10. Echo Lake into Desolation Wilderness. Hire a boat to cross Echo Lakes and pick up the trailhead into Desolation Wilderness. This trail is one of the easiest ways into the Wilderness, offers great vistas and pristine mountain lakes. Don’t forget the fishing pole and compass!
9. Fourteen ski areas are located around the Tahoe Basin with each area having its own unique terrain. Some areas are geared towards an intermediate skier with others touting terrain more suited for advanced and expert. Overall, skiing the Sierras is the best ever! During summer, take a tram to the top of Squaw Valley or Heavenly, ride a zip line, swim in a pool at 9,000+ feet, scurry up a climbing wall,or mountain bike in parks or open terrain.
8. Single track trails are found all around the lake and in Truckee. One of the most popular is the Flume Trail on the East Shore of Lake Tahoe. For the less adventurous, bicycle paths wind along the lake along the North Shore, West Shore, and South Shore.
7. Boating on the lake is magical. Boat rentals are available at many areas around the lake either for chartered dinner cruises or by the hour. You can also access boat campsites in Emerald Bay or some of the coves around the lake. For a quieter on-the-lake experience, kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards are plentiful.
6. Sand Harbor on the East Shore has beautiful sand beaches with large granite boulder outcroppings scattered throughout. Picnic tables are available for those sack lunches or on-the beach barbeques. During summer, outdoor theater performances of Shakespeare are a real treat and worth attending. You will need a blanket, beach chair, wine, and cheese.
Boat ramps are also available for small boats, kayaks, or canoes. The East Shore is beautiful!
5. Meeks Bay on the West Shore has a white sand beach, emerald blue water, USFS campsites if you want to stay the night, and is great for swimming. Bring your umbrella as the sun can beat down on you at this altitude! This West Shore jewel is operated by the Washoe Tribe and is the traditional gathering place for the Washoe.
4. Emerald Bay and Vikingsholm. The State Park offers tours through one of Tahoe’s gems, Vikngsholm. Picnic areas are available for your sack lunch, and it is an easy hike. Most likely one of the most photographed locations around the lake. Pets have to stay home for this one though. They are not allowed. For a longer day hike, trails lead along the lakeshore with many small beach areas along the way.
3. Eagle Lake is an easy hike into Desolation. The lake is approximately 30 minutes from the highway and provides good swimming in summer, views, and access into Desolation. Climbers frequent this area. During winter months, hiking up and ice skating around the frozen lake is a challenge but worth the effort.
2. Angora Lakes is a pristine mountain lake located above Fallen Leaf Lake. The hike is a short 20 minute hike from the parking lot, just beyond the Angora Lookout. The swimming is on the chilly side and provides diving rocks on the west end of the lake for the brave. During winter months, cross country ski teams use the lake for practice skating.
1. Number one! This is a tough one as each experience is unique in its own way. For a relatively non-challenging hike with great views, beach access, wildlife, and photo-opportunities, I would choose the Rubicon Trail along the West Shore. The trail begins in D.L. Bliss State Park and ends at Emerald Bay or vice versa, approximately six miles. Breathtaking and just a day hike. Pets are not allowed. Along the trail are many coves for swimming or gazing across the lake. Plan to spend the day, hike the return or continue into Emerald Bay. You won’t be disappointed.