Are you tent camping or rv ? If your tent camping with a 4x4 there is a great spot to camp next to Tamarack lakes. Google earth it and you will see it. It has some section on the road up to it that put a stock 4x4 to it limit, but I believe it is doable and there are some cool spots along Gold lake that also require some serious wheeling in spots. Otherwise the regular rv spots just in from the highway on Gold Lake are not bad.
Forget Sandpond to crowded and the campground is not right next to the pond. I live in Truckee so this is my backyard so I just might bring the boys by to sing you happy birthday.