Camping AT D.L. Bliss

Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe California

D.L. Bliss Campground - Not all campsites are equal - Scroll down to see BEST sites
9881 HWY 89
Tahoma CA 96142

Click Here For State Park Link

Entrance of D.L. Bliss by Gary O'Toole

Location – Directions

17 miles south of Tahoe City on Highway 89, a couple of miles north of Emerald Bay
Tahoma Latitude/Longitude: 38.9851 / -120.1304
Phone: 530-525-7277
Reservations: 800-444-7275 Click Here

Even though this park gets a 10 rating from most of the camping books, many campsites are on slops that are rocky or are small. I would rate this place a 5 or a 10 depending on where you’re parking your tent. I love the beach access at this park and a few nice sites sit facing the water. You pay extra for that though and no dogs on beach here, not even on leash. However early rise and sunset ball throw worked for us just fine. The beach is BEAUTIFUL and it’s the beach that makes this campground great. If you want to book a good site you will need to be on the ball and get it the day they open for sale, 7 months in advance on the first day of the month.
The sites I've chosen are based on SHADE, PRIVACY, NO BATHROOM LIGHT SHINNING IN YOUR TENT, SIZE and FLAT. Everyone has their own real estate requirements but I'm sure you will be happy with this review.

Bliss Water by Ruth Chase

BEST SITES                           Click Here For Campground Map
Beach Camp Loop:
148: Water side, shade & some privacy, near stairs & people traffic
151: Water side, view, smaller
153: Water side, space, odd shape
156: Water side, close to neighbors tent location
158: Water side
143, 162, 165, 164 all seem best for privacy, shade and flatter, may be close to group

Pros: The Beach loop is mostly great for being able to walk to the beach. Especially early mornings and night strolls it's nice to be so close. Most days we drive down and park the car early in the shade for our gear and dog who isn't permitted on the sand. I also like the water spigot in each campsite.
Cons: Small spaces packed in tight, best when your neighbors are friendly. Cost more to be at the beach. You do get a view but it's not an open shot of the water as the trees are dense between you and the view of the water. Parking allows two autos however they are tiny.

Morning Ball Throw by Ruth Chase
Other Loops: 
103: Spacious
105: Spacious
113: Interesting, large rock forms
10-12: Flat, shady, quiet, bigger, good to group together
17 & 19: Flat, shady, quiet, bigger, good to group together
24-25: Flat, shady, quiet, bigger, good for group, too close to bathroom light

Pros: Quieter camping away from the beach with access to beach by bike or short drive. Lower Pines loop is my favorite in terms of larger, flat sites and the most quiet as well.
Cons: Distance from beach

Trolly Ride by Ruth Chase
Drive-In Developed $35.00 $35.00
Group Developed $165.00 $165.00
(2 night maximum) Hike & Bike Special $7.00 $7.00
Lakefront Drive-In Premium $45.00 $45.00
If you cancel before 5:00 PM the day before your arrival date you will be refunded your purchase with a $7.50 charge for canceling.

Looking At YOU by Ruth Chase
Details and Fun Facts: The park is named for a pioneering lumberman, railroad owner, and banker of the region. The D.L. Bliss family donated 744 acres to the State Park system in 1929.
Metal bear-resistant food lockers are provided in each campsite. The inside dimensions of the food locker 36" deep, 43" wide, and 22" high.

Click Here To See Park Brochure
Chick Here To See Bear Information

Max Camper Length: 18 Feet

Max Trailer Length: 15 Feet
Each campsite is allowed one vehicle, one additional vehicles to be parked at campsite for $7 or $8. A parking area is available for any vehicles after three or more.


Balancing Rock Nature Trail: The Balancing Rock, "tons of granite resting precariously on a slender stone base", has long been a natural attraction on Lake Tahoe's western shore. Visitors to the Lake Tahoe area in the late 1800's and early 1900's enjoyed being photographed next to this geological marvel.
Today, the Balancing Rock is the feature attraction of a short, half mile self-guided nature trail in the northwest section of D.L. Bliss State Park. The granite of this large rock began weathering more rapidly at the joint plane, an extensive horizontal crack that is easily seen at its "waist".
The overlying rock weighs around 130 tons and is now balanced on the rock below. This precarious remnant of granite rock will eventually fall when enough material has eroded away to break the equilibrium between the two pedestals.
We had a blast riding the trolley from our campground to Camp Richard for the yummiest ice cream EVER!
Visitors can pick up a brochure at the start of the trail that describes 19 numbered markers, where you can stop and learn about the relationships between the soils, plants, and animals found in the park.

Riding The Trolly by Ruth Chase

Go to site to see images


Anonymous said…
This is great review of DL Bliss. I have booked the group site G001 for August - do you know much about this site? I hope it has shade and is flat! :) Any info you may have will be great! Thanks!
Ruth said…
DL Bliss is hit or miss. I don't know about that site but would love to hear what you think. Just be prepared to be in a beautiful site, close to the water even if it may not be flat. However the group site if I remember clearly are flat and are nicer then most of the sites there. Lots to do in Tahoe let me know if you need ideas.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the review. We are staying in site 103 (which you mention in your review) next month. Do you recall how flat (or not) that site is?
Ruth said…
I don't remember how flat it is. But I do know the ones I recomended were based on how flat they were. So many sites at DL Bliss are on hills and are tiny. The only thing that you may have to deal with as a trade off is the light from the restroom. Let us know how your trip went and if your into it send me some picts with it and I would love to post and share your trip story. Also have you been camping in Tahoe before and do you have plans to do anything else while your there. Please feel free to ask any questions you have.

Temujin said…
Thanks for this great article. BTW- your photo of the the dog on the beach appears to be a clear violation of the park rules you mention. Do you really intend to encourage people to break the park regulations?
Ruth Chase said…
I am not encouraging off leash for anyone else. Each to their own. I am my own person with my own values and YES I walk my dog off leash on occasion and I also run with scissors. Life is saposto be joyful. Sometimes that means waking up as the sun goes up with a hot cup of java, on an empty beach and my dog off leash for enough time to dip into the water, catch a ball and give a shake. Life unleashed here by Ruth
Anonymous said…
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John Hilston said…
No doubt that this is an adventurous place to spend weekend vacations especially with family.
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