basin Unit site.



Red Tape for Desolation Wilderness



Permits
Plenty of red tape here. First off, you need a permit to enter Desolation Wilderness year round. Whether you are going in as a daytrip or an overnighter. For day trips during the summer, the permit is free and you can pick it up at the major trailheads or at one of the nearby ranger stations. For a day trip during winter the trailheads are shut down and you must pick up your permit at a ranger station. If you are planning on going into Desolation overnight you must pick up your permit at one of the ranger stations listed below and you are subject to fees.  
Desolation Wilderness Boundary
Typical Desolation Wilderness Marker.


Quotas
There is a quota for overnight users from the Friday before Memorial Day to September 30th of every year due to heavy use of Desolation Wilderness. The quota is based on the number of people entering the wilderness each day, and their first night's destination zone. 50% of the quota is based on reservation and the remainder is based on first-come, first served on the day of entry. The quota system does not pertain to day trips or off-season overnighters.

Miscellaneous Red Tape
1. Campfires are prohibited inside Desolation Wilderness.
2. The maximum number of people per group, day trip or overnighter is 12.
3. Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
4. Check in with the ranger stations for campground restrictions.




Major Trailheads

Pyramid Creek Trailhead
 


Desolation Wilderness Trailheads

These trailheads service the west side of Desolation.

Loon Lake (6,390'): The trailhead is located on the south shore of Loon Lake near the Loon Lake Dam. To get to the trailhead take Ice House Road and follow it for 28 miles until you see a sign that says ”Loon Lake Forest Service Campground”. Take a right here and follow the road for another 1/4 mile to the parking lot. The Loon Lake Trail heads south from the trailhead, while a trailhead north, and follows the lake shore and eventually joins with the Rubicon Trail.

Buck Island (6,180'): This trailhead is near the northern border of Desolation at Buck Island Lake. Buck Island Lake is only accessible by trail or the Rubicon OHV Trail.

Van Vleck (6,560'): This Trailhead is remote and can be hard to find. To get to the trailhead take Ice House Road and follow it for 23 miles to the Robbs Saddle area. Take a right turn and travel 5 miles east on the Tells Creek/Cheese Camp Road (Forest Road 36). Once you reach a fork in the road, take the right fork. Go 5 miles to the plowed parking area at the entrance to the campground road. Both of the trails that leave this trailhead, head into the northwestern part of the wilderness.

Rockbound (6,960'): The Rockbound Trailhead is located on the west shore of Wrights Lake. From Highway 50 drive 7 miles up the Wrights Lake Road, turn left onto Union Road “F” and drive that road for little over a quarter mile until you reach your trial head. There are many trails out of here, but this is the fastest way to reach Rockbound Pass in the Crystal Range.

Twin Lakes (6,960'): Like Rockbound Trailhead this trailhead is located at Wrights Lake, but this one is on the west shore. To reach this trailhead drive 7 miles up the Wrights Lake Road from Highway 50, but instead of turning left at the intersection at Wrights Lake, turn right onto Union Road “J”. Follow Road J for close to a mile to the end of the road and the parking lot. From this trailhead you can either hike to the Grouse Lake Trail or hike to Twin Lakes.

 
The Trailhead
Lyons Creek Trailhead

Lyons Creek (6,740') This trail head is located just off of Writes Lake Road. From Highway 50 drive for 4 miles up the narrow single lane road until you get to the trailhead, which will be on the right side of the road. This is a popular trailhead for climbing Mount Price, Mount Agassiz and Pyramid Peak. There are self-issue day permits available here.

Pyramid Creek (Twin Bridges) (6,120'): This trailhead is located just off of Highway 50, and is imposable to miss. It is located in horseshoe bend just before Highway 50 climbs up to Echo Summit. Just look for the tourons staring at the waterfall. This is a popular trailhead for climbing Pyramid Peak. There are self-issue day permits available here.

Ralston (6,520'): This trailhead is located just off of Highway 50, about 1 mile east of the Pyramid Creek (Twin Bridges) trailhead. Look for a turnoff on the north side of the road in Camp Sacramento. This is a popular trailhead for climbing Mount Ralston and hiking into Desolation Valley.

