Tahoe National Forest

Leave review

About Tahoe National Forest

Tahoe National Forest is a popular spot for those looking for a quick getaway. When the summer weather just gets too hot, you need an escape into cool lakes and waterfalls, and when winter rolls around, you’ll be itching to get your skis on. Although Lake Tahoe isn’t within the forest’s boundary, you can see it in the panoramic views in the high country, along with all of the other stunningly beautiful vistas of smaller lakes dotting the landscape, the rivers carving out gorges, and mountains looming in the distance.

Campgrounds in Tahoe

Meadow Lake Campground
Meadow Lake Campground sits near the shores of the lake. Buckle up! The road getting in is pretty...
Wild Plum Campground
Mark
Mark: We stayed here a couple of weeks ago, love the campground, the river runs along many of the sites, and...
Rocky Rest Campground
Ooh boy, you just pulled up one of our favorites. Rocky Rest Campground is prime Central California...
Grouse Ridge Campground
Brooke
Brooke: This is a beautiful campground but the road is VERY undeveloped. It was possible to drive in my Subaru...
Sardine Campground
Troy
Troy: Yuba Pass campground is located very close to Sardine Lake and has 20 campsites among large pine...
Fiddle Creek Campground
Peter
Peter: Go in July on a dry year and August on a wet year for floating
Calpine Lookout
Just 40 miles from the quaint mountain town of Truckee in the Tahoe National Forest, you can get your...
White Cloud Campground
Brooke
Brooke: Very close to highway 20-lots of road noise. Otherwise it's a nice campground.
Indian Valley Campground
If you wanna toss up your tent or drive your RV down to the North Yuba River for a splish splashin’...
Faucherie Group Campground
Don’t even bother trying to fight it, the scenic views at Faucherie Group Campground will absolutely...
Bowman Campground
Sara
Sara: This place definitely takes some effort to get to. Stayed here overnight with my friend and our dogs....
Lindsey Lake Campground
Justin
Justin: Road is definitely rough getting in - SUV or Truck would be your best option. Don't recommend driving...
Packsaddle Campground
Prepare your eyeballs. This is going to be one visually astounding camping trip. Packsaddle Campground...
Sierra Campground
It’ll be too easy to take a load off at tent-only Sierra Campground. Whether you’re a weekend warrior...
Salmon Creek Campground
Tara
Tara: There are so many lakes to explore. We spoke to some regulars up there and they recommended Salmon...
Union Flat Campground
Ever romanticized about being a gold miner in the wild west, but then became overwhelmed with sadness...
Emigrant Group Campground
Wanna host a family reunion, a yoga retreat, all of the above? Whether you want to play camp games and...
Carr Lake Campground
Carr Lake Campground sits on the banks of the beautiful Carr Lake. Be prepared for three miles of...
Diablo Campground
Introducing the Sierra Buttes, a mountain range that really needs no introduction. In Diablo...
Hampshire Rocks Campground
Patrick
Patrick: Be aware that certain sites have very loud freeway noise from I-80. Generally, the sites by the River...
Poppy Campground
Poppy Campground sits on the northwest shores of French Meadows Reservoir. Surrounded by a coniferous...
Talbot Campground
Talbot Campground sits near French Meadows Reservoir, the Middle Fork of the American River, and...
Goose Meadow Campground
Just some good, old-fashioned family fun. That’s what you’re in for at Goose Meadow Campground on the...
Lower Little Truckee Campground
Judging by the name you might be led to believe this campground is tiny, but there is no shortage of...
French Meadows Campground
Oh la la—French Meadows Campground is simply magnifique! This campground offers the best of both...
Berger Campground
Located in the Packer Lake area near the Sierra Buttes, Berger Campground gives you access to enough...
Pass Creek Campground
Posted up amongst a dense front of pine and fir trees, Pass Creek Campground’s other claim to fame is...
Woodcamp Campground
For those that prefer the left coast in everything they do, Woodcamp Campground brings laid back vibes...
Boca Springs Campground
Tucked away in a forest of Jeffrey Pine and fir trees, Boca Springs Campground offers a secluded stay...
Boca Rest Campground
Outdoor enthusiasts, gather your non-enthusiast friends because it’s conversion time. We’re going to...
Chapman Creek Campground
Simple Cali campin’ at its finest! Chapman Creek Campground is located right on the creek it’s named...
Cal Ida Campground
Just across the road is the North Yuba River. Need we say more? This scenic river is reason enough to...
Cottonwood Creek Campground
Skip the crowds and enjoy some privacy at Cottonwood Creek Campground. This camp is a great locale to...
Woodchuck Campground
Tasha
Tasha: We have been camping up here for years (I mean like 20+ years). To me it's only 1 group site...but I...
