Bayview Campground is located near Emerald Bay and sits at an elevation of 7,100 feet. Opening and closing dates are dependant on the weather. Bayview Campground serves as a Trailhead for Desolation Wilderness. A Wilderness Permit is required to enter Desolation Wilderness.
Day hikers may pick up a day-use permit at the self serve area at the Trailhead. Overnight hikers must obtain an overnight permit before arriving at the Trailhead.
Campfires are only allowed in provided metal fire rings.
This is by far the most beauty area on Lake Tahoe. The site is just a few miles north of South Lake Tahoe on the western side of the lake. The campsite is best suited for tent campers or those traveling in small camper vans. Our sprinter van was able to park in the site ok without the need for levelers. The site is a great first night stop for those looking to back pack in the National Forest. Emerald Bay is just across the highway and will no disappoint. You fee like your looking at a fiord in Norway. Great option backpackers and tent campers in the Tahoe area. Camp has good tree cover and was cool even in the summer. This is a popular option for camping you will need to plan your visit to avoid the crowded summer hiking and tourist season.
The 13 sites of the first-come first-serve Bayview Campground are part of the well maintained US Forest Service property located in a prime area literally right across the street from the Inspiration Point Overlook of Emerald Bay State Park and is central to several awesome hiking trails in the South Tahoe area. Two of the hiking trails which lead into the incredible (and uncharacteristically names) Desolation Wilderness to Granite Lake and Cascade Falls start literally behind this campsite. Because of these trails and the crowded Vista across the street there are hordes of people coming in an out throughout the day looking for parking, especially during the weekend. Thus, do not expect a quiet/secluded campsite during the day, it does appear to become quieter after 6 pm as less people are walking/hiking around and staring at you while you camp.
The campsites have a decent amount of room between them and are nestled within a grove of beautiful trees, giving you plenty of shade during the day and a great place to put up your hammock. The sites also have all of the basic camping stuff like a fire pit, picnic table, and bear locker provided. Note that these sites are really tent only (No RV will fit in here, maybe a small 5th wheel) and parking spaces are pretty small and can probably only fit one car (or 2 tiny ones) in most spots, about 20 feet total length.
Bathrooms are decently maintained and for the amount of traffic that makes its way through the campground, actually clean! (Might help that the vista across the street also has a few pit toilets as well)
However, there is no running water, so make sure to prepare for your camping and any that you might need if you hike out into the wilderness and the weather conditions because when it’s dry you can’t have a fire and there won’t even be any water flowing in the stream that runs through the campground to even get some water to filter/boil.
The fee is $18/night - 6/people (1 car, $7 for a second) and 2 pets are allowed. Great place to stay if you are looking for a convenient location right off Highway 89 and central to a ton of prime South/East Tahoe hiking trails, but lacking in amenities and extremely busy with day trippers.
Crowded site in emerald bay, often filled with Jerry and his family. Not as expensive as other sites, good trail access and good attendants.
Too many people for my tase, but great acces to emerald bay and the trails.
While we were her there was construction on the road going on. Because of this there was a very bright light shining on us most of the night. regardless we had a good time here. Restroom was clean for what it was. we always sleep in hammocks so we were happy to find several campsites with places to “hangout”. the bear boxes are easy to use and very welcomed!
This first-come, first-serve campground is located in front of the Vista Point to Emerald Bay and at the trailhead of Cascade Falls and Desolation Wilderness. Because of that, you will have a lot hikers walking thought the campground during the day. Campgrounds are nice, good shade because of the trees, picnic table, fire ring and a place to store food. Toilets are nearby. This is a very convenient spot to access Tahoe and the city or to start your hike and explore Desolation Wilderness without the backpacking. Ranger lives on site and she was really helpful and nice. You can get to Granite Lake in around 1 hour of hiking.
Best for: Convenience. Hike and play the whole day and come to sleep and enjoy the campground at night when everyone is gone!. Dogs are allow in the campground and on the trails!.
Tip: Since is a first-come, first-serve, you can arrive around 8 or 9am, when other campers are getting ready to leave.