These trailheads service the east side of Desolation.

Echo Lakes (7,500'): This Trailhead is located at the eastern end of Lower Echo Lake near the Echo Lake Chalet. To get there take Highway 50 to Echo Summit. From Highway 50 turn on to Johnson Pass Road. Drive on Johnson Pass Road and turn north onto Echo Lakes Road. After a little more then a half of a mile you will see a large parking area, this is where you park. The Pacific Crest Trail/Tahoe Rim Trail passes thorough here, and goes along the north shore of the two Echo Lakes into Desolation Wilderness. You can also catch a water taxi here that will cut about 2.5 miles off your trip, but it will set you back about $10.00 per person, one way. This is a popular trailhead for hiking into Desolation Valley. Warning:, according to Google maps, Echo Lakes is known as Lily Lake.

Glen Alpine (6,540'): The Glen Alpine Trailhead is located at the southern end of Fallen Leaf Lake. To reach it, take Highway 89 north, just after passing Camp Richardson, turn left on Fallen Leaf Road. Head down Fallen Leaf Road for 4.8 miles and turn left onto Glen Alpine Road. After about 1.2 miles you will reach a small parking area close to the gate stops traffic at Lily Lake. This is a good trailhead to reach the heart of Desolation Wilderness quickly as well as a trailhead for the Glen Alpine Trail route up Mount Tallac.

Mount Tallac (6,436'): This might be the most popular trailhead for climbing Mount Tallac. The trailhead is located about 1.1 miles from Highway 89 at a large parking area at the southern end of Mount Tallac Road “A”. This is a very popular trailhead, because it gives you the quickest way to the top of Mount Tallac as well as quick access to the heart of Desolation Wilderness. You can pick up a day use permit at this trailhead.

Bayview (6,860'): This trailhead is just off of Highway 89, near Inspiration Point Vista and Bayview campground. Bayview is just outside of the wilderness boundary and is the trailhead for climbing Maggies Peaks as well as hiking into the Velma Lakes area.

Eagle Falls (6,600'): The Eagle Falls trail head is located just north of Bayview along Highway 89 at the west end of Emerald Bay. This trailhead is popular for quick access to Dick and Jacks Peaks and getting to Velma Lakes. There is a $3.00 a day charge to park here and the lot can fill up early on summer weekends.

Meeks Bay (6,230'): This is the northern most trailhead to get into Desolation. It is also the northern terminus of the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail. The trailhead is located just off Highway 89 near the Meeks Bay campground. From the trailhead it is a six-mile hike to Lake Genevieve in the Northeastern corner of the wilderness.


Trailheads off Highway 50

Echo Summit (7,380'): This trailhead is located at the top of Echo 
Echo Summit
Echo Summit
Summit where the Pacific Crest Trail/Tahoe Rim Trail crosses Highway 50. Look for a turn out on the south side of the road when you reach Echo Summit, there will be and easy to spot sign when heading up both ways. If you head north from here you can get to Desolation Wilderness. Hiking south will take you to Little Round Top and Carson Pass.

Fountain Place (Trout Creek) (7,800'): This trailhead allows for the quickest access for climbing Freel Peak and Job’s Sister. You can either take the Trout Creek Route or take the trail to Armstrong Pass and catch the Tahoe Rim Trail. To get to the trailhead, take Highway 50/89 to Meyers. When you get to the town of Meyers look for a road called Pioneer Trail. Turn onto Pioneer Trail and look for Oneidas Street and turn right. Shortly after passing a small group of houses Oneidas Street turns into a one-lane road for the next 4.5 miles. When you see a gate blocking your way find a place to park along the road.

Kingsbury Grade South (7,520'): Kingsbury South is located 1.4 miles south of Nevada Highway 207 at the southern end of Tramway Drive. This trailhead is used for the Tahoe Rim Trail and for climbing Monument Peak. The trail section of the Tahoe Rim Trail ends here, but you can pick it up again at the Kingsbury Grade North trailhead.