Silver Tip Group Campground
It’s not size that matters… well sometimes it does. So should you and 25 of your camp enthused besties...
Onion Valley Campground
Onion Valley Campground sits near a creek in a remote meadow. The campground is surrounded by cedar,...
Robinson Flat Campground
Robinson Flat Campground is surrounded by pine and fir, and adjacent to a beautiful meadow and stream....
Coyote Group Campground
Pack the baguettes for your trip to Coyote Group Camp Campground, located on the northeast shore of...
Logger Campground
A weekend getaway is calling. Leave your work woes at home and head to Logger Campground. Right on the...
Big Bend Group Campground
Big Bend Group Campground offers two group sites for up to 25 people each. Reserve one and spend your...
Canyon Creek Campground
Canyon Creek Campground sits in a mixed conifer forest on the creek below Faucherie Reservoir. This...
Loganville Campground
Loganville Campground offers a wide range of fun outdoor activities, most notably all the fun to be...
Big Reservoir Campground
Big Reservoir Campground sits in a shady spot near the banks of the reservoir. Non-motorized boating...
Ahart Campground
Ahart Campground sits on the banks of the Middle American River near French Meadows Reservoir. Bear...
Lewis Campground
Agnes
Agnes: Not impressed. River almost dried up. Walk to paved road, ends in ONE hiking trail;no maps of other...
Granite Flat Campground
17 minutes from Lake Tahoe. Need we say more? Surely we don’t, surely you’ve stopped reading and are...
Upper Little Truckee Campground
Location, location, location. Upper Truckee Campground puts you at the center of the best that Tahoe...
Pierce Creek Campground
Pierce Creek Campground sits near the banks of Pierce Creek in Tahoe National Forest. Fall asleep to...
Sagehen Creek Campground
Sagehen Creek Campground sits on the banks of the creek adjacent to a meadow. The campground is shaded...
Jackson Point Boat In Campground
You can only reach this campground by boat! Jackson Point Boat In Campground is on the east side of...
Snag Lake Campground
Cindy
Cindy: If you can find a spot to put your tent you can camp and its free! Great little spot when every other...
Jackson Creek Campground
Charise
Charise: The road is narrow and parts are washed out. I would advise 4WD .
Indian Springs Campground
Samara
Samara: "A bit of noise from the nearby road?" Seriously, Highway 80 is louder than my obnoxious apartment...
Skillman Horse Campground
Laura
Laura: I stayed here recently with a large group. No horses but a few dogs to round out the gang! This is a...
North Fork Campground
Brooke
Brooke: Nice spring provides the drinking water. Beautiful area but some of the other campers can be loud.
Ramshorn Campground
Mary
Mary: Ramshorn is an absolutely incredible place to check out if you're into mountain biking! Downieville is...
Prosser Family Campground
Residents of Truckee, California have it good--within 30 minutes in any direction there are loads of...
Giant Gap Campground
Giant Gap Campground is located on the Sugar Pine Reservoir. Aaaand now we’re daydreaming about giant...
Aspen Group Camp
Let us ease you into the awesomeness that Aspen Group Campground has to offer with a few...
Silver Creek Campground
There is a silver lining to all things folks. Silver Creek Campground is no exception. Granted you can...
Cold Creek Campground
If rainbow trout fishing is your paradise, Cold Creek Campground is the spot for you. Situated among...
East Meadow Campground
Sitting on the northeast shore of Jackson Meadow Reservoir, East Meadow Campground is embarrassment of...
Findley Campground
Throw your tent down at Findley Campground and get rollin’, cause this is the perfect base to explore...
Fir Top Campground
"Get your lakeside game on at Fir Top Campground, nestled along the glassy Jackson Meadow Reservoir....
Tunnel Mills Group Campground
Ready to party down and tent it up in a pristine location with all your best buds? Then head over to...
Gates Group Campground
If you’re ready for an epic girls or guys (or girls AND guys) getaway, head to Gates Group Campground...
Boyington Mill Campground
John
John: Nothing wrong with this campground...certainly beats paying summer rates at Tahoe hotels. It's about...
Carlton Flat Campground
Tucked away in a forest of towering cedar, ponderosa pine and oak trees, standing at the heart of...
Boca Campground
Nestled between a forest of pine trees and the Boca Reservoir, the Boca Campground offers plenty for...
Yuba Pass Campground
Now we ain’t sayin’ you’re a gold digger…but you can do some gold panning if you are into that when...
Forbes Group Campground
Have you been dubbed the "Family Reunion Master Planner" by your relatives? Continue your legacy at...
Prosser Ranch Group Campground
Set upon a sage and pine covered hilltop overlooking Prosser Reservoir, Prosser Ranch Group Campground...

