The Lake Tahoe area has around 12 towns and residential communities. Apart from full-time residents, there are also vacation homes used seasonally, cabin rentals, RV parks and campgrounds. There are three national forests, a dozen state parks and a dozen of ski resorts around Lake Tahoe. All of them feature various types of accommodations for the more specific preferences of tourists.
Terrains around Lake Tahoe generally rise steeply. There are a few side roads into the national forests comprising much of the surrounding mountains. This limits areas for free camping. One of the few places suitable for camping is in the Tahoe National Forest. From the paved routes just north of Idlewild, just halfway along the west shore, the small stream called Blackwood Creek, two miles along a forested valley, is ideal for camping trips. The end of the road here is also an ideal starting point for trips to the backcountry. The official campsites are found at intervals around the lake. These sites include those at Tahoe Vista, Zephyr Cove, Meeks Bay, Camp Richardson, Incline Village, South Lake Tahoe, and Tahoe City.
Some of the more popular activities in the backcountry are mountain biking along the Flume Trail, perched high above Lake Tahoe, fishing at Hobart Lake, and hiking on the scenic Tahoe Rim Trail, which offers spectacular lake and valley views. Hike-in primitive campgrounds are available one mile north of Marlette Lake, Hobart Reservoir, and half way up North Canyon.
Campers around Lake Tahoe can enjoy a number of fishing locations during their stay. There is an ice fishing access trail available at Spooner Lake which is open all year round. Catch and keep is limited up to 5 only. Live bait can be used at Spooner Lake. For Marlette Lake, catch and release are only available from July 15 to September 30 of every year. Only artificial lures and single barbless hooks are allowed. For the Hobart Reservoir, fishing season runs from May 1 to September 30 of every year. No worms, eggs or live bait of any kind can be used. All locations require Nevada fishing licenses.
Picnicking and Hiking
There are many developed picnic sites spread throughout the Jeffrey pines and white firs shading the cliff above Spooner Lake. There is also a two-mile trail circling around Spooner Lake where a number of wild and animals are typically seen. This area is a major trail head for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians entering the backcountry.