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Bell tents near South Lake Tahoe, California with fishing

Nature and history collide on South Lake Tahoe camping trips offering mountain and water recreation.

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6 top bell tents sites near South Lake Tahoe with fishing


Camp Nauvoo

24 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents86 acres · Placerville, El Dorado
Camp Nauvoo was originally bought by the LDS church in the 1960's for a girl's camp. The camp was owned by the Boy Scouts from 2011-2015. The Rose family bought the property in 2016 with the intent to continue the tradition of tent camping as well as creating opportunities for exclusive events i.e., group/family reunions, weddings and corporate events. We are a small privately owned small campground (20 sites only) located on the outskirts of Placerville. The property features 86.5 secluded Tahoe like acres with beautiful year-round Weber Creek. The camp sites are placed along the creek or the bluff overlooking the creek. We have traditional dirt camping, canvas tents on platforms, teepees and glamping tents for those that want the comforts of home. We are tent camping only with only one site that allows a small travel trailer or van. (#14) . We are dog friendly and allow dogs in all but 5 glamping sites. We do enforce camp rules especially our quiet time between 10 PM and 7 AM (please review). We’ve been told that we have a “family camp” vibe. We are a great place for families wanting a safe environment for their kids but also several group sites for those that want to hang out together with multiple families. We are also a great base site for those wilderness enthusiasts with access to all the El Dorado National Forest including Desolation but want a hot shower at the end of the day. We have a lodge that is stocked with games and a ping pong table. The lodge has a microwave, Keurig machine and a hot water kettle for those hot drinks (BYO Cups).We have several tables set up for those that want to eat inside as well as multiple picnic tables along the side of the lodge with overhead protection. We have electricity at the at the lodge for small appliances and charging phones. We have a compressor on site to blow up your air mattresses or float toys. We’ve been told that our bathrooms are the “cleanest” ever and have changing tables and diaper pails. We offer nice flushing toilets and hot showers! For outdoor activities we have basketball, volleyball, pickleball and cornhole not to mention the playground with swing sets, seesaw and tractor play. We have hiking trails throughout the property. Our highlight is a camp fire bowl with bench seating with a stage to display camper talent which is perfect for the evening fire and roasting s’mores (bring the fixings). The creek starts out in spring looking like a rushing river featuring many fishing and swimming holes. As the summer progresses the water level falls but is still great for water play and fishing. We have propane BBQs (we provide the propane for BBQs) located throughout the property. We also have a propane grill and charcoal BBQ located in the common area for all to use. There is a dutch oven pit also in the fire bowl area. We do not allow wood fires at the individual sites but each site has a propane firepit for ambiance (not cooking) that requires you to purchase a 20 lb. propane cannister on site (add in extras) or pay cash on site. No internet service. There is limited internet only available for purchases at the setore. We require a 3 night minimum for the major holidays - Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. We do not do checkins on Sunday but do allow camping over Sunday night. We do exclusive events so you may need to explore multiple weekends to find the right reservation. We are located in the foothills so we are a short hop to many local attractions that include river rafting, gold mines, wineries and historical towns with great eating establishments. Tahoe is less than an hour away and there a many hiking trails within 20-30 minutes. We have a limited number of items to rent i.e, tents, cots, camp stoves, etc. We also have a small store on site for those items you forgot and a good selection of ice cream. We take venmo or cash. CHECKIN IS BETWEEN 4 AND 8. IF YOU ARE COMING FROM THE BAY ALLOW 4 HOURS - YOU MUST LEAVE BY 3:00 IN ORDER TO ARRIVE DURING CHECKIN. IF YOU GET DELAYED, FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THE OTHER CAMPERS YOU MAY CONSIDER WAITING AND ARRIVING THE NEXT MORNING. THERE ARE NO CHECKINS AFTER 9:00.
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2 sites · Lodging40 acres · Nevada City, Nevada
I’ve had the pleasure to be the “caretaker” of this special land once inhabited by the Maidu Indians for the past 43 years. This is SPECIAL ground here and I’m sure you will feel the MAGIC!!! This 40 acres sits on the Yuba River Ridgetop. At the "Platform of Pleasure" you will enjoy 100,000+ acre views of protected land looking North to the High Sierra, minutes away from downtown Nevada City and 8-10 miles from Yuba River Trailheads. Firewood bundles are $15 per bundle (2+ hours of campfire when campfires 🔥 are allowed). There is a $5.00 dog fee per dog/per stay. On our property like anywhere in the woods there are mosquitos, so you should bring bug spray. We offer a tent platform, as well as a canvas tent listing. Guests love staying here: "From the moment we arrived Chris was nothing but amazing. He helped us get settled in and even recommended some beautiful spots to hike/sight see. They are both so generous! The campsite beautiful and they did a very nice job supplying us with any materials we may need. Definitely coming back during the summer!"
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GaiaTree Sanctuary

4 sites · Lodging, Tents10 acres · Mountain Ranch, Calaveras
Welcome to GaiaTree Sanctuary. We are a small organic farm and retreat center on 10 acres in the beautiful foothills of the Sierras. Enjoy a personal retreat in nature, a farm and garden tour, a dip in the swimming pond, or listen to the birds from our yoga deck. We have lovely outdoor showers, elegant composting toilets, 2 cute treehouses, rustic camping and Glamping options to choose from. There’s also a short hike to a 360 view accessible from our land!
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Madrone Village

