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Camping at Washoe Meadows State Park

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Location & Access

Washoe Meadows State Park is located in El Dorado County, California, just southwest of Lake Tahoe. The park is situated between the towns of South Lake Tahoe and Meyers, providing a more secluded natural environment compared to its busier neighboring areas. The park can typically be accessed via U.S. Highway 50.

About Washoe Meadows

Washoe Meadows State Park consists of approximately 620 acres of meadows and woodlands habitat. It was established to protect the native meadows and the substantial archaeological resources that have been found in the area. The park features the Truckee River, as well as numerous mountain streams, and is named after the Washoe Indians who historically inhabited the region.

Camping Information


  • As of the last update, Washoe Meadows State Park does not offer developed camping facilities. This means there are no designated campsites, restrooms, showers, hookups, or other amenities you might find in other state parks.

Dispersed Camping:

  • If allowed, dispersed camping would be a backcountry experience requiring campers to be self-sufficient, packing in what they need and packing out all trash. However, it is essential to check the latest park regulations as policies can change, and some state parks do not permit this type of camping.

Alternative Camping Options:

  • Those looking to camp near Washoe Meadows State Park might consider the numerous campgrounds in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Both private and public options are available, including those operated by the US Forest Service with varying levels of amenities.

Activities & Recreation

  • Hiking: The park offers several informal trails for a peaceful hike through meadows and forests.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Birdwatching and wildlife observation are popular due to the park's diverse habitats.
  • Fishing: Anglers may enjoy fishing in the streams surrounding the park, though California fishing regulations apply.
  • Photography: The scenic landscapes make for excellent photography opportunities, especially during wildflower blooms.
  • Environmental Education: The park provides a venue for learning about the area's natural and cultural history.

Considerations & Regulations

  • Preservation: Since Washoe Meadows State Park is geared towards preservation, it's crucial to minimize human impact. Adhere to the Leave No Trace principles to protect the natural environment.
  • Fire Safety: Check for fire restrictions, especially during dry summer months. Campfires may not be allowed.
  • Permits: If camping is permitted, you might need a California campfire permit for stoves and lanterns.
  • Pets: If pets are allowed, they typically must be on a leash and controlled at all times. Check specific pet policies before visiting.
  • Weather Conditions: The area can have significant snowfall in winter, and summer weather can also be unpredictable. Be prepared for changing conditions.
  • Be Bear Aware: This is bear country, so proper food storage and handling are critical to ensure safety for both campers and wildlife.


For the most current and accurate information regarding camping at Washoe Meadows State Park, visiting the official California State Parks website or contacting the park directly before planning your trip is recommended. Park policies and available services can change based on environmental concerns, public safety, and resource management priorities.

Map of Campgrounds in Washoe Meadows State Park
Campgrounds in Washoe Meadows State Park
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