Lake Tahoe camping opportunities are abundant. You can find cabins, RV parks, lake and boating campgrounds, or tent sites. Tahoe is one of the purest lakes in the U.S. and although the shores have developed areas, most of the region offers an immersion into nature. Check out these 5 Lake Tahoe camping spots.

Lake Tahoe with mountains in the background and dock on the water.

1. Camp Richardson

At Camp Richardson, there is plenty to do. You can rent a bike and ride along the nearby bike path or hit the ice cream parlor close to the campground. The campground also has hiking trails close by and a marina with boat rentals.

Eagle’s Nest and Badger’s Den in Camp Richardson are quiet tent campgrounds but very close to sidewalks full of restaurants. Right on the lake, Richardson offers water taxis to get you from one marina or beach to the next.

2. Zephyr Cove

Zephyr Cover campground is great for RV campers. It has a great swimming beach, full-service marina, boating tours and luxury showers and laundry area.

3. Emerald Bay Boat Camp

Trees and view of lake with island in the middle of the lake.

On the lake’s southwest side you can reach Emerald Bay boat camp. This boat-in only camping experience is beautiful if you have a kayak to bring. Here, you can book one of 21 boat-in only campsites. The area also offers boat tours of the bay itself and is home to Emerald Bay State Park.

4. Sand Harbor

Sand Harbor, on Lake Tahoe's northeast shore is famed for its beauty and provides a large area for camping. The water off these beaches is shallow, which makes it warmer and more swimmable. Tahoe is a deep, alpine lake so much of its water is a chilly sub-60 degree temperature most of the year, so this area draws swimmers.

The Sand Harbor area is one reason Lake Tahoe camping is special. You can rent boats here, find a camp spot along the shoreline, take a nature trail or go for a swim.

5. Meeks Bay

Man in yellow kayak paddling on blue lake.

Another area on the California side of Lake Tahoe is Meeks Bay, known for its white sandy beaches and located on the west shore. If you like beaches, this one is arguably better for both swimming and sunbathing when compared with oceanside public beaches.

This area also includes cabin rentals and a nearby state park and public beach. Bring your collapsible beach chair and lounge on shore on a sunny summer day, or rent a kayak and take a leisurely tour of the bay. Meeks Bay is open from Memorial day until October.

If you plan to do a Lake Tahoe camping trip this summer, reservations should be made six months in advance through the park service. This is required for camping at this beautiful spot.