Nevada Beach Campground, So. Lake Tahoe, NV

Nevada Beach Campground

Our weekend stay was October 7-9, 2016

Nevada Beach Campground and Day Use Pavilion is part of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, US Forest Service.  It is located north of the South Lake Tahoe casino strip and adjacent to beautiful Lake Tahoe. The campground is at 6100 ft. elevation, is surrounded by tall pines, evergreen shrubs and most sites have a view of the lake. “ Its subdued atmosphere is a welcomed characteristic, as visitors come to enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountain landscape.”  INDEED!

nevada-beach-south-lake-tahoe-beach-map-to

The location is also very convenient for us:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
38.98194, -119.94861
38°58’55″N, 119°56’55″W

Nevada Beach Campground and Day Use Pavilion is located 2 miles east of the California-Nevada state line, on Highway 50.

Ok – enough of the formalities…this is our favorite campground so far.  #1 in our book.  I am torn between keeping this place as a well-guarded secret or being responsible and feeding my blog! The only things that would make this campground better would be hookups, but it’s not necessary because it would drive the price up and bring more people. There are so many more important, wonderful amenities offered in my opinion.

Here is our review:

Campground Information:

IMG_5142.JPG

Site #012 – We were surprised to get such a great site without reserving six months in advance.  We stayed during the second to the last week the campground is open for this season.  The first thing we noticed was the condition of all the pads.  They are ALL long, wide, in beautiful condition and level.  We thought we got really lucky, but all of them are like that. There really isn’t a bad site. Some are better than others, but most every site has a beautiful view of the lake; some in the center of the campground do not. We walked the entire place to take notes and pick the most desirable sites with the best views, but you’ll have to pry my favorites out of me! I aint tellin’!! Seriously, there isn’t a site I wouldn’t stay in just to be able to stay there.

This is our site:

img_5161

img_5175

Comments: 

It sounds like the same story, but we met so many nice people.  Teresa and her husband CJ gave us all kinds of tips on how to book next season and what their favorite sites are.  Everyone else we talked to while we were on our investigation was friendly and helpful as well.  This is what I love about RVing.  It’s like the old days when neighbors actually became friends you could borrow a cup of sugar from. I haven’t borrowed anything from strangers yet, but you get my point.

The campground offered:

A view to die for.  Not only is the most beautiful lake in the world in our backyard, but we can see it first thing in the morning in a campground.  The facility offers clean restrooms with flush toilets throughout the area. There are several water spigots for filling your fresh water tanks when you arrive. Each site has a firepit, large picnic table and barbecue, as well as a large lot to spread out – very spacious affording privacy and quiet.  The sandy beach is close to most sites and great for a nice, romantic walk along the shoreline.

img_5142

img_5163

img_5195

The sunrises are spectacular!

Dogs are not allowed on the north side of the beach, but have their own place to play by taking a short walk to the south side. What a great idea!  It’s the same beach, but there is a side for everyone.

img_5183

Places visited and things to remember next time:

We weren’t able to get a satellite signal with our King Quest Direct TV dish.  I suppose one could consider all the trees a disadvantage, but not me.  It would have been nice to watch the San Francisco Giants blow their opportunity to make it into the championship playoffs. Or not. Instead, we went to the Lakeside Casino (about three miles away) and drowned our sorrows in the Sports Bar! Oh well, there is always next year, right?

There is a Safeway located right outside of the campground, across Highway 50.  So if you forget toilet paper, or want fresh bread, it’s a convenient and affordable solution.  A bank, a couple restaurants and other little goodies are located in the neighborhood shopping center as well.

We aren’t big gamblers, but if you are, the casinos are a hop, skip and jump away.  There are some great restaurants on the strip if you like to glamp sometimes too.

ME?  Next time I am definitely going to take the gondola from Heavenly.