Photos

29 Reviews
750
No one? Bueller? Sharing is caring, y'all.
Drop some Tahoe knowledge on us.
Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

The Placer Big Trees is a grove of sequoias with trees named after famous Americans, located next to none other than the American River. It’s designated as a Botanical Special Interest Area and is a must visit!

Helpful 1
Helpful 1
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

Granite Chiefs Wilderness is the little brother to its renowned neighbor, Desolation Wilderness, and is definitely worth checking out for a day hike or a backpacking trip.

Helpful 1
Helpful 1
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Tasha

We have been camping up here for years (I mean like 20+ years). To me it's only 1 group site...but I guess more then the group could fit. The road is REALLY rough though! Not great for cars (but they do make it up).

Helpful 1
Helpful 1
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Charise

The road is narrow and parts are washed out. I would advise 4WD .

Helpful 1
Helpful 1
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Cindy

If you can find a spot to put your tent you can camp and its free! Great little spot when every other place in Downieville is filled up.

Helpful 1
Helpful 1
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Mary

Ramshorn is an absolutely incredible place to check out if you're into mountain biking! Downieville is 5 and a half miles down the road and has some of the most incredible downhill biking in California (I think!). Yuba Expeditions in Downieville has a great staff and a shuttle to take you up the hill so you can zoom down.

Helpful 1
Helpful 1
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Troy

Yuba Pass campground is located very close to Sardine Lake and has 20 campsites among large pine trees. Only a handful of sites would accommodate very large rigs, however, most will take your average trailer or camper.

Amenities & Services include:
Biking
Bird Watching
Comfort Station
Cross Country Skiing
Firewood Available
Fishing
Hiking
Restrooms (vault)
Wildlife Watching
Season: Reservations: July through Sep 6.

Yuba Pass Campground Best Campsites: 6 and 12.

LOCATION – DIRECTIONS
Yuba Pass Campground
Sierraville CA 96126
530 862-1368

11 miles south of Sierraville on HWY 49. Turn left at snow park entrance. Campground located approximately mile on right hand side.

