Unpaid vehicles in Tahoe East Shore Trail parking lots now subject to fines

Motorists who don’t pay for parking at the Tahoe East Shore Trail parking lot, near Tunnel Creek, will now be subject to fines.

The Tahoe Transportation District has announced the start of a non-compliance fine for parking in the lot, located southeast of Incline Village.

“We wanted to give trail lovers time to get to know the paid parking fee structure and the expectation before we initiated any penalties since it’s a relatively new offering altogether,” said Tahoe Transportation District Manager Carl Hasty in a news release. “This trailhead has been wildly popular and as we look ahead, we want to also assure the public that funds will stay on the East Shore to maintain and operate the trail now and in the future.”

The lot opened last year with a pay-to-park system, which fluctuated in cost based on demand. Costs ranged from free to $7 per hour during holiday weekends. Until this summer, however, no fines were issued to vehicle owners who failed to pay or pay the proper amount. During that time, according to the Tahoe Transportation District, only warnings were given to vehicles that didn’t comply with the cost to park in the lot. Violators will now be fined up to a maximum of $150. Funds generated by the metered parking system will go toward maintaining services at the trail system. Parking is available from 5:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. through fall.

Another popular place to park for many years has been along the Highway 28 corridor. This summer those who park in “No Parking” zones or park vehicles over the white line could see tickets upward of $300 or more.

“We’ve established 90 parking spots to improve the safety and accessibility of the corridor,” added Hasty. “We’re also asking visitors to consider coming during the earlier morning hours or later in the evening to avoid adding to the unsafe roads and, most importantly, to land free parking during some of the most beautiful hours at the lake.”

Tahoe Transportation District officials also expect to see an increase in parking demand at the trailhead due to the suspension of the East Shore Express transit service from Incline Village to Sand Harbor because of staffing shortages. The district said it would revive the service should drivers become available.

Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transportation’s new microtransit service will provide direct access to the trail, helping to alleviate the need to drive to the parking lot.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643

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