I have always wanted to ride the Gondola to the top of Heavenly Mountain.  BUT NOW…there’s stuff up there!   A 2.4 mile ride up the Heavenly Mountain Gondola was on my bucket list because of  the panoramic views of Lake Tahoe. Still, the price was enough to keep me from actually experiencing the ride to nowhere. BUT now there are activities at the end of the rainbow:

Zip lines, ropes courses, a mountain coaster (it’s kind of like a toboggan ride low to the ground (you can go as fast or slow as you like) and much more, the options are endless at Epic Discovery, the ultimate playground!

Hours of Operation:
CLOSED FOR THE 2016 SUMMER SEASON

June 18 – September 5, 2016 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm, daily)
Sept 9 – Sept 25, 2016 (Gondola 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Activities 10:30 am – 3:00 pm, Friday– Sunday)

Address: 4080 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Here is the link for prices during the summer season: Heavenly Gondola/Adventure Pass

We aren’t skiers – I prefer my snow season to include hot totties by a warm fire, with a blanket and my kitty.  If you are the winter sport type, here’s a bonus: With the purchase of your 2016-2017 Winter Season Pass, you have unlimited free summer Scenic Gondola Ride access and a special discount on Activity Passes!
What a wonderful weekend camping adventure we had!  We will definitely go back next summer (many times).  Lake Tahoe is one of my most favorite places in the world.  Having a campground there is a bonus!
Next review will be about Lawson’s Landing in a couple of weeks. You can find Lawson’s Landing located about 50 miles North of San Francisco and 20 miles West of Petaluma at Dillon Beach. It will be interesting because they are trying to get the place cleaned up. Stay tuned for a comparison of our first stay (before the cleanup) and our next stay.  My favorite parts of our last trip was the fresh barbecued oysters we got there and the friends we spend the weekend with.  I’m so looking forward to it! See you next time!!!
img_5181

Fallen Leaf Campground

Fallen Leaf Campground is located on the north shore of Fallen Leaf Lake and adjacent to Taylor Creek. The south shore of Lake Tahoe is less than a mile away – some beaches on Lake Tahoe are within walking distance. The campground has 206 sites that include 6 yurts, and standard tent/RV sites. There is no electrical, water or sewer hookups. A dump site is available at the adjacent Camp Richardson for an $18 fee.

The location is very convenient for us:

 2165 Fallen Leaf Rd South Lake Tahoe
CA 96150
(877) 444-6777
fallenleaf_map
 

We stayed in Site 151 – not a great site for even our small, 30 ft RV. If you are good at turning a 5th wheel on a dime, maneuvering between dumpsters, a water bib and recycling bins, this spot will be great for you!  Oh yeah, and you have to love the sun and its warmth and/or running your A/C.  Although, the cool, high altitude air cools everything off at night, a day time nap inside the rig requires air!

Contract: NRSO Park: 71531 Site: 279266

MOST SITES ARE HUGE!  It almost made up for the terrible pad – not quite, but if reservations aren’t made six months in advance, you end up with something like this:

img_5033

Here is our review:

Campground Information:

Site #151 – Not ideal but large enough for a family site.

Reservations needed by:  

Reservations can be made six months in advance online line at:

Recreation.gov

Comments:

This campground is HUGE and in a forest setting.  Being near Lake Tahoe is a bonus. There are hiking trails to suit everyone – easy, hard, long, short, on or near beaches, low and high elevations.  Anything you desire. The area is postcard perfect. Not only is Lake Tahoe one of the most beautiful bodies of water in California, this campground also has its own lake, Fallen Leaf Lake, surrounded by mountains and beautiful pine trees. Fishing, kayaking, boating and swimming is available. Simply breathtaking – and, incidentally, very cold:

img_5031

This photo was taken on the south side; not campground entrance.  I forgot to take one!

The campground offered:

The tent and RV sites have paved parking aprons. Each yurt and standard site has a bear-proof food storage locker, campfire ring, pedestal grill and picnic table.

Coin-operated shower facilities, water spigots and accessible restrooms with flush toilets are scattered throughout the campground. A camp host is on-site, and firewood and supplies can be purchased from the camp store. A public phone is also available.

The surrounding woods provide habitat for squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks and a variety of birds. The campground has some resident black bears that are often seen by guests; please be safe around bears.

