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Popular Lake Tahoe beach will soon require reservations on busy days. Here’s how to get them

Visitors silhouetted by glimmering sunlight climb rocks on the shore of Lake Tahoe
Visitors climb rocks on the shore of Lake Tahoe at Sand Harbor beach in 2019.
(Max Whittaker/For The Times)
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One of Lake Tahoe’s most popular beaches is implementing a reservation system to handle the influx of tourists who swarm the area every summer.

The popular Sand Harbor beach on the lake’s pristine northeastern banks will begin implementing a reservation system next year, with a trial period beginning in August.

The destination is routinely crowded in warmer months, with visitors arriving at early hours to try to get a coveted spot before the beach’s parking lot fills.

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“The reason to implement reservations is to reduce traffic congestion on Highway 28,” said Tyler Kerver, the education and information officer for the Nevada Division of State Parks. “It will improve trip planning for visitors so they do not have to stand in line at 5 a.m. It should relieve some overcrowding on beaches.”

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Reservations will cost $5. The trial period for the reservation system — to be used only on weekends and holidays — will begin Aug. 17 and continue through Oct. 15, Kerver said. Visitors can make reservations online .

The reservation system will become permanent for seven days a week next April, Kerver said.

The system should ease the entry situation for tourists and locals who often get up early only to be turned away from the beach when it fills.

The announcement comes as Sand Harbor has become a more and more popular destination for visitors. The beach had about 365,000 visitors in 2012. In 2023, the beach saw more than 1.2 million visitors, according to the Nevada Division of State Parks.

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