Kingsbury Grade North (7,780'): This trailhead is about 1.8 miles north of Highway 207 on Castle Rock Road. To reach the trailhead, take North Benjamin Drive north form the 207. Stay on this road, but beware that the road changes its name from North Benjamin Dr to Andria Dr to Castle Rock Road along the way. The trail section of the Tahoe Rim Trail ends here, but you can pick it up again at the Kingsbury Grade South trailhead.


Trailheads off Highway 89

Hawley Grade (6,400'): This minor trailhead is located at the southern end of Hawley Grade Road, near Luther Pass. To reach it, turn west onto South Upper Truckee Road. After 1.1 miles turn left onto Hawley Grade. The Trailhead is .3 mile at the end of the road. The only trail here is the Hawley Grade Trail, which heads up to Echo Summit. If you are feeling adventurous you could follow the Truckee River cross-country to Little Round Top.

Bridge Road (6,400'): Like the close by Hawley Grade Trail head this is another minor trailhead. To reach it, turn east onto South Upper Truckee Road. After .9 miles turn left onto Bridge Road. The Trailhead is .3 mile at the end of the road. The only trail that leaves heads southbound and links up with the Tahoe Rim Trail near Round Lake.

Big Meadow (7,300'): This trailhead is located along Highway 89 at the eastern terminus of Upper Truckee Road, about 3.3 miles west of Luther Pass or 5.2 miles south of the Highways 50/89 junction at Meyers. This trailhead is used mostly for Tahoe Rim Trail users, because the TRT crosses 89 here. Or you can use this trail head to climb up the west ridge of Waterhouse Peak.

Grass Lake (7,715'): This trailhead is used mostly for the Tahoe Rim Trail. It is located along Highway 89, about 1.8 miles west of Luther Pass or 6.7 miles south of the Highways 50/89 junction at Meyers. Like Big Meadow, this trailhead can be used for climbing Waterhouse Peak, this time by the north face.




When To Climb

Year round. I think the best time to climb and hike in the Lake Tahoe area is late July to late October. But late July (in normal years) most of the snow is melted out and Mosquitoes have cleared out for the most part. During the summer months temperatures rarely get about 80° F or drop below 40° F at night. By November the weather changes dramatically with high temperatures around 47° F and lows about 22° F.

Usually the heavy snows start in November. Highways 89 and 50 generally stay opened, only closed during strong snowstorms. But a lot of the secondary roads that lead up to the trailheads close shortly after the snow starts. The exceptions to this being the roads that lead to the many ski resorts.




Camping and Lodging

Camping


 
Star Lake Campsite
 

There is no shortage of camping near South Lake Tahoe. There are campgrounds to suit everyone’s taste from car camping, RVing, to backcountry camping. For car camping and RV’s you can find both publicly privately owned campgrounds. Lake Tahoe is a very popular area and from Memorial Day to Labor Day, I highly recommend getting a reservation well in advance.

If back country camping is your camping of choice you will have know problems finding a spot. There is Desolation Wilderness on the west side (see Red Tape) Most of the rest of the area is controlled by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. But there is privately owned land throughout the area, so just be careful where you camp.


Campgrounds along or off of Highway 50

Loon Lake (6,390'): This campground is on the south shore of Loon Lake, near the the Loon Lake Trailhead. It is operated by, the US Forest Service.

Van Vleck (6,560'): This campground is located at the Van Vleck Bunkhouse, near the Van Vleck Trailhead. It is operated by, the US Forest Service.

Wrights Lake (6,941'): There are two campgrounds at Wrights Lake, both are on the south end of Wrights Lake, near the the Wrights Lake Trailhead. Both the Wrights Lake Campground and the Wrights Lake Equestrian Campground are operated by, the US Forest Service.

Lovers Leap (6,000'): Located at the base of Lovers Leap. This campground is operated by, the US Forest Service.

Lake Tahoe KOA (6,400'): The place to park the RV. This is a national chain of “Kampgrounds”.

