The 10 Best Lake Tahoe Beaches
Finding the perfect Lake Tahoe beach can be tricky. With 72 miles of shoreline, you'll come across beach options ranging from quiet and secluded private beaches to bustling and crowded public beaches, and every type in between. Choosing the right one for you only takes a minute of research, and to make it even easier, we've put together a list of 10 Lake Tahoe beaches we think will add the perfect touch to your Tahoe summer vacation.
Whether you're staying in North Lake Tahoe or South Lake Tahoe, we have you covered, with five beaches from each end of the lake.
North Lake Tahoe Beaches
If you’re after just the beach basics (and a little privacy too), head to Moon Dunes Beach in Tahoe Vista. The are no facilities. No permanent bathrooms. There’s very limited parking. But what you will find is some of the most pristine white sand anywhere around the lake. When you want to get away from your getaway, you can’t do much better than spending a day here.
If you're into fishing, here's a tip: Head to Rubicon Point on the west side and Cave Rock on the east side for some prime angling. Here, the shoreline drops off almost immediately, opening up the waters to brown and rainbow trout and Kokanee salmon.
Here Lies ~ A Secluded, Hiker's Paradise
Just a couple of miles south of Sand Harbor lies a secluded, hiker’s paradise. You’ll have to walk a scenic trail amongst the trees to get to Chimney Beach, with glimpses of the lake and beach beckoning you all along the way. But once you’re there, rejoice. Play a game of fetch with your canine pal (it’s dog friendly) and take off those shoes to experience the sand, firsthand. A little word of warning, however, should you have the kids in tow: Secret Cove, just a little bit south of this North Lake Tahoe beach, is clothing optional.
To get to Chimney Beach (so named for the old stone chimney that still stands), drive about 2.5 miles south of Sand Harbor on Nevada State Route 28 and you'll see the trailhead and parking area. Plan to get here early, since parking is limited. Take the trail down toward the lake about 20 minutes, and prepare to be awestruck.
All told the hike is about 2.4 miles, suitable for all skill levels, and absolutely worth the extra effort. If you go in the offseason, it's possible to have this beautiful beach all to yourself.
As the largest North Lake Tahoe public beach with nearly 700 feet of shoreline, King’s Beach is where you go to be seen in the sun and enjoy a variety of watersports activities as wide as the beach itself. Here are a few options:
Sand Harbor Lake Tahoe
Something For Everyone ~ At This 55-Acre State Park
There’s something for every member of your family or group at this 55-acre, designated state park.
Long a local favorite in North Lake Tahoe for its conveniently shaded boat launch and rental facilities, this beach area is also a great family destination. All the basics and then some can be found here.
Consisting of more than 800 feet of lakeshore sand, this is the perfect place to get a new perspective of the lake itself. Spend the day exploring the plaza. Hit the trails for a guided tour or the high seas with your watercraft of choice from Tahoe Adventure Company. And if you happen to be looking for a place to host your next event, such as a wedding or family reunion, this is the place to do it. Just check out their facilities and reservations page here.
Make sure to get here early. There’s a reason it’s so popular, and parking fills up fast. Alternatively, you could take public transportation or bike and avoid parking altogether.
South Lake Tahoe Beaches
When Surrounded By Locals ~ You’re In The Right Spot
How does that old saying go? When you find yourself surrounded by locals, you know you’re in the right spot. Perfect for families of all sizes, this South Lake Tahoe beach is less crowded than other area public ones, but no less fun. Choose from a plethora of rental options like canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding or windsurfing, or just enjoy the panoramic views from your place in the sand. Parking is limited however. Try to get there before 11am if you can.
What do you want to do today? Chances are, Camp Richardson can accommodate your interests. All year round. You can explore the lake in the rental watercraft of your choice here of course. But if it’s just the beach you seek, families love the safety of the roped-off swimming area, and the abundance of restrooms, picnic tables, and BBQ grills.
Don’t feel like cooking yourself? Head over to The Beacon Bar and Grill. It’s a spacious restaurant with a vibrant outdoor deck for that al fresco experience you covet on your beach vacation. And on summer weekends, you can even catch some live music.
Kiva Beach is often considered the hidden gem of South Lake Tahoe beaches. It can be hard to find. But once you do, you’ll be rewarded with incredible mountain views. It's also one of the rare beaches in this area of South Lake Tahoe that offers free parking and is dog-friendly. But while there are paved pathways to the sand, it can be a little rocky at first once you get there. So don’t ditch the shoes quite yet.
How to Get to Kiva Beach
From the intersection of Highway 50 and Highway 89 in South Lake Tahoe, head north on Highway 89 for about 3 miles. Turn right onto Heritage Way, then take the fork to the left to turn onto Tallac Road. When this weaves to the left, you'll see the parking area. Walk around the loop to the edge of the parking area to find the paved trail down to the beach. From here it's an easy walk.
The Best Spot ~ For Hot Summer Nights
If you’re coming to this beachfront area on a summer night, you’re coming on a Thursday evening for sure. Check out the Lakeview Summer Concert Series and plan accordingly. But days are no slouch either in these parts. It’s also a great place for BBQs and picnics, and to rent that water vessel to maximize your scenic views.
Round Hill Pines Beach Resort
Round Hill Pines ~ Makes Everyone Happy
Does everyone in your family want to do something different? Head to Round Hill Pines and make everyone happy. This resort area offers a heated swimming pool, barbecues, a deli & bar, beach volleyball and a cornucopia of boat and jet-ski rentals, lake cruises, parasailing adventures, pedal boat excursions, and more. Be sure to take advantage of the water taxi running daily to and from Camp Richardson Resort & Marina. Because after all, you’re on vacation.
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