Lake Tahoe, CA - Summer 2021 Meet, Greet, Paddle, and Camp?

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Lake Tahoe, CA - Summer 2021 Meet, Greet, Paddle, and Camp?

Post by Rob »

I'd like to bounce up to Lake Tahoe sometime this Summer, and thought perhaps some of you might be interested in doing the same too.

So, is there any interest in a meet, greet, paddle, and camping weekend, or week, if the campgrounds will be open, and assuming the Covid lockdown rules don't preclude that?

Ideally, I'd like to go for an entire week, but am not sure if I can get that much time off.

Thinking about camping at either DL Bliss State Campground, or Camp Richardson on the South Shore as a backup plan, due to their proximity to Emerald Bay. Both permit tent and RV camping. The boat camp actually in Emerald Bay would be ideal, but I've never camped there, and suspect those sites may be in major demand.

Ideally, I'd like to do a circumnavigation of Tahoe over the course of 3 - 4 days, though that would require more complex coordination, multiple campsites, car shuttling, etc.. There are a couple of campgrounds on the NV side of the lake that would help facilitate that too. Since I haven't kayaked in some time, not sure I'm up to that either, unless the conditions are very favorable, e.g. little to no wind, or waves - Tahoe can get very rough when the winds kick up, especially on the eastern shore in the afternoons, so may need to table that for another trip.

At the very least, I'd like to camp and kayak, swim, snorkel for a long, 3 - 4 day weekend, or mid-week trip. I'm open as to dates, and other things too, though as time goes on in the year, the water gets a bit warmer, so July and August might be better. I suspect August will be the most crowded month, if past norms apply.

I'm also open to a weekend, or mid-week trip (probably easier for me to do the latter right now - Wed. and Thurs. off) in May, or June also.

Trips to other less crowded, Sierra Nevada lakes that permit kayaking and camping too would be great as well, if you have any suggestions about other good destinations. I hate crowds.

Folding kayaks and kayakers are encouraged, but those with hardshells are welcome too.

So, anyone interested?

If so, post a note here, and/or send me a PM.

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Re: Lake Tahoe, CA - Summer 2021 Meet, Greet, Paddle, and Camp?

Post by KerryOnKayaks »

Hi, Rob.

I'm hoping to do a rambling western road trip (from Pennsylvania) this summer at some point -- no firm dates yet since I JUST got my second covid vax so was unable to make any firm plans til now. I'm working on drafting a co-pilot or two but will go on my own if nobody materializes. I'll be traveling in a compact self supporting motor home (solar and generator, full bathroom and kitchen) which would be ideal for shuttling and a base camp on the kind of trip you are imagining. The vehicle is a converted Penske van that still has the overhead rear door so I can fit 3 or 4 set up boats inside it. I'll probably bring my Feathercraft and Pakboat Quest.

I spent a week at Tahoe 5 years ago with a friend -- we only did a little kayaking on the north north in a rental tandem (she wasn't experienced enough for solo open water paddling.) It's been on my list of paddling destinations ever since. One of the nice things about traveling with the van is I can bring all the gear for various activities and conditions -- I had not considered snorkeling LT but I have that gear and a 3/4 wetsuit that would probably suffice in the warmer waters along the shores.

I have family and friends in SoCal so my thoughts were to start from there in early summer and work my way north. Being retired means I can be very flexible about planning. Keep us posted as your plans evolve and maybe we can rendezvous at Tahoe at some point.
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Re: Lake Tahoe, CA - Summer 2021 Meet, Greet, Paddle, and Camp?

Post by Rob »

Thanks for the reply Kerry.

Sounds good, though I'm not sure if my original plan is going to work out, or not. Right now it is looking rather grim.

It looks like most, if not all of the dates I was looking at, and interested in have already been booked. Appears Californians and others are tired of being locked down and looking to do some camping and other things at the lake.

Alas, it has been some time since I've made reservations there, and apparently the rules have changed to permit booking up to six months in advance, as compared to the 2 - 3 months in advance I recall. People locked down at home have clearly been using their spare time to snap up ALL the good campgrounds and campsites for almost every day this Summer.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to get any dates at any of the campgrounds I was interested in, which I thought might provide reasonable access to the water, in order to get a kayak to it.

I'll do a bit more checking in the next week or so, as time permits, but I may need to see if I can find another lake, or postpone/scrap the idea altogether if I don't have more luck. From the bit of research I've done thus far, it seems like most of the campsites are fully booked throughout the Summer, other than the odd day or two, here or there, in the middle of the week. I was hoping for at least 3 - 4 days linked together over a long weekend, or even during the middle of the week, but even that looks to be impossible until at least the Fall.

Anyone have any other ideas for a nice, decently sized, Sierra lake in Central CA, reasonably near Lake Tahoe (HWY 80 or HWY 49 or HWY 50), with waterfront campsite access (or at least reasonably close) for the Summer?

Preferably one where you can both kayak on, and swim and skin dive in too.

I open to dates from June - August, and perhaps even the first half of September. Earlier in the season is probably better, due to the drought, in order to avoid smoke from the inevitable wildfires later in the Summer in the mountains.

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