Day Use Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
D. L. Bliss State Park
As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over.
Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.
What is open now?
- The park is open to pedestrians from sunrise to sunset.
- All trail systems are available.
What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
At this park:
- Vehicle access is closed.
- Campgrounds are closed until May 27, 2021. To make a reservation for summer 2021, call 800-444-7275 or visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com.
- Visitor center and tours.
- All restrooms are closed.
- Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
- High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
- Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
Are there any new visitor guidelines?
State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:
- Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time.
- Plan Ahead:
- The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.
- Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
- SNO-PARKS: Make sure your vehicle is snow ready. A permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site. Parking is on a first come, first-serve basis at all SNO-PARK sites. The public is advised that parking lots are filling up early in the day. Illegal parking is prohibited. More information can be found at ohv.parks.ca.gov/SNOPARKS.
- Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day.
- Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
- Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
- Keep Clean: Be prepared as not all services may be available. Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
- Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.
Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.
California State Parks continues to work with local and state officials on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
DL BLISS CLOSED TO VEHICLES - Pedestrian day use only
DL Bliss State Park Day Use closed to vehicles on October 12th.
Day use is open from sunrise to sunset to pedestrians. Parking is available in the DL Bliss Visitor Center Parking lot or outside of the park. Please park in designated stalls. The park is closed from sunset to sunrise.
Our parks are highly impacted at this time - please lend a hand and help make your parks cleaner than you found them. Thank you. 4/15/21
During the off-season D.L. Bliss State Park closes to vehicular traffic for the season. When the park gate is closed, pedestrians may park at the Visitor Center (closed) parking lot near highway 89 and access the park from sunrise-sunset. It is an approximately 1 mile hike from the Vistor Center to the closest Rubicon Trailhead, and a steep mountainous 2 mile hike to the beaches. All park regulations apply during the off-season. No restrooms or water available. Closest food and beverage are in South Lake Tahoe - 10 miles south. Closest restrooms are at Sugar Pine Day Use Area - 7 miles north. In the spring, the park will not open to vehicles until de-winterization and water treatments have been completed.
The day use parking areas at the beaches and at the Rubicon trailhead are extremely popular during the summer months and are often FULL by mid morning. We recommend arriving early in the morning or late in the afternoon for best chances of finding a parking space. When the parking lots are full, day use vehicles will not be allowed into the park - No drop-offs/pick-ups, though pedestrians may walk the two mountainous miles to the beach. Day use hours are sunrise to sunset. Dogs are not allowed on the beach or trails. Amplified music is only allowed with a permit. Thank you for your understanding.
Dogs at D.L. Bliss
Dogs are NOT allowed on the beaches, trails, or off-trail (including the bouldering areas). Dogs are not allowed on the Rubicon Trail. Dogs on a 6' leash are allowed in the campgound and picnic areas, as well as on paved roads. Dogs may not be left unattended. Dog regulations are strictly enforced YEAR-ROUND. Please do not leave your dog in a vehicle and plan accordingly. Here are some boarding options if you are away from home.
The campsite fee ($45 for Beach Camp and $35 for all others) includes one vehicle. The max trailer length is 15'. The max motorhome length is 18'. This is a historic campground with small roads, small campsites and small parking pads. This campground does not have hook-ups, however, there are showers and a dump station available for registered campers
Lake Tahoe is a popular destination and reservations are required. Reservations for DL Bliss Campground will begin May 27th - Labor Day 2021. To make a reservation, go to reservecalifornia.com or call 800-444-7275 - Reservations may be made 6 months in advance of your arrival date.
Check In - 2 pm Check Out - Noon
Generator Hours 10am - 8pm Quiet Hours 10pm - 6am
2 Vehicles allowed per campsite Children must have helmets for bicycles/scooters/skateboards
8 people allowed per campsite Dogs must be leashed and never unattended
Vehicles must be parked on pavement Amplified music is only allowed with a permit
Food must be stored DAY and NIGHT All CA vehicle regulations apply - no passengers in truckbed
IMPORTANT AND REQUIRED - Food Storage Locker Information
All food, beverages, and toiletries are required by law to be stored in provided food lockers except when food is being prepared or eaten. Black bears are currently very active at D.L. Bliss! Metal bear-resistant food lockers are provided in each campsite. Ice chests may NOT be stored in vehicles and shall be stored in food storage lockers. The inside dimensions of the food lockers 36" deep, 43" wide, and 22" high. Violations will be cited. Food, beverages, ice chests, and trash must be stored in food lockers during NIGHT and DAY hours.
Location - Directions
D.L Bliss SP is located 17 miles south of Tahoe City on Highway 89, and approximately 2 miles north of the Vikingsholm Parking Lot at Emerald Bay.
- Tahoe Adventure Company (Hiking, biking and kayaking)
Seasons/Climate Recommended Clothing
Summer temperatures range from about 75-80 degrees F during the day to the low 40s at night, and winter temperatures average from a high of 40 to lows in the teens and 20s; Winter temperatures may dip below 0 degrees F.
High Sierra weather is varied and can change abruptly. It is recommended to bring layered clothing and check weather updates. Weather forecast is available at NOAA.
Chains and/ or 4 wheel drive are frequently required during the winter season. For up to date road conditions, call the Caltrans road hotline at 1800-427-ROAD, or visit the Caltrans website.
D.L. Bliss State Park is located off of Highway 89.
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.
About the Park
Campers and day use visitors enjoy swimming or scuba diving in the crystal clear water of Lake Tahoe, picnicking, relaxing on the warm sand of Lester Beach or Calawee Cove, and hiking the Rubicon Trail, Lighthouse Trail, and Balancing Rock Trail. Lester Beach is a popular location to launch your kayak, paddleboard, or canoe, but keep in mind that trailers are not allowed in the day use parking lots. Please check weather and wind conditions before venturing out on the lake.
The grandeur of the parks and their setting is a product of successive upheavals of the mountain-building processes that raised the Sierra Nevada. From promontories such as Rubicon Point in D.L. Bliss State Park you can see over one hundred feet into the depths of Lake Tahoe.
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.