The Fourth of July is the busiest time of year at Lake Tahoe, with crowded conditions and excess traffic, and the U.S. Forest Service is reminding people visiting the area to be safe, and offering a multitude of tips for visitors.
People should be prepared for the altitude and intense sunlight during the day and much lower temperatures at night. Bring sunscreen and a jacket, carry a flashlight and don’t forget to drink water to stay hydrated.
Possession of fireworks of any kind, including firecrackers and sparklers, is illegal in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Campfires are not permitted on National Forest beaches or in the general forest. People planning to barbecue on the beach should bring gas barbecues instead of charcoal to help reduce the danger of wildfire.
An annual alcohol ban will be in effect at Nevada Beach, Zephyr Cove Resort and Zephyr Shoals (the former Dreyfus Estate) from 6 a.m. to midnight on July 4.
County and California laws ban the possession or consumption of alcohol on the Truckee River from Tahoe City to Alpine Meadows and Chamber’s Landing Beach on the West Shore starting July 1 and continuing through July 6. These areas will be patrolled by law enforcement from USFS, Douglas and Placer counties, the Carson City Sheriff’s Department and private security employees.
People are asked to consider using public transportation. Walk, carpool or bicycle to avoid limited parking in crowded recreation areas and heavy traffic and delays after the fireworks shows. The Nifty Fifty Trolley stops at National Forest beaches along the South and West Shores.
At developed recreation sites, such as Kiva, Tallac and the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, parking is allowed only in designated parking spaces inside the parking lots and not along the roadway. When parking, do not block road access or narrow lanes.
Where roadside parking is allowed, be careful not to park on vegetation as this can damage the environment and spark a fire.
Day-use fees for the Fourth of July at Pope, Baldwin and Nevada beaches will be $20 and at Zephyr Cove Beach $25 to cover the cost of increased security and facility maintenance costs of the holiday.
Pets are not allowed at National Forest designated swim beaches including Nevada, Pope, Baldwin, Meeks and William Kent.
Leashed pets are welcome at Kiva Picnic Area from Valhalla Boathouse to Tallac Point in South Lake Tahoe; Echo Lakes on Echo Summit; Zephyr Shoals and Hidden and Chimney beaches on the East Shore; Coon Street Beach at the boat launch in King’s Beach; and Kaspian and 64 Acres beaches in Tahoe City. Please pick up after pets and keep them leashed at all times.
Trash cans may become full so plan ahead to pack out all garbage. Become part of the litter solution by volunteering for the League to Save Lake Tahoe’s annual Keep Tahoe Red, White and Blue beach cleanups from 9 a.m. to noon on July 5. Cleanup sites include Taylor Creek to the Tallac Historic Site and Regan Beach to Timber Cove on the South Shore; Nevada Beach and Zephyr Shoals on the East Shore; and Commons Beach on the North Shore. For information on volunteering contact Marilee Movius at 530-541-5388 or by email at Marilee@keeptahoeblue.org.