Tahoe Valley (6,400'): Located in near the Highway 50 and 89 “Y”. This is a privately owned campground that looks popular with the RV crowd.

Campground by the Lake (6,400'): Located in downtown South Lake Tahoe. This is a privately owned campground is well suited for RV crowd, tent sites are available along with tent cabins.

Nevada Beach (6,400'): Operated by the US Forest Service. It is located in Nevada just north of Edgewood golf course.

Zephyr Cove (6,400'): This privately owned campground is in Nevada at Zephyr Cove. It has more RV sites then tent sites.


Campgrounds along Highway 89

Camp Richardson (6,400'): This privately owned campground/resort has a little of everything. You can tent camp or park an RV. Camp Richardson has its own gear shop, grocery store, marina, restaurant, and most importantly a ice cream parlor.  
Camp Richardson
 


Fallen Leaf (6,360'): Located on the north shore of Fallen Leaf Lake. This campground is operated by the California Land Management Services.

Camp Shelly (6,360'): Located near the Mount Tallac Trailhead. Camp Shelly is operated, by the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District.

Bayview (6,860'): Located at the Bayview trailhead and really close to the Desolation Wilderness boundary. This campground is operated by the California Land Management Services

Emerald Bay State Park (6,480'): There are a lot of campsites available ate Emerald Bay SP, but it is very popular, so reservations are a must. The campgrounds are run by California State Parks.

D.L Bliss State Park (6,600'): D.L Bliss SP is just north of Emerald Bay SP and is very popular. Like all State Parks, the campgrounds are run by California State Parks.

Meeks Bay (6,230'): This campground located on the southwestern shore of Meeks Bay has 40 tent sites. Meeks Bay campground is operated by the California Land Management Services.

Meeks Bay Resort (6,230'): This resort on the northwest shore of Meeks Bay has lodging, cabins, RV and tent sites. There is also a marina, amphitheatre, store, and a snack bar.

Sugar Pine Point State Park (6,200'): This large campground has 175 sites and is located at Sugar Pine Point SP, just south of Tahoma. The campground is run by California State Parks.

Kit Carson (6,900): This campground is small at only 12 sites, but is far from the hustle and bustle of Lake Tahoe, in Hope Valley. Kit Carson is run by, the US Forest Service.

Snowshoe Springs (6,900): Just a little bit larger than its neighbor Kit Carson, at 13 sites. It is also run by, the US Forest Service.

The campgrounds listed above are not the only campgrounds in the area. This site has a list of all campgrounds in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Lodging



Lake Tahoe, along with being an Outdoors person’s heaven it is also a tourist magnet. Because of numerous ski areas, mild summers and casinos there are countless motels, hotels and cabins. They range from lowly motor lodges to casino motels to luxury resorts. This website is useful in planning a trip to the Tahoe area no matter what time of year it is. There are a lot of lodging options in the South Lake Tahoe area, too many to list. Due to Tahoe being a year round playground. I highly recommend getting reservations any time you plan on using a motel. The hotels listed below got high Customer Rating rankings at Orbitz. (for South Lake Tahoe listings).


Lodging in South Lake Tahoe
 
Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort
 

There are many lodging choices for South Lake Tahoe. But they fill up fast on weekends and holidays.

Marriott's Timber Lodge
4100 Lake Tahoe Boulevard (US Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-542-6600
Fax: 1-530-542-6610

3 Peaks Resort & Beach Club
931 Park Avenue
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-500-4886

Marriott's Timber Lodge
4100 Lake Tahoe Boulevard (US Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-542-6600
Fax: 1-530-542-6610

Best Western Timber Cove Lodge
3411 Lake Tahoe Boulevard (US Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-541-6722
Fax: 1-530-541-7959





Inn By The Lake
3300 Lake Tahoe Boulevard (US Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-542-0330

Holiday Inn Express South Lake Tahoe
3961 Lake Tahoe Boulevard (US Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-877-863-4780


Lodging in State Line

This small town, just over the border in Nevada is know for its casinos more than anything.  
Oh Boy, Casinos
 


Harveys Lake Tahoe
50 US Highway 50
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-775-588-6211

Harrahs Lake Tahoe Hotel & Casino
15 US Highway 50
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-775-588-6611

Montbleu Resort Casino and Spa
55 US Highway 50
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-775-588-3515

Horizon Casino Resort
50 US Highway 50
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-800-648-3322

Lakeside Inn & Casino
168 US Highway 50
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-800-624-7980


Lodging in Tahoma

Tahoma is a small town located halfway up the west shore of Lake Tahoe.

