Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Quick Facts

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit


(530) 543-2600

Map Directions

Things To Do


Majestic scenery and diverse recreation opportunities draw millions of visitors to the Lake Tahoe Basin annually. Changing colors throughout the year afford a brilliant backdrop to the many available activities. The Basin is home to a rich diversity of plants and animals that can be viewed during guided walks, at interpretive sites, and on the many forest trails. Seasonal activities include skiing, snowshoeing, camping, fishing, hiking, music and cultural festivals, art and craft exhibits, and many other sports and events.

Over 75% of the area around the lake is public land managed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service. Totaling over 150,000 acres, this land includes beaches, hiking and biking trails, wilderness, historic estates and developed recreation areas such as campgrounds and riding stables. The forest is managed to provide access for the public and to protect the natural resources of the area.

Map of Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

Latitude, Longitude: 38.928451, -119.969266



  • Boating

    Motorized boating is allowed in numerous areas such as resorts, campgrounds and day-use areas. Check with each area before using motorized watercraft.

  • Bicycling

    There are hundreds of miles of trails and paved roads around the Basin available for road bikes as well as mountain bikes.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Touring options are available.

  • Camping

    Opportunities in the area are available.

  • Fishing

    Sparkling lakes and rivers provide numerous opportunities to test your angling skill. To prevent over fishing and to give the fish a chance to reproduce naturally, rules and regulations have been made. Several lakes and streams are closed to fishing year-round. Some of the lakes and streams are catch and release only. Before fishing, pick up a current copy of the State Fish and Game regulations from the office. Fishing licenses can be obtained from local sporting goods stores. Failure to obtain a fishing license or to follow rules and regulations can result in stiff fines.

  • Hiking

    Hundreds of miles of trails with amazing views wind through the Basin. The hikes are organized by location in relation to Lake Tahoe. You will find maps for the south, north, east, and west shores of Lake Tahoe and a map for Meiss Country located south of the Lake Tahoe Basin. When hiking, a topographic map and compass are recommended. Forest maps are always helpful and are available for purchase from the office.

    Weather conditions can change rapidly. Be prepared with the proper clothing and equipment, no matter how short the hike. Bring water and food to prevent dehydration and exhaustion. If you bring your pet on the trail, put it on a leash to minimize its impact on wildlife and other visitors.

  • Historic Sites

    The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is located on the south shore of beautiful Lake Tahoe. The visitor center is also the hub where four fascinating self-guided trails start and the home of the Stream Profile Chamber, which is a primary attraction at the visitor center complex.

    The Stream Profile Chamber, located 1/4 mile down the Rainbow Trail, provides a view of the stream environment allowing visitors to study a diverted section of Taylor Creek through a panel of aquarium-like windows and is a major attraction for local conservation and environmental education programs.

    Sporting a great look and state of the art equipment table to present programs of all types, the Lake of the Sky Amphitheater offers special evening programs in July and August. Call the Taylor Creek Visitor Center for more information on summer programs at (530) 543-2674 or visit the Taylor Creek Visitor Center Speaker Series and Ranger Programs web page.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Off-road driving is a popular activity and is allowed in the following areas : Lake Tahoe - East Shore -Genoa Peak Road 14N32, Kingsbury tinger 18E39.3, Logan House 14N33, And Lake Tahoe - North Shore Kings Beach 18E18, Mt. Watson 73E.

  • Picnicking

    Most picnic areas are open Memorial Day weekend and close around the end of October. The length of the open season depends on snowfall conditions and may vary from year to year. Most of the picnic areas and beaches charge a parking fee per vehicle.

  • RVing

    Opportunities are available.

  • Water Sports

    There are many fun opportunites for water sports in the Lake Tahoe Basin Area. All around the lake one will find places to waterski, tube, swim, and even windsurf!

  • Winter Sports

    The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit offers some of the finest winter recreational opportunities in the nation. The office provides a year-round source of information so please stop by. The Olympic Games at Squaw Valley in 1960 brought international attention to the Lake Tahoe area as a winter recreation destination. Today, outdoor activities include skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling, snow-shoeing, sledding and much more!


Some activities in the Basin are dependent on weather since snowfall is very common each year. The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest Supervisor's Office, is located at 35 College Drive in South Lake Tahoe. This office provides a year-round source of information. The front desk is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m



The management unit surrounds Lake Tahoe and is easily accessible from major highways.


Reno, Nevada and Carson City, Nevada are each located less than an hours drive from the Basin.

Phone Numbers


(530) 543-2600