Truckee, CA

Boca Campground

During the popular California droughts, most lakes are very dry allowing you to explore in rare places. Photo: Ciera. A. Lagges - August 2014.

During the popular California droughts, most lakes are very dry allowing you to explore in rare places. Photo: Ciera. A. Lagges - August 2014.

Boca Campground - Truckee, CA (Near Lake Tahoe on the Boca Reservoir)

Going camping doesn't seem as easy as I remember as a child. Planning in advance can be crucial when it comes to reservations, and finding a noteworthy spot. Usually most websites and travel books don't do it justice. I'm a very visual person, so I hope to intrigue you as much as this place intrigued us. 

During the summer the lake is so low that most boats aren't on the water making a quite experience, also allows you to wake to the lake and see some of it dried up. If you're lucky you might see the local Shepard, his four dogs and his herd of sheep. Be sure to call in your reservation and avoid online. Typically will say the campsite is full when it isn't. 

The storms can be deceiving in the summer months, visual across the lake you can see lighting and thunder heads but fear not, other than wind nothing makes it's across the lake. Making it a very unique experience.

TIP: Use recreation.gov and reserveamerica.com to find your campsite but be sure to call to book, I found that online isn't as accurate with reservations as talking to a human is. Most sites had openings that were not available online.

Directions: Take I-80E toward Reno. Exit Hirachdale. Follow signs for Boca-Stampede Resevoir. If you need cash be sure to get it in Truckee before you head to camp. We found that most general stores ATM's were out of order. Truckee is only a 20 minute drive but it can ruin the nature of the trip.

Animals: No real big threats. Bear warnings but very rare chances of actually seeing one. Chipmunks, black bird, flies and red ants will be annoying especially the chipmunk family of 8 that made it a nightly routine to scavenge our campsite at night.

Campsite #22: For small groups up to 6-8 people max, or two big tents. Overlooks the reservoir in a 180 degree view. Walk in only, park a little farther than your average campsite. Have to walk through campsite #21 to get to campgrounds.

Campsite #22 + #21: Perfect for large groups who some space to spread out. Great if you have a rowdy crowd due to being so secluded. About 3 possible locations for Hammocks and even more space for tents. No RV Spots.

Campsite #19: always first come first serve. Not so private of a spot but beach access all to yourself!

Activities:

  • Dirt bikes
  • Quads
  • Boating
  • Wake boarding
  • Water skiing
  • Jet skis
  • Paddle Boarding
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Kayaking
  • Tubing
  • Fishing (with permit)

Pros:

  • Day use or Overnight
  • Amazing view
  • Great for all outdoor activities
  • Vault toilets 
  • Hidden yet easy to find
  • Fire pit with rack
  • Picnic tables
  • The friendliest Host (Dennis, tell him we sent you)

Cons:

  • No running water
  • Firewood is expensive
  • Cash only
  • Surrounding stores lack supplies also very expensive