Tahoma Lodge
7018 W. Lake Boulevard
Tahoma, California 96142
Phone: 1-866-819-2226

Meeks Bay Resort
7941 Emerald Bay Road (US Highway 50)
Meeks Bay, California 96142
Phone: 1-877-326-3357


Lodging in Hope Valley

Located less the 20 miles south of South Lake Tahoe. Hope Valley is worlds apart.

Sorensen's Resort
14255 Highway 88
Hope Valley, California 96120
Phone: 1-530-694-2203






Food, Gas, and Supplies

Places to eat



A Must Stop
 


South Lake Tahoe is tourist Mecca, any time of the year. So finding a place to eat is the least of your worries. You can find anything you want, from big chain fast food and Dennys to 5 star restaurants. There is little hamburger stands, pizza joints, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, California cuisine, and the list goes on and on and on. So without showing everything there is, I have decided to add one Pizza place, one Mexican food place, one hamburger joint, and maybe one more.


Places to eat in Meyers

Meyers is a small community, so there aren’t a lot of choices. But the choices below have gotten good reviews

Bob Dog Pizza: This place offers typical pizza parlor foods, at decent prices, but pints are only $2.50 and they sell pizza by the slice. Plus they are open until 9:00 PM.
3141 US Highway 50, Suite C2
Meyers Station
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-577-2364

Meyers Downtown Cafe: I have never been here, but this place gets good reviews.
3200 US Highway 50
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-573-0228

El Papagayo Grill & Cafe: Once again, I have never been here, but hear good things, and Mexican food is hard to beat.
3132 US Highway 50
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-577-3344


Places to eat in South Lake Tahoe

Red Hut Café: Breakfast, brunch and Hamburgers are the name of the game here.
723 Lake Tahoe Blvd (US Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
1-530-541-9024

Evan's American Gourmet Cafe
536 Emerald Bay Rd (US Highway 89)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
1-530-542-1990

Taqueria Jalisco: I hear this is a local favorite.
3097 Harrison Ave
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
1-530-541-6516

Lake Tahoe Pizza:
1168 Emerald Bay Rd (US Highway 50/89)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
1-530-544-1919

Here is a link to a site with reviews to 127 restaurants in South Lake Tahoe.

Places to eat in State Line

Fox & Hound Bar & Grill
237 Tramway Dr
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-775-588-8887

Taberna Mexican Restaurant
168 US Highway 50
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-775-588-7777

Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe: Overpriced, but cool atmosphere. It is located on the second floor of Harveys Lake Tahoe casino.
18 US Highway 50
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-775-588-6200

Here is a link to a site with reviews to 33 restaurants in South Lake Tahoe.

Places to eat in Carson City

In-N-Out Burger: I know this isn’t really South Lake Tahoe, but if you are coming from Reno, this place is rad.
957 Topsy Lane
Carson Valley, Nevada 89705


Places that brew Beer

Something near and dear to my heart.
 
The Brewery
The Brewery at Lake Tahoe

The Brewery at Lake Tahoe: From personal experience I recommend the Needle Peak Ale and the Indian Pale Ale. I will make it a point to visit again soon and report back. Make sure to ask for a free “Drink Tahoe Brew” sticker.
3542 Lake Tahoe Boulevard (US Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-544-2739

Mt Tallac Brewing Company
2060 Eloise Avenue
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-541-7405


Coffee Houses

Fellow addicts rejoice. There are plenty of places to get your fix.

