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Tahoe’s Sand Harbor State Park to require day-use reservations

Weekend, holiday reservations required through October; daily reservations will be required in April 2025.
Amy Alonzo
Amy Alonzo

Starting in mid-August, day-use reservations will be required on weekends and holidays at Lake Tahoe’s popular Sand Harbor State Park.

Nevada State Parks is piloting the weekend and holiday reservation system from Aug. 17 through Oct. 13, with plans to roll out a permanent daily reservation system in April 2025.

Entry to the park after 10:30 a.m. will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to park capacity.

Visitors can begin booking reservations July 1.

Reservations made before the day of arrival are subject to a non-refundable, $5 fee; reservations for same-day bookings will be waived.

Sand Harbor is the second Nevada state park to require day-use reservations. Last year, Nevada State Parks piloted a day-use reservation system at Southern Nevada’s Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area.

Read more: How officials are grappling with overcrowding at Tahoe’s Sand Harbor

The reservation system is an attempt to reduce congestion on Highway 28 and alleviate overcrowding. Sand Harbor is the most heavily visited site in the Nevada State Park system, drawing more than 1 million visitors per year. 

In 2011, Nevada State Parks started locking Sand Harbor’s gates when the parking lot was full, a practice still in place today, but visitors continue flocking to the park. 

The park, which sees more than 3,000 visitors per day during the crowded summer season, was only designed for about 1,200 visitors per day.

Sand Harbor is known for its sandy beaches and rocky coves for swimming and kayaking, and is home of the annual Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.

Officials are drafting a new master plan for the park to improve traffic flow and sustainability. A final draft is expected in January, with construction starting around the end of the decade.


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