Helpful 1
Helpful 1
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Mark

We stayed here a couple of weeks ago, love the campground, the river runs along many of the sites, and there is a nice beach and swimming area near site #1. We showed up without reservations hoping that since school started they would have an open space, just barely, we took the last one and that was first thing Friday Morning. It's a popular campground so book your reservations at www.recreation.gov. There are a lot of good sites to pick, we have our favorites, but depending on whether you want a quiet tucked back site, an open site by the river, or share space with fellow campers, the campground has what your looking for. And Pete the campground host was very helpful and welcoming.

Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

There are historical lookout towers that are up for rental; currently it seems the only one available is the Calpine Lookout, but two others are being renovated.

Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

See the history behind the town of Boca in Boca Historic Townsite Interpretive trail. A former railroad construction camp, the town became a mill and brewery, AKA really awesome and worth checking out.

Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

Best cross country skiing is in the Royal Gorge!

Hipcamper Tara

There are so many lakes to explore. We spoke to some regulars up there and they recommended Salmon Lake and Long Lake. This is a great spot for families with kids. Creeks to walk through, lakes to swim in and rocks to climb. Lake Tahoe without the crowds. :)

Hipcamper Agnes

Not impressed. River almost dried up. Walk to paved road, ends in ONE hiking trail;no maps of other trails seen. Very basic campground. Google led us on a terrible bumpy fire road from Truckee to here that was NOT for cars! Have to drive for more hiking.

Hipcamper Laura

I stayed here recently with a large group. No horses but a few dogs to round out the gang! This is a great campground for large groups as the sites are spaced far apart. Only non-potable water available during our stay. Drop toilets only.

Hipcamper Justin

Road is definitely rough getting in - SUV or Truck would be your best option. Don't recommend driving in via car.

TONS of yellow jackets buzzing all over. Be careful.

Lake is gorgeous!

Hipcamper Sara

This place definitely takes some effort to get to. Stayed here overnight with my friend and our dogs. 4 wheel drive and high clearance are a must to make it the last 5 miles. Didn't see anyone else camping and only a few cars passed on the "main road" during our entire stay. Quiet and off the grid for sure!

Hipcamper Patrick

Be aware that certain sites have very loud freeway noise from I-80. Generally, the sites by the River and further from I-80 are quieter. If you have an RV, the noise is bearable, but with a tent there's less soundproofing.

Hipcamper Samara

"A bit of noise from the nearby road?" Seriously, Highway 80 is louder than my obnoxious apartment neighbors. Incessant roar all night, punctuated with occasional train racket (with whistle). Not my idea of a peaceful weekend.

That said, the swimming hole and waterfalls are really special and the campground is decent and not crowded, even on Labor Day weekend. Site #9 was private and prettier than a lot of the others, though near the road (not that it matters--it's deafening everywhere).

There are amazing hikes nearby, so if you can stand the noise it's totally worth it. We lit a fire, put on some tunes, opened a bottle of wine, and felt glad our laughter was drowned out by semis. For a night of rest, be sure to bring good earplugs.

Hipcamper John

Nothing wrong with this campground...certainly beats paying summer rates at Tahoe hotels. It's about 30 minutes to Kings Beach!

The campsite is sandwiched between the road and the river, neither of which are too loud. Fellow campers were respectful of one-another, despite very few distinctions between sites. Flat tentsites, but most people had RVs. Accessible by any car (our MINI did fine).

This is definitely a site geared more towards RVs and people wanting to explore the nearby OHV trails on 4wheelers and dirtbikes. I'm sure it could get rowdy, but our time there was pleasant.

Suggestion: If you drive up the road 1/2 mile and park at the trailhead, you can get a nice spot along the river all to yourself after a 5 minute hike.

Hipcamper Melinda

Highly recommend this campground, make a reservation!! Don't miss Upper Sardine Lake or the hike to the Fire Lookout for incredible views.