Alpina Cafe
822 Emerald Bay Road (US Highway 89)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-541-7449
Hours: Sun-Sat 6am-5pm

Wild Man Coffee Tea & More
3894 Pioneer Trail
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-543-1200

900 Ski Run Blvd Unit 111
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Phone: 1-530-543-1210

Tahoe Java Cafe
2540 Lake Tahoe Boulevard (US Highway 50) #7
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-542-1474

Starbucks Coffee 
Tahoe Java Cafe
 

4000 Lake Tahoe Boulevard (US Highway 50) #24
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-543-3391

1064 Emerald Bay Road (US Highway 89)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-544-4490

1020 Johnson Boulevard
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-542-7740

And many More.


Groceries




Meyers

Liras Supermarket
2977 US Highway 50
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-577-5399


South Lake Tahoe

Safeway: A true supermarket. It has a little of everything you need. Food, firewood, beer and a Starbucks. A little on the expensive side.
1020 Johnson Lane
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-542-7740

Raley's Supermarket: Like the Safeway listed above, but not as expensive and no Starbucks. But there is a Peet’s.
1040 Emerald Bay Road (Highway 50/89)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530- 541-5230

4000 Lake Tahoe Boulevard (US Highway 50) #24
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-544-3417


Meyers

Camping, hiking, and Climbing Supplies: You can get basic supplies, like propane, ice, and beer at the Chevron Station. But you will probably pay more.

Post Office:

US Post Office
128 Apache Ave
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150-9992
1-530-577-5287


South Lake Tahoe

Camping, hiking, and Climbing Supplies: The supermarkets listed above will have most the supplies you would need to camp, but probably not tent, sleeping bags and other. Unfortunately there isn’t squat for stores that climbing gear in South Lake, but getting a pair of skis isn’t an issue.

Tahoe Sports Ltd: More of a board shop.
4000 Lake Tahoe Boulevard # 7 (Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530- 542-4000

Mountain Mikes Tees & Skis: Ski, snowboard, and snowshoe rentals.
1219 Emerald Bay Road (Highway 50/89)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530- 5 4 4 - 4 7 8 3

For Climbing gear the closest place I know of is REI in Folsom.
REI Folsom:
2425 Iron Point Road
Folsom, California 95630
Phone: 1-916- 817-8944


Post Office:

US Post Office
950 Emerald Bay Rd (US Highway 50/89)
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150-9997
1-530-541-4365

Laundry:

High Sierra Coin Laundry
2180 Lake Tahoe Blvd (US Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
1-530-544-8997

Al Tahoe Laundry
3111 Harrison Ave
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
1-530-541-5312

Tahoe Keys Laundromat
Ste 2
2301 Lake Tahoe Blvd (US Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
1-530-541-1848

Lake Tahoe Laundry Works
1024 Emerald Bay Rd, (US Highway 50/89)
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
1-530-541-4745


Gas


 
Highway 50 Chevron Station
 

Lowest Gas Prices in South Lake Tahoe



South Lake Tahoe Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com



Meyers

LC Biofuels 
Chevron Station
 

Roadrunner Gas and Liquor
2933 Emerald Bay Rd, (US Highway 50/89)
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Chevron
2986 Emerald Bay Rd, (US Highway 50/89)
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

South Lake Tahoe

Chevron
3651 Lake Tahoe Blvd (US Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

7-Eleven
2620 Lake Tahoe Blvd (US Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Mobil
2304 Lake Tahoe Blvd (US Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

7-Eleven
800 Emerald Bay Rd, (US Highway 50/89)
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

State Line

Exxon
217 Kingsbury Grade
Stateline, Nevada 89449



Hospitals and Clinics

Hey accidents happen. So here is the place to go.

Barton Memorial Hospital: This hospital located just east of the Highway 50/89 “Y” has a 24 hour emergency room.
2170 South Avenue
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-541-3420
Emergencies 911





Maps

Maps

• USGS 7 1/2-minute Freel Peak, South Lake Tahoe, Echo Lake
• USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Map
Tom Harrison Maps: Lake Tahoe Recreation Map
Tom Harrison Maps: Desolation Wilderness Map



South Lake Tahoe Conditions

Caltrans Current Highway Conditions.