Places visited and things to remember next time:

We will be staying here again, as we do every year.  We actually took two hours on Saturday morning to walk the entire campground.  We took notes and photographs of every site we liked – being choosy on available shade, pad size, lot size, location and traffic (loops have less traffic than the main road in and out).  Most of our site reviews were based on three sites together because we camp here annually. This was the annual trip with friends so this write-up is based on a group stay.

Our group stays at least three nights.  The first night is glamping.  We set up camp and head over to the Beacon Bar and Grill, the home of the Rum Runner (tropical fruit juice with Spiced Rum, White Rum, and a float of Dark Rum on top of a slushy mix). Most of us also have calamari with our traditional cocktails.  The Beacon, part of Camp Richardson, does have a wonderful menu, but we just can’t seem to get past the generous portions of appetizers, clam chowder and drinks.

beacon

Laketahoe.com

Hours & Info:
7 days a week: 10:30am – Close
Live Music: Weekends (1-5pm)
Reservations: 530-541-0630

THE SUNSET AND VIEW OF LAKE TAHOE IS SPECTACULAR!

 

img_4927

We always do some kind of hike during our stay. There are so many beautiful trails.  This time we hiked overlooking Emerald Bay:

img_5036

We parked at the D. L. Bliss State Park Beach and began our trek on the Rubicon Trail:

img_7272

I don’t wanna bore you with a gazillion landscape pictures, but OMG:

img_4945

See you next time !!

img_4963

Brannan Island State Recreational Area Campground

We stayed in Site 107, Olympic Loop, at this year-round campground. The park is near our hometown and family who live in the North Bay area, although we have never camped here until now.

The location is very convenient for us:

17645 California Hwy 160
Rio Vista, CA 
(916) 777-6671
rawimage
 

We booked this site for Labor Day Weekend because it was available during a busy, holiday weekend and was close to a reunion we attended in Vallejo, as well as our families.

Here is our review:

Campground Information:

Site #107 – we liked #110 the best (handicapped), but all others were similar.

Reservations needed by:  

Reservations can be made all year by going to: http://parkreservations.solanocounty.com/

Or calling: 800.444.7075

Comments:

Not a very aesthetically pleasing campground.  Especially the RV loop which is very small. The individual sites are close together as well. Some trees, but very dry and brown grounds even though surrounded by water. Regular RV sites are $50 per night including an $8.00 reservation fee.

img_4562

This photo was taken by John from an empty site next to ours.

The campground offered:

Amenities included 30 amp electrical, water, 8′ picnic tables and fire pits. Hubby liked the dump site.  Tent sites do not have power or water. Hubby liked the dump area – very convenient sanitary system set up on a loop. There was a very nice day use area with boat launches and nice, green grounds with picnic tables.

The park has a ten lane launch ramp, over 140 campsites and areas for picnicking and swimming. Flush toilets and outdoor cold showers are available.

Places visited and things to remember next time:

We met some very nice people as always. We had an issue with our battery and our neighbor, Jeff, helped John get our truck running. He and his wife had a refurbished, teal and white travel trailer from the 60’s.  Really cute!

We also met a nice couple from San Leandro with a pop-up, Bernard and Linda.  We hope to see them again in our travels.  Nice folks, but we didn’t get to know them until our last morning at camp. I wanted to stay longer to spend more time with them.

NOTE:  Do not follow GPS – we took a left on Twitchell Island Road instead of going a bit further where the Brannan Island SRA sign is. If you go over the bridge, you’ve gone to far too. Humphrey, the lost Humpback whale is no longer there – no reason to go across it! We got a very bumpy view of the entire surrounding marina areas with the premature left turn. It turned out to be a 35 minute detour. I’m surprised nothing broke in the trailer cause the road was terrible! Guess I’m a good organizer/packer!

We’ll probably stay here again, but not because it was anything spectacular, but our kids are 30 minutes away. We always enjoy spending a day at camp with our new granddaughter too.

img_4902

img_4903

Her 3 month old milestone! Sorry – a shameless plug for our little LauraSue. The photo was taken by her mommy at one of the boat launches in the park. That makes it OK, right?

img_4610

We are still modifying and fine tuning our 5th wheel.  John made an outdoor area for our cat.  Stay tuned for a blog post on that!

