Description - Sugar Pine Point State Park contains one of the finest remaining natural areas on Lake Tahoe. With nearly two miles of lake frontage, the park has dense forests of pine, fir, aspen and juniper.
Copyright: California State Parks
Sugar Pine Point State Park
- Sugar Pine Point State Park contains one of the finest remaining natural areas on Lake Tahoe. With nearly two miles of lake frontage, the park has dense forests of pine, fir, aspen and juniper. Deep-line anglers fish the lake's 300-foot deep underwater ledges for trout and salmon. Another attraction is the museum in the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion (also known as Pine Lodge), a summer home built in 1903 in a grove of pine and cedar. During winter, the park features cross-country skiing areas.
History: Lake Tahoe lay at the heart of the Washoe Indian territory, and Sugar Pine Point 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 State Park 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. From the turn of the century until 1965, the lands of what is now Sugar Pine Point State Park were owned by financier Isaias W. Hellman, and later by his daughter Florence Hellman. The mansion built by I.W. Hellman in 1903 provides an interesting view into the lifestyles of the wealthy on Lake Tahoe. It is open to the public from July through Labor Day, and tours are offered from 11 am to 4 pm daily.
Recreation - Camping Information
A 175 site campground is open year round, with hot showers available in the summer months.
Hiking & Swimming: Many miles of hiking trails within the park and a swimming beach provide visitors with a variety of relaxing summer activities.
Fishing: Sugar Pine Point State Park is comprised of over 2,000 acres of conifer forest 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.
Cross-country Skiing: 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. Interpretive presentations on a variety of winter related subjects are presented most weekends, from January through March.
Nature Center: When you're at Sugar Pine Point State Park, be sure to stop at the Nature Center located in the day use area by the Erhman Mansion. We now have a 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!). Admission to the Nature Center is covered by the small parking fee.
Climate - The High Sierra generally experiences warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters. Weather can change rapidly during all seasons of the year. Elevation plays a major role in temperature and precipitation. This precipitation falls mainly from October through April. At higher elevations, it comes mostly in the form of snow. A snowpack from 5-10 feet or more is usually present from December to May at elevations above 6,500 feet. Winter temperatures below zero and summer temperatures above 100 degrees indicate the normal seasonal spread. Clouds can build up during the summer to produce spectacular thunderstorm activity. It is wise to pack for any season with clothing that can be "layered", ready to peel off or add on as the thermometer dictates. Always include some kind of rain gear.
The park is located on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, ten miles south of Tahoe City on Highway 89.