Two buildings in a forest of trees at Camp Cole
Camp Cole administration buildings

Camp Cole is located at 6,700’ (2,042 meters) elevation in the Tahoe National Forest, 21 miles (33 km) west of Truckee, California. Distant from the civilized confines of our former locations in the Santa Cruz Mountains and the uncomfortable hot weather and dry, dusty conditions common in Carmel Valley and Greenfield, it is bordered on all sides by pristine forest and lakes. Despite being snow-fed, Lake Sterling adjacent to camp is a comfortable 68 °F most days due to its shallow depth. Typical temperatures in camp during July are from 56-85 °F.

Far from city lights, you enjoy bright, sunny days, cool nights and millions of bright stars. Everyone camps in tents and when on the trail cooks by patrol.

Nearby lakes and peaks

Camp Cole is surrounded by sparkling lakes and streams. There’s swimming, canoeing, rowing, rock climbing and rappelling, hiking, and a campfire bowl for songfests.

All groups hike out of camp from one to two days. There are multiple trails to choose from leading to many nearby lakes and peaks. The camp is within 5 miles (8 km) of 10 other small lakes suitable for back country treks. Hiking terrain in the area is surprisingly level.

At White Stag Sierra, you’ll enjoy beautiful back-country terrain, magnificent views, lots of water, and a week of camp filled with fun, leadership, games, and lots more.

Permanent buildings

The camp has two permanent buildings to serve candidates’ needs. There is a professionally equipped kitchen with a walk-in refrigerator and freezer. Most meals are prepared by our trained volunteer support staff.

The second building contains camp offices, a staff conference room, a dispensary on the first floor, and bunk rooms for adult staff on the second floor. There is a pit toilet building, a shower building with eight shower stalls, and a handicap accessible shower and toilet. Every camp site also has chemical toilets.

Medical facilities

We have dedicated medical facilities on site with the capability to treat all minor, camp-related injuries. Youth are always accompanied by trained staff and certified medical staff, either an EMT, an accredited and licensed nurse, or an MD. Tahoe Forest Hospital is located 21 miles (33 km) away in Truckee.

Get directions here.