Sardine Lake Campground

Tahoe National Forest

Lower Sardine Lake

Sardine Lake Campground, Tlumas National Forest

Sardine Lake Campground

Tahoe National Forest
Attractions and Activities

Located north of Lake Tahoe, the Tahoe National Forest offers great adventures around its lakes and rivers. Those who camp at Sardine Lake Campground are not far from the lake and also near many other National Forest attractions.

  • Horseback ride along mountain trails.
  • Explore the miles of OHV routes west of Prosser Reservoir.
  • Find all the waterfalls along the North Yuba River near Sierra City.
  • Walk along the emigrant trail leading over Donner Pass.
  • Pan for gold on the North Yuba River.
  • Fish for Kokanee in Stampede Reservoir.
  • Take the family for a vacation of water skiing, hiking, and fishing at Jackson Meadows Reservoir.
  • Hike along sections of the Pacific Crest Trail.
  • Visit beautiful Donner Memorial State Park on the shores of Donner Lake.
  • Camp along the Truckee River and enjoy cycling and rafting.

Key Sardine Lake Campground Regulations

  1. Avoid problems with bears by storing food and similar items in bear-proof lockers.
  2. Confine campfires to the provided fire pits.
  3. Dogs must be kept on leash and attended at all times.
  4. Obtain firewood locally to avoid bringing in pests.

Sardine Lake Campground

Sardine Lake Campground is north of Highway 49 and Sierra City and south of Gold Lake, just inside the Tahoe National Forest. Nearby are the North Yuba River and the beautiful Sardine Lakes. The campground itself is along Salmon Creek, about a mile from Lower Sardine Lake. Beaver ponds are found along the creek. The area is popular for fishing, hiking, gold panning, and canoeing. Boating and fishing are available at nearby Sardine Lakes (5 MPH speed limit).

Al1 27 campsites at Sardine Lake Campground can accommodate RVs, trailers, and tents. The campground is arranged in a single loop.


Drive northeast from Sierra City on Highway 49 five miles to Bassetts. There turn north on Gold Lake Highway 1¼ miles, and then left on Sardine Lake Road.

Sardine Lake Campground Basics
Sardine Lake Campground Location: Along Highway 49, 8 miles northeast of Sierra City
Elevation: 5,740
Mileage and driving time from gateway city: Nevada City - 61 miles, 1:19
Number of Sites: 27
Open - Closed: June through October
Max. People per Site: 6 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 2 (fee for 2nd vehicle)
Pets: on leash, always attended
Yuba River Ranger District: (530) 288-3231

Reservations for Sardine Lake Campground
Reservations accepted whenever campground is open
Booking Window: from 4 days up to 6 months in advance of arrival
Maximum trailer/RV length: 22 feet
Accessible Sites: None designated
Fees: $24 per night ($2 extra on holiday weekends)
Reservations: Sardine Lake Campground Reservations
Check-in, check-out: 2:00 PM, 2:00 PM

Sardine Lake Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, fire ring, food storage locker; no hook-ups
Campground: Vault toilets, piped water, amphitheater
Campground Map: Sketch Map of Sardine Lake Campground
Showers: No
Dump station: No
Attractions near Sardine Lake Campground: Sardine Lake for boating and fishing (no swimming); Sardine Lake Resort for boat rentals and lakeside dining; Deer Lake Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, swim at Sand Pond, hike Sand Pond Interpretive Trail, Sierra Buttes, Lakes Basin

General Camping Information

Opening and closing dates of campgrounds are only estimates, usually dependent on snow conditions. Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite.

In order to prevent the spread of invasive insects, obtain firewood from the local area of the campground.

Accessible Sites

Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.

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