The best beach at Lake Tahoe may also be one of the most controversial. Secret Harbor, on the East Shore of the lake, just south of Sand Harbor, is notorious for several things: bare breasts and bare bottoms. However, the only official “nude” beach of this mountain lake is one of the best places to get away from the crowds and high prices of the other popular beaches.
It’s also regulated and cared for by the users of the beach. The locals are dedicated to making sure their beach stays pristine and clean. This is the only beach on the lake I know of that has its own unofficial “mayor” who fastidiously cleans up cigarette butts and candy wrappers left behind (no pun intended).
The parking lot for the beach is just off of Highway 28, but only fits about a dozen or so cars. The walk to the beach is about a mile along a forested, unpaved pathway, followed by a climb down a staircase to the sandy cove below. Secret Harbor has