Given that it’s named for the giant body of water it borders, it’s not surprising that many of the top attractions in Lake Tahoe are of the outdoor variety. Blending superlative scenery with active adventures, there is much to do and see on the Nevada-California border. For example:
- With 55 acres of long sandy beaches, rocky coves, shady forested areas and panoramic lake views, Sand Harbor offers visitors unparalleled opportunities to enjoy Lake Tahoe. Gently sloping beaches, crystal-clear water and interesting rock formations allow for wonderful swimming and scuba diving. In addition, there is a large picnic area and short nature trails that provide access to many secluded beach and rock areas, as well as breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe.
- At the Thunderbird Lodge – Lake Tahoe’s magical Castle in the Sky — Docent-guided tours take visitors on an hour and 15 minute walk through the stone mansion and grounds to reveal the mystery and legacy of the enigmatic George Whittell, Jr. – heir to one of San Francisco’s wealthiest families. Legend springs to life as you discover the Lighthouse Room, Old Lodge, the servant’s quarters with original kitchen, as well as the 600′ underground tunnel leading to the cavernous Boathouse. Walk along the serpentine Dragon’s Tail path to the enchanting Card House with its celebrated poker stories. Your tour offers breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe, the nearby mountain ranges, elegant gardens, lagoons, waterfalls and fountains. Discover the magic of Thunderbird – the history, the architecture and the men and women of Lake Tahoe’s gilded age.
- The Flume Trail Mountain Bike Ride is a moderately difficult one way 14 mile ride at 7000′ to 8000′ feet in elevation with over a 1000′ of climbing in the first four miles and 4.5 miles of single track. The Flume Trail itself traverses above several steep sections, so those afraid of heights be forewarned. In this world, most spectacular vistas require traversing steep terrain. It is only a half mile away from the shoreline in places, it is truly one of the premier trails in the world. Stop often and enjoy the view (see the video below for a sample). Take something to eat and drink for an unforgettable picnic. Rental bikes available.
- Up an easy half-mile hill climb, you’ll find Angora Lake, a one-of-a-kind Tahoe gem tucked into a glacially carved bowl with two cliffs framing it. At an elevation of 7,450 feet, you’ll have a hard time finding this anywhere else. The trail up is usually pretty easily managed by small children, and not too steep. At the first of the two lakes, you’ll find absolutely unmatched, pristine beauty and an amazing place to swim or picnic. Older kids will have fun jumping off the cliffs and into the lake. A sandy strip of beach at the north end of the lake provides an excellent spot for soaking up the sun. There’s even a small store open in the summer that sells ice cream, sandwiches, treats, and famous fresh squeezed lemonade that’s worth the trip up on its own.
- The Cascade Falls hike is perhaps the best short hike on the South and West Shores of Lake Tahoe. It combines a short hike with little elevation gain with a real feeling of remoteness once at the falls. The trail, once found, is easily followed to the falls. It starts as a wide path winding through a fragrant pine and fir forest. A few stone steps lead to a narrower, rockier trail for the next three-quarters of a mile. The trail curves along the side of the mountain providing scenic views of Cascade Lake, Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe.
- You can experience High Sierra wilderness at Zephyr Cove Stables, where there are guided horseback trail rides along scenic trails with lake views, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner rides. Camp Richardson Corral offers scenic guided horseback rides, steak dinner rides, summer hay wagon rides, “pony” (gentle kids’ horse) rides and authentic winter sleigh rides.
And if you prefer to spend more time indoors, there’s still a lot to tickle your fancy – casinos, spas and an educational time at the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, to name a few. To book your trip to Lake Tahoe, or any of our other splendiferous destinations, call (888) 269-0182, Mon – Fri 9 am to 5 pm.