Beautiful Sugar Pine Point State Park (aka Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park), is located along the western shore of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada mountains, about ten miles south of Tahoe City on Highway 89.
Lake Tahoe lies at the heart of the Washoe Indian territory, and Ed Z'berg - Sugar Pine Point State Park was the summer home for generations of Washoe Indians who came to these peaceful shores to hunt and fish. Evidence of their occupation can still be seen today in the form of bedrock mortars or grinding rocks just offshore from the Ehrman Mansion.
In 1860, the first permanent settler of record on Lake Tahoe's west shore built a cabin at the mouth of General Creek. This was the trapper and fisherman William "General" Phipps, and his cabin can still be seen today just north of the Sugar Pine Point pier. In 1884, a resort called Bellevue Hotel was constructed just north of what is now the South Boathouse, and remained a popular summer destination for Lake Tahoe visitors for nine years.
There are two halves to the park: the campground, located on the western side of the highway, away from the lake, nestled in the pine and cedar forest, and the day use area on the lake shore, on the eastern side of the highway. Sugar Pine Point is one of the finest remaining natural areas on Lake Tahoe. The park's nearly two miles of lake frontage feature dense forests of sugar pine, fir, aspen and juniper. Its beautiful beaches beckon to summertime visitors and kayakers and wintertime cross-country skiers and snowshoers.
Perched on the shore is the Pine Lodge (aka the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion), a summer home built in 1903 by financier Isaias W. Hellman, and the Phipps Cabin, built by William Phipps, an early Tahoe settler. The Hellman family owned what is now Sugar Pine Point from the turn of the 20th century until 1965. Their mansion remains as a stunning example of the Victorian homes of wealthy Lake Tahoe summer residents of 100 years ago. The mansion's old water tower today houses the Sugar Pine Point Nature Center.
The campground is extremely popular in the warm summer months, and we recommend reservations. To make reservations, please contact www.reserveamerica.com. Max Camper Length: 32 Feet; Max Trailer Length: 26 Feet. The Sugar Pine Point campground features sites with proper bear-proof storage facilities.
While the state park has about two miles of lakefront, most of the park- and the best hiking-is inland along General Creek. Trails lead along the creek through a forested valley to the state park boundary, then into the El Dorado National Forest. The park is often used by long-distance hikers to gain access to the northerly part of the Desolation Wilderness, as well as to intersect the Paciﬁc Crest Trail and other paths leading into the High Sierra backcountry west of Lake Tahoe.
Winter visitors to the park will find over 20 kilometers of marked cross country ski trails and a heated restroom in the General Creek campground. The newly re-established Olympic Biathlon Trail allows visitors to ski the historic trail from the 1960 Olympics! Interpretive presentations on a variety of winter related subjects are presented most weekends, from January through March. Click here to download the cross-country ski trail map.
Ed Z'berg - Sugar Pine Point State Park is comprised of conifer forests in the General Creek drainage. The waters of General Creek are among the clearest waters flowing into Lake Tahoe and the stream is open to fishing from mid July to mid September.
Sugar Pine Point Nature Center:
When you're at the Park, be sure to stop at the Nature Center located in the day use area by the Ehrman Mansion. Be sure to see the bird display, where visitors can view several species of bird life that occur in the Tahoe Basin. In addition to birds, visitors can see most of the mammals and the four major game fish that occur here. Other exhibits include: Biology, Lake Ecology, Wildflowers, Trees, and a "Touchy-feely" table for the kids (adults also!) Every summer the park host a Living History Day.
Campground reservations are required. It closes for the winter in November.
Hellman-Ehrman Mansion: Open from Memorial Day weekend through September 30th.
Daily Tours, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, mid June through Labor Day. Reduced tour schedule in early June and in September. Call for tour times: 530-525-7232
The ski trail parking on the west side of Highway 89 and the day use area on the east side of Highway 89 remain open during the winter. Summer temperatures range from about 75 degrees during the day to the low 40s at night, and winter temperatures average from a high of 40 to a low of 20 degrees.
Call for information.
ADA Accessibility Notes
General Creek Campground. Accessible camping is available. The campfire center is also accessible, with accessible parking nearby.
Visitor Center/Museum Picnic Area. Accessible picnic sites, restrooms, and parking are available.
The Lakeshore Trail is a nearly 1/2 mile paved trail along the shore of Lake Tahoe. The trail can be accessed from the western most parking lot where there are also accessible restrooms. Grades on portions of the paved trail exceed 10% and some people with mobility impairments may require assistance. Call 530-525-3345 or 530-525-9524.
The West Shore Bike Trail has 1 mile of accessible trail located north and south of the entrance road into the park, along highway 89. The trail is constructed of asphalt. Trail accessibility terminates approximately ¼ mile north of the park entrance road and approximately ¾ mile to the south of the park entrance road.
The Campground Trail is a 3/4 mile accessible trail located in the General Creek Campground. The trail is constructed of asphalt and connects multiple campground loops.
Pet Friendly Notes
Call for information.