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

El Dorado National Forest

Updated Weather Information












Your weather just got better.











Contact Information

Ranger Stations



 
Pacific Ranger Station
Pacific Ranger Station.
PACIFIC RANGER DISTRICT
Located four miles east of Pollock Pines on Highway 50 (Take a left at the "Fresh Pond" sign).
7887 Highway 50, Pollock Pines, CA 95726
Phone: (530) 644-6048
Winter: Weekdays only. Monday through Saturday as of late April.
Summer: 7 days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through October.



TAYLOR CREEK (LAKE TAHOE) VISITOR'S CENTER
Located three miles north of the Highway 50/89 junction at South Lake Tahoe, on Highway 89.
Call for hours, phone: (530) 543-2674
Open summer only.



LAKE TAHOE BASIN MANAGEMENT UNIT
Located two miles east of the Highway 50/89 junction in South Lake Tahoe on Highway 50. From the highway turn right on Al Tahoe Blvd. and then turn right at first signal.
35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150.
Phone: (530) 543-2600



D.L. Bliss State Park
Located ten and a half miles north of the Highway 50/89 junction at South Lake Tahoe, on Highway 89.
P. O. Box 266, Tahoma, CA 96142.
Phone: (530) 525-7277


 
Taylor Creek Visitor Center
Taylor Creek Visitor Center
Lake Tahoe Visitor Center
Taylor Creek Visitor Center Permit Station.



Other Things To Do

Skiing



Ski Resorts: During the winter months the name of game is skiing. Most of the big ski resorts are on the north shore or around Donner Lake. But two of the best are near South Lake Tahoe.  
Heavely
 


Heavenly The biggest ski resort in the area. Heavnly has the highest mountain of all the Tahoe area. It takes up all of Monumnet Peak. It is also the closest resort to South Lake Tahoe, The base of the peak is right at the southeastern edge of the city.



Sierra At Tahoe: This is  
Sierra at Tahoe
 
resort is on the other side of Echo Summit along Highway 50. It is also the first resort you reach when driving from Sacramento.



Cross Country: There are a lot of places to cross country ski areas near South Lake Tahoe.

South Shore
Echo Lakes
Taylor Creek
West Shore



Back Country Skiing: Most of the peaks near South Lake Tahoe are good for back country skiing. Just be careful of the avalanche conditions. Some of the better know peaks for skiing are Mount Tallac and Pyramid Peak in Desolation Wilderness.




Mountain Biking: South Lake Tahoe is popular in the summer time with mountain biking. Most of the Tahoe Rim Trail along the east shore is open to mountain biking. This link.: has a list of trails

Mountain Biking Red Tap





 
Lake Tahoe
 
Boating: Lake Tahoe is a big lake and it is very popular with boaters and water skiers in the summer time. Boating is also popular on Fallen Leaf Lake and Echo Lakes. Boaters who want to launch watercraft at Meeks Bay and Echo Lakes boat launch facilities will be subject to boat inspections involving the boat hull, engine, live well, bilge and trailer. Boaters who want to launch small watercraft (canoes, kayaks, rafts or other vessels that can be carried by hand) at developed recreation sites are subject to AIS screening or boat inspection.

Lake Tahoe:

South Lake Tahoe Boat Ramps:

El Dorado Boat Ramp
Lakeview Ave. at Lake Tahoe Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Closed for the 2009 season due to low lake level

Lakeside Marina
4041 Lakeshore Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530- 541-9800
Launch Fees: 20 dollars each way

Tahoe Keys Marina
2435 Venice Drive
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530- 541-2155
Launch Fees: Ramp -- Round trip - 35 dollars; Season Pass - 600 dollars
Fork Lift -- 18 dollars per foot, per lift Dry Sail -- Call to inquire.
Travel Lift -- 24 dollars per foot, per lift (max. 40 tons)



Meeks Bay Marina
7941 Emerald Bay Road (Highway 89)
Meeks Bay, California 96150
Phone: 1-530- 525-5588
Launch Fees: One way - 15 dollars; Round-trip - 25 dollars

Boat Rentals:

Tahoe Keys Boat Rental
2435 Venice Drive E # 91
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-544-8888

Ski Run Boat Co
900 Ski Run Blvd # 101
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-544-0200

All boats being launched at Lake Tahoe must now be inspected for invasive species prior to launch. Inspection fees will range from $10 to $60 depending on the facility and size of your boat. Most boaters will pay $30.

