Lake Spaulding Campground: A Tranquil Escape Amidst Sierra Nevada’s Majesty

Nestled on the west side of Donner Summit, Lake Spaulding Campground is a serene retreat surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Owned by the Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation (PG&E), this 772-acre lake, set at an elevation of 5,000 feet, is a haven for fishing and boating enthusiasts. As you embark on your camping journey to Lake Spaulding, discover essential tips, strategies, and gear recommendations to make the most of this picturesque destination.

Map & Reservations

Top Tips for First-Time Campers:

  • Strategic Campsite Selection: Choose one of the 25 campsites wisely, considering your preferences. While a few offer filtered views of the lake, others are walk-in spots ideal for tent camping. Be mindful of the walk-in sites if you’re seeking a more secluded experience.
  • Reservation Wisdom: Secure your camping dates from late May through late September by making reservations. Optimize your camping experience by adhering to the check-in and check-out times and ensuring a smooth arrival at Lake Spaulding.
  • Pet Etiquette: If you’re bringing pets, follow leash and attendance guidelines, with a maximum of two dogs allowed. Ensure a harmonious atmosphere by attending to your furry companions and keeping them on a leash.
  • Seasonal Considerations: Plan your visit between Memorial Day weekend and late September for optimal weather conditions. Be prepared for cooler evenings, especially at higher elevations, by packing suitable clothing and gear.
  • Explore Nearby Lakes: Expand your adventure by exploring nearby lakes like Fuller Lake, Bowman Lake, and Donner Lake. Each offers unique recreational opportunities, contributing to a well-rounded camping experience.

Top Strategies and Tactics for an Optimal Camping Experience:

  • Early Arrival Advantage: Maximize your time at Lake Spaulding by arriving early, between 2:00 PM and 10:00 PM. This ensures a smooth check-in process and allows you to select a preferred campsite.
  • Boating and Fishing Mastery: Take advantage of the convenient boat launch ramp ($10 fee) and indulge in fishing either from the boat or shore. Embrace the peaceful ambiance of Lake Spaulding and appreciate the scenic beauty of the surroundings.
  • Mountain Exploration: Utilize the proximity to other mountain lakes, including Fuller Lake, Bowman Lake, and Donner Lake. Embark on hiking trails, absorbing the natural beauty that surrounds Lake Spaulding.
  • Regional Attractions: Extend your adventure by visiting nearby attractions like North shore Lake Tahoe, historic Truckee, and the family-friendly Boomtown in Nevada. Explore the diverse offerings within an hour’s drive from the campground.
  • Nighttime Serenity: Respect the campground’s quiet hours from 10:00 PM to 8:00 AM. Avoid generator operation during these hours, ensuring a peaceful and undisturbed night for all campers.

Recommendations on Camping Gear:

  • Campsite Illumination: Light up your campsite with reliable lighting options such as the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp. Enhance nighttime activities and create a cozy atmosphere around your camping area.
  • Comfortable Sleeping Setup: Ensure a warm and comfortable night’s sleep with quality camping gear. Consider the Kelty Cosmic Sleeping Bag and the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Sleeping Pad for optimal comfort.
  • Cooking Essentials: Elevate your camp cooking experience with the Coleman Classic Propane Stove. Prepare delicious meals amidst the scenic beauty of Lake Spaulding, adding to the overall camping enjoyment.
  • Outdoor Comfort: Enhance your outdoor comfort with a versatile backpack like the REI Co-op Flash Pack. Explore the hiking trails and nearby lakes with ease, carrying your essentials for a day of adventure.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Check our gearlist account for specific recommendations on camp cooking, sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing. Maximize your camping experience with gear tested and approved for Lake Spaulding adventures.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we use for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Embark on a journey to Lake Spaulding Campground, where nature’s beauty meets outdoor enthusiasts’ desires. Whether you seek a tranquil fishing experience or an exploration of Sierra Nevada’s wonders, Lake Spaulding promises a memorable camping escape.