Bear Valley Campground

Tahoe National Forest

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Lemon Canyon Road Sierraville, CA 96126 530-994-3401 530-265-4531 Official Website

GPS: 39.557, -120.235

  • Overview
  • Q&A
  • Reviews (1)
  • Amenities

Overview of Bear Valley Campground

Number of Sites 10

Open Seasonally May-October

Elevation 6,627 ft / 2,019 m

Max Stay 14

Tent Camping Yes

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Reviews of Bear Valley Campground 1 person has reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Overall Rating
Site Quality
19' ModVan CV1 / Ford Transit PopTop
4 reviews
“Unexpected jewel”

Reviewed 8/5/2020

Nightly rate: FREE!
Days stayed: 1
Overall Rating

What a find! After a long day of driving to circumvent the Gold and Hog fires, I was getting desperate to find a place to land. Camp grounds off Hwy 89S were either full or closed due to Covid19 restraints. Around 7:30pm, I see a sign pointing up a fairly well maintained dirt road towards Bear Valley Campground, 6 miles. It is literally 6 miles down a single lane (with occasionally wider areas as a sort of pull out) dirt/gravel road with many steep slopes going up or down and thick forested areas on either side of you. Beautiful views! I was in a 2 wheel drive, 19 ft. Ford Transit camper van which handled the road just fine - be mindful of large rocks to navigate around though so go slow. I'll admit, never having taken off down a totally unknown dirt road was unnerving and gutsy - especially without any cell service - but I was exhausted and in need for just a place to walk my dog and sleep for the night. To my surprise, at the end of the 6 miles (NO place to turn around the further in you got but there were mile markers every half mile), there was a lovely campground with a vault toilet (very clean) and water (although there was a warning to boil it before drinking). At the campground (first come, first served and FREE), there were more well graded roads and an area just for OHV riders and lots of signage. If you love off roading, jeeping, camping, hiking....this is a great area for that. Another camper told me that rangers (national forest lands) made daily visits. The sites were well spaced - each with a fire ring, bear box, and heavy picnic table. It was full the night I arrived (on a Saturday) but everyone vacated the next morning, leaving the campground very tidy. I would NOT recommend a Class A or clunky Class C on that road nor any really long trailers. 2 wheel drive cars with decent clearance for tent camping will do fine. No 4WD necessary but be mindful of deep and slippery mud if it rains a lot. Bring plenty of water - I wouldn't trust the source that is there.

Site Quality

Diana would stay here again

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  • dry camping
  • recreation trail
Site Amenities
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
  • restrooms: vault
  • water available
  • pets


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