Low lake level may be an issue in using some of these facilities in 2009.


Fallen Leaf Lake:

Fallen Leaf Marina
400 Fallen Leaf Rd
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-544-0787

Echo Lakes:

Echo Chalet Marina
9900 Echo Lakes Road
Echo Lakes, California 95721
Phone: 1-530-659-7207
Launch Fees: $20.00 - any trailered or motorized boat
$10.00 - car-top boat or inflatable, non-motorized
$ 5.00 - Canoes, Kayaks,



Golf:South Lake Tahoe is a wonderful place to golf. There is everything form miniature golf to a full-blown PGA tour course. 
Mount Tallac
Lake Tahoe Golf Course.



Lake Tahoe Golf Course: I think this is the best course I have ever golfed. It is pretty expensive though , at $84.00 for 18 holes and a cart.
2500 Emerald Bay Road (Highway 50/89)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-577-0788

Tahoe Paradise: This course is a much cheaper alternative to Lake Tahoe Golf Course.
3021 Emerald Bay Road (Highway 50/89)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-577-2121

Bijou: This 9 hole course is located in the heart of South Lake Tahoe.
3464 Fairway Ave (US Highway 50)
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 1-530-542-6097

Edgewood: This is where the pros play. And that is why is can be as much as $240.00 for 18 holes.
100 Lake Parkway (US Highway 50)
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-775-588-3566






Gambling: Good luck.

Harveys Lake Tahoe
50 US Highway 50
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-775-588-6211

Harrahs Lake Tahoe Hotel & Casino
15 US Highway 50
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-775-588-6611

Montbleu Resort Casino and Spa
55 US Highway 50
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-775-588-3515

Horizon Casino Resort
50 US Highway 50
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-800-648-3322

Lakeside Inn & Casino
168 US Highway 50
Stateline, Nevada 89449
Phone: 1-800-624-7980



Special Events: I’ve included this section because I learned the hard way that is a good idea to know whats going on at your destination before you get there, when I got stuck behind one of the 60th annual Wagon Trains. Bothtahoebest.com and virtualtahoe.com have information on events at Lake Tahoe.




Further Information

Books



California County Summits

External Links



National Forest

El Dorado National Forest
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest


State Parks

Emerald Bay
D.L. Bliss
Washoe Meadows
Lake Valley SRA
Ed Z'berg - Sugar Pine Point


Other Outside Links

Keep Tahoe Blue
Lake Tahoe Average Temperatures


Useful Summitpost Links



Lake Tahoe Basin
Tahoe OGUL Peak List
Sierra Nevada



Etymology

South Lake Tahoe(Community California: El Dorado
Emerald Bay
South Lake Tahoe
In the middle 1850’s what is now called “State Line” was the location of William W. “Billy”Lapham’s Hotel and Landing. The name “Laphams is on Goddard’s earliest map. (Goddard, Sierra.)

In 1965 voters of the south shore California communities of Tahoe Valley, Al Tahoe, Bijou, and Stateline decided to unite as the city of South Lake Tahoe. It was hoped that some of the beauty and alpine quality of the area could still be saved from the rampant, unplanned development being permitted by the county. The first mayor of the new city, W. Brad Murphy, pledged himself to block further “hodgepodge” urbanization. Land Developers, realtors, and gambling interest have prevailed, and growth continues to be the pivotal question. (Strong 125-26.) The South Lake Tahoe post office opened March 24, 1967. (Salley, 209.)


Barbara Lekisch, Tahoe Place Names


Jobs Sister
Jobs Sister


Pyramid Peak
Pyramid Peak






Images