Hipcamper Peter

Go in July on a dry year and August on a wet year for floating

Hipcamper Maya

We rolled into Salmon Creek Campground at 7:30 PM the Sunday before Memorial Day and grabbed the first open site we saw, grateful to find one at all, though it turned out there were more in the other loop. I'd hoped to stay at one of the lakes further up the Gold Lake Highway but even though it was 82 degrees out, they were snowed in!
The campground has two loops. The left loop (sites 1-18?) is more treed and full of the sound of the rushing creek, which helped mute the noises of kids, dogs etc. (NB it looked like at least one site near the creek was damp at this time of year though.) Sites 19+ are more spread out and have stupendous views of the Sierra Buttes, but are further from the creek. There are bear lockers. Can't wait to return.

Hipcamper Therese

Small and charming. Right on the river.

Hipcamper Mary Lynn

Great campground on the edge of cute gold rush town, Sierra City. Situated about 5,000 foot level in the Sierras. Some great sites along the creek with wonderful views. Vault toilets, no showers. Potable water available. Camp host on site. No cell phone coverage at campsite so you'll need to head to the local country store in town for free wifi. If you need a little luxury while there, check out Harrington's resort in town for very nice dinners. Great hike about a 2 mile loop out of the campground with perfect resting spot by huge boulders at half-way point for a snack and rest. Great for younger kids.

Hipcamper Brooke

This is a beautiful campground but the road is VERY undeveloped. It was possible to drive in my Subaru Forester but very rough and slow. As of July 15 there is still some snow at the campsite. There was a large snow patch on the road that makes it impossible to access the campsites by car. You can still camp here by parking and walking for about 5-10 mins into the campsites. PS you may want to bring your own toilet paper for the vault toilets, it was empty when we arrived.

Hipcamper Brooke

Very close to highway 20-lots of road noise. Otherwise it's a nice campground.

Hipcamper Brooke

Nice spring provides the drinking water. Beautiful area but some of the other campers can be loud.

History of Tahoe National Forest

Transportation routes and development are major factors in the cultural history of the Tahoe National Forest. To some people, the history of the area begins with the wagons of pioneer emigrants, crossing Donner Pass on their way to California. However, human use and occupancy of what is now the Tahoe National Forest goes back many thousands of years. Peoples of the Washoe and Nisenan tribes and their predecessors utilized these lands for food, water, and recreation. Many of the routes we travel today across the Forest have been used for thousands of years.

The first large influx of emigrants from the United States came into the area began in the 1840s, crossing the mountains in covered wagons toward a better life in Mexican California. Donner Pass, the main emigrant route, was named after the ill-fated Donner Party, who wintered in 1846-47 at camps near the present day Truckee.

The Gold Rush of 1849 resulted in a veritable flood of emigrants seeking their fortunes in California, and many of them prospected the lands of the Tahoe. Many of the foothill towns, such as Foresthill, Nevada City, Downieville, Sierra City, and others, date from Gold Rush days, and there are many reminders of those times throughout the Forest. All historic and archaeological sites are protected under federal and state law.

Between 1862 and 1868, the western portion of the first transcontinental railroad was constructed over the Sierra Nevada at Donner Pass by the Central Pacific Railroad, meeting the tracks of the Union Pacific on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Point Utah. The trans-Sierra route remains a remarkable engineering feat, with roadbed built into granite walls, bridges that cross deep gorges, and tracks that pass through a series of tunnels and snow sheds as they cross the mountains. This rail link with the rest of the United States enabled gold and agricultural products from California to be easily shipped east, as well as bringing manufactured goods and even more settlers west, which fueled the rapid growth of the Golden State. Products such as lumber, agricultural goods, automobiles, imports from overseas and products destined for export continue to be shipped over this route today.
The rugged beauty of this route makes it one of the most scenic passenger routes in the United States, and the towns of Truckee and Colfax have Amtrak stops adjacent to the National Forest. Today's Interstate 80 is roughly parallel to the railroad, and travels the same basic route that people have taken for thousands of years.