Lake Tahoe has over 70 miles of shoreline, but only a small percentage of it is actual sandy beach. A majority of the lake is privately owned, or too rugged to even find a place to sit. Beaches are at a premium, but what there is is choice.
But that also makes them very popular places to hang out. On hot summer days it can sometimes be hard to even find parking for one of Tahoe’s beaches, much less a place to plant your beach umbrella. The following is a list of some of Lake Tahoe’s lesser known, but I think the best, beaches.
Sand Harbor is probably Tahoe’s most popular beach, but I think it is one of the nicest because it tends to avoid the party crowds of Nevada Beach and Zephyr Cove. There is lots of room to spread out, little coves to swim in, a boat launch, plenty of parking and great views.
Known for its great campground, as well as its family atmosphere and clear water swimming.
Located right in downtown Tahoe City this beach offers a grassy area with playgrounds and nice BBQ areas. There is a children’s climbing rock complete with slight overhangs for young teens. This is not a great beach for swimming, but during the summer live music events are held here.
This beach is harder to find than the rest, but the parking is free. It’s located just north of Camp Richardson. Turn right at the Forest Service Visitor Center turnoff and follow the road past the Visitor’s Center to the beach parking lot. This long beach is best known for its great view of Mt. Tallac and dog friendly area.
This is the last in a string of beaches before the rugged West Shore. It is popular with locals and has great views of Mt. Tallac and the West side of the lake. The water is clear, but beware of old fence posts in the water.
Photo courtesy of [seannaber]