See you next time !!

Lake Solano Park Campground

We went camping last weekend (August 12th thru 14th) at this very unpretentious campground.  We have been here several times now and have camped by the water, in the meadow and this time right in the hub of the park. Kayak launching was very easy here, the view of the lake and wild life was beautiful and we had a terrific time as always.

The location is very convenient for us:

8685 Pleasants Valley Rd
Winters, CA 95694
 
lake solano park
 

Our families live within 30 minutes allowing us to visit either at their houses, or have visitors at our site. A win-win for us!

Here is our review:

Campground Information:

Site #29 – smack dab in the middle of the campground with a water view

image

image

Reservations needed by:  

Reservations can be made ahead by going to http://parkreservations.solanocounty.com/

Otherwise, there are first come first served sites available.  A few have sewer and some have electric and water.

Comments:

A lot of traffic at this site because a swimming hole and canoe/kayak launch was in front of our campsite. We didn’t mind because we like meeting new people and noise level was minimal. Site 29 is a large pull-thru with full hook-ups.  We were very surprised at the overabundance of weeds in Putah Creek which dumps into Lake Solano. We heard they were just as bad in the lake.  My Hobie Mirage rutter kept bouncing out of the water. Canoes and kayaks without mechanisms glide much better. The weeds also make fishing difficult as the lures don’t float and get hidden in the brush.

The campground offered:

30 amp electrical, as well as water and sewer in some.  There are some pull-thru sites as well. Please see their website above for more information.  Clean modern restrooms and free showers are available. There is a nature center with a few interesting exhibits, but not much to pass a whole lot of time!  Water is very cold for swimming, but possible – life vests are mandatory.

I love the wildlife.  My husband saw some otters swimming by and the peacocks are a scream.  Literally!  Beautiful and they sound like they are saying “HELP”!  The chicks are adorable.  Once you know what the sound is, it’s really not annoying – to me anyway.

Places visited and things to remember next time:

We met some very nice people as always. We always try to be friendly and considerate which makes for a very successful stay anywhere.  We do a lot of cooking while camping, but like to venture out for breakfast one of the days. Some friends recommended the Putah Creek Cafe  and Tomat’s California Cuisine in downtown Winters.  We chose Putah Creek this time and were very glad we did.  The chicken fried steak was very nice and the Huevos Rancheros was to die for.  The Bacon Bloody Mary was pretty darned good as well!  We want to try Tomat’s next time. Stay tuned for that review.

image

A good time was had by all and we will definitely camp at Lake Solano Park again.

 

 

 

 

Snowflower – A Thousand Trails Resort

We were invited to Snowflower by some really good friends who own a membership.

“Snowflower RV Resort offers an equally exquisite getaway for summer visitors. We provide a variety of fun-filled activities for our guests including kayaking, swimming, biking, hiking and trout fishing. If R&R is what you seek, find peace and quiet on our sandy beach at the lake. You will find the breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to be quite relaxing indeed.”

Relaxing indeed! The one statement above (taken from their website) regarding the breathtaking view was something I had not expected.  The views were spectacular; particularly at sunset.  We could see the Milky Way, Big Dipper and so many stars, but the view!

image

The campground is very quiet and the people are very nice. I didn’t get a picture of our sites because they were private, but a few public sites are available to reserve through RVontheGo.com. Here is a map of the campground:

 

Snowflower legend

 

Map taken from:  https://www.thousandtrails.com/california/snowflower-rv-resort/

We also went to Kelly Lake to launch the kayaks.  What absolutely beautiful little lake.  We had the beach area to ourselves with the exception of one boat launch by a couple of nice fisherman. We even took our friend’s dogs for their first spin.

image

image

This is our view on the way back to camp:

image

I hope we get invited back because we had a great, great time with good friends.  Thank you to Jim and Joan Johnson!