Dispersed Camping

Lake Tahoe offers visitors many camping opportunities. Whether you enjoy the convenience of a full service campground or the secluded primitiveness of wilderness camping, the National Forest land of the Lake Tahoe Basin has something for everyone. Please note:  there is no "Dispersed Camping" in the Lake Tahoe Basin. 


Wilderness Camping

Wilderness camping is available in the Desolation, Granite Chief and Mt. Rose wildernesses. Desolation Wilderness requires a wilderness permit to enter and you can find more information by following the link above.

When camping in the wilderness, please minimize your impacts on the land and use the Leave No Trace ethics.  


For the safety of our communities, wildlife and forests, Lake Tahoe Basin National Forest lands are under year-round fire restrictions per Forest Order No. 19-19-02

This means campfires and charcoal are only allowed within metal fire rings in designated campgrounds like Fallen Leaf or Nevada Beach.

Campfires and charcoal are not allowed in Desolation Wilderness or Meiss Country; along the Tahoe Rim Trail or Genoa Peak Road; in any backcountry rock fire rings; on National Forest beaches; or in the general forest. 

Illegal campfires should be reported immediately to 911.

Portable pressurized gas stoves are allowed in all areas with a valid California Campfire Permit obtainable online at http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit/.

Dispersed Camping Areas

  • Lake Tahoe - North Shore
  • Mt. Rose Wilderness
  • Lake Tahoe - South Shore
  • Desolation Wilderness
  • Meiss Country
  • Mokelumne Wilderness
  • Lake Tahoe - West Shore
  • Granite Chief Wilderness

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities