Camping with Dogs in Lake Tahoe

dog camping

You can filter these Lake Tahoe campsites to only include “pet-friendly” campgrounds.   Let us define what “pet-friendly” means to us.

Lake Tahoe is a very dog-friendly area. You’ll often see well-behaved dogs running around on the trails, off leash, enjoying life. Don’t worry, for the most part, these dogs are very friendly.

California State Parks

We don’t feel that we can classify California State Parks in Lake Tahoe as pet-friendly. Dogs must be on a leash at all times, confined to paved trails only, and kept in your tent or car after certain hours.

Dogs are still invited to California State Parks, but like in National Parks, you can’t do much with them. This is to protect natural & cultural resources and to avoid conflicts with other visitors and wildlife.

Private Resorts

Meeks Bay Resort and Camp Richardson have a strict no-pet policy. Dogs are not invited.

National Forest Campgrounds

Dogs are invited in Lake Tahoe’s National Forest campgrounds. They are supposed to be on a leash the whole time, but they can still explore the trails with you unlike in California State Parks.

This includes the Desolation Wilderness, Granite Chief Wilderness, and Mount Rose Wilderness. You must be in control of your dog at all times.

Tahoe Rim Trail

Dogs are allowed along the Tahoe Rim Trail and must be kept in control at all times, however you keep your dog in control.

Let your dogs be dogs but keep them in control

Lake Tahoe is a great playground for dogs. We just ask that if your dog is aggressive that you keep him or her on a leash. It can quickly ruin the experience for other Lake Tahoe campers.

If your dog is well-behaved – they stay close to you and the trail, and they’re pleasant around other dogs and people – we believe that they should be able to enjoy themselves.

Be aware, however, that there are some hazards to dogs in Lake Tahoe.

Black bears aren’t much of a hazard but you never know what they’ll do if cornered or defending cubs & food. Your dog is most likely to scare a bear away.

We do have mountain lions in Lake Tahoe. Sightings are rare but there have still been a number of them in the last year. If your dog wanders too far away from you, they could have a deadly encounter with these large cats.

Spring and early summer snowmelt can produce some fast waters around Lake Tahoe. Keep your dog away from these swift creeks. They could easily fall in or jump in not knowing the hazard, and be quickly swept away.