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High visitation from Memorial to Labor Day. Park may close at varying times during the day. More…

From Memorial to Labor Day Sand Harbor is very popular and experiences high visitation.  Those planning to visit Sand Harbor should be prepared for park closures and have an alternate destination in mind. Parking along Highway 28 is prohibited, and walk-ins are currently not allowed.

Vehicle Parking Access: Sand Harbor’s popularity can make it difficult to enter from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The main day-use area opens at 7 a.m. and visitors may enter the park on a first-come, first-served basis.  The parking lot at Sand Harbor is usually full by 9 a.m. and on weekdays by 10 a.m. On weekends and holidays visitors should be prepared for traffic congestion on Highway 28. Fee booths only accept cash during the summer months. Once the parking lot is closed, vehicles will not be allowed to enter the park until it reopens, which is usually by 5 p.m.

Alternative Access: East Shore Express – The East Shore Express will not operate for the 2020 summer season. RTC Reno. The Lake Tahoe East Shore Trail is currently open, with a $2 walk-in/bike-in entrance fee.

Sand Harbor Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you close the gates instead of allowing cars in as space becomes available?

As part of the park management plan, we determine the number of people Sand Harbor can safely handle without causing damage to the resources or compromising social distancing requirements. Once this capacity is reached, the gates are closed. To reduce traffic impacts to Highway 28, and efficiently manage staff resources, a second wave of visitors is welcomed into the park, generally by 5 p.m.

What does reopen by 5 p.m. mean?

Park Rangers are continuously monitoring the number of visitors in the park. Depending on the day, by late afternoon visitation has usually dropped to a manageable level. When it is determined that the park can be reopened for the rest of the day, the gates are opened.  Gates are usually open by 5 p.m., but may open earlier.  

Can we drop off on the highway or walk-in?

No. Highway 28 is a major highway and is not safe for pedestrians. Park Rangers frequently respond to  car accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians. Park staff are stationed at entrance gates and will not allow pedestrians to access the park from the highway.  

Can I park my vehicle on the highway?

No. Highway 28 is posted no parking for the entire park boundary. Violators will be issued a parking citation and will not be allowed to access the park.  

I rented a kayak or boat from a park vendor, can I access the park with my vehicle?

All parking is first-come, first-served. If the park is full upon your arrival, you will need to speak to your rental company about access options.    

Once I’ve entered the park can I leave and come back?

No, once you leave you will not be allowed back into the park.

Are pets allowed?

Pets are prohibited from April 15 to October 15.

What are the rules for paddle craft?

Paddle craft are allowed on boat beach and main beach. Paddle craft are not allowed in divers cove. Paddlers 12 and younger MUST wear a personal life jacket. All other paddlers MUST carry a life jacket on board. It is highly recommended everyone wear a life jacket.   

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