5 sites · Lodging44 acres · Nevada City, Nevada
Enjoy the serenity of nature within the foothills at Madrone Village. Our glamping accommodations are nestled amongst one of the largest madrone groves in California, here you find yourself immersed in the essence of nature. Just a short hike up the road, you'll find trails to Scott's Flat Lake (20 min total), a serene place perfect for enjoying the sun. Whether you love paddleboarding, kayaking or just love a great spot for a picnic! Beautiful gardens. Outdoor picnic area. This is your place to relax. Enjoy the beauty this area has to offer at Madrone. Bell tents lifted onto solid wood platforms each outfitted with comfortable bedding and chairs for relaxing. Tents are shaded and just a short walk from parking! Outdoor showers and portapotty (compost toilets coming soon) on site. Please note the tents do not have their own power yet. And don't miss the opportunity to explore the beautiful historical town of Nevada City, with its preserved Victorian architecture, charming streets, and delightful shops and eateries.
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Camp Wayward

1 site · Lodging33 acres · Grass Valley, Nevada
Wayward Farm is a 33 acre cooperative farm community in its fledgling phases. We are working toward raising our own food and creating space for connections and learning. We started with milk cows and chickens and added a couple of pasture pigs. We have a trio of goofy nubian goats for keeping up with grazing and there are two gentle horses who live here. There are meandering trails throughout the back side of the property and a creek that flows from the small pond. There is plenty of wildlife on the back side of the property which includes deer, turkey, woodpeckers, mourning doves, coyote, fox, blue heron, and much, much more. We are a 15 minute drive from the Nevada County fairgrounds.
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The Canopy - Sierras

2 sites · Lodging20 acres · Shaver Lake, Fresno
Nestled up in the woods on top of the mountain, it will be you and the stars and the sounds of nature. With 20 acres and 100's of acres of national forest, you will feel like no one else is around. At 5400ft you are above it all and can see the entire Sierras to your east and the distant lights of fresno to the west. Shaver lake is 15 minutes away with great fishing and kayaking. There is countless hikes and waterfalls within 45 minutes drive. Once you arrive, you won't want to leave :) We have 4 total places to stay on this property but they are all spaced out so you plenty of privacy from the others. There is countless spaces to roam and relax and you will feel like you have the whole place to yourselves. -Shaver Lake is 15 minutes away. -McKinley Grove is a beautiful patch of massive Sequoia trees about 45 minutes away. -Mono Hot Springs is 1.5 hours away and just incredible. We have horseshoe pits, fun swings, amazing views, hiking trails throughout the property as well as flushing toilet and on-demand hot showers.
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Bell tents near South Lake Tahoe with fishing guide

The South Lake Tahoe basin’s clear blue waters and towering vistas draw visitors year-round. Heavy winter snowfall can create an enchanting place for cabin stays and snowsports, while visiting South Lake Tahoe in the warmer months means opportunities to enjoy even more thrilling activities associated with this mountainous region—think lakefront tent sites and RV parks that give campers easy access to water sports, beaches, hiking, and trail biking. Visit South Lake Tahoe for camping experiences among the woodlands, hills, rises, gorges, and canyons of the Sierra Nevada range.

Where to Go

D.L Bliss State Park

Encompassing seven miles of Lake Tahoe’s shoreline, the D.L Bliss State Park Campground offers tent and RV camping with water activities centered on the lake’s natural beauty. Scuba divers can visit the underwater shipwreck preserve in Emerald Bay, tent campers can set up camp steps from the water, and watersport enthusiasts can launch kayaks from the shore. A few simple RV sites allow RVers to take advantage of a dump station and enjoy grilled trout caught in the crystal waters and shared around picnic tables at each site. Elsewhere in the park, hike the self-guided nature trail to wonder at Balancing Rock, or experience the grandeur of Sierra Nevada upheaval promontories overlooking the lake.

Eldorado National Forest

With two major highways running through Eldorado National Forest, getting into the woods is easy from Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Fish in the rivers and streams once teeming with gold prospectors, or ski down the alpine backcountry into lush meadows. Over 50 modern campsites, cozy cabins, hiking trails, and primitive backcountry camping opportunities await exploration in the forest’s Mokelumne and Desolation Wildernesses.

Meeks Bay Campground

Meeks Bay Campground is a federally operated camping area nestled between two Tahoe state parks: D.L. Bliss and Sugar Pine Point. Primitive tent camping and RV sites (without hookups) are available with the added bonuses of fire pits and raised barbecues. Close campsites among the pine trees facilitate sharing and camaraderie between campers staying in one of the most popular spots near South Lake. Boat on the lake one day, and bike on the trails the next.

Sugar Pine Point State Park

The largest Lake Tahoe state park, the west shore’s Sugar Pine Point State Park includes 2,000 acres of evergreen forest, including cedar, aspen, and fir, plus more than 100 campsites in summer. Besides the easy lake access and diverse plant, bird, and wildlife watching opportunities at the Edwin Z’berg Natural Preserve, Sugar Pine Point also offers winter camping for a snowy experience and  guided moonlit snowshoe tours in late winter or early spring.

When to Go

Summers in Lake Tahoe rarely top out at 90°F, usually only twice per year and generally toward the end of July and August. The warmest days of the year start in June, making swimming, water skiing, fishing, and kayaking draws to the area. If you’re looking for a quieter time, the highland climate of Lake Tahoe begins to cool in September, offering chillier nights perfect for snuggling around a campfire. Meanwhile, winter camping in Tahoe may only be for hardy campers, but ski chalets and cozy cabins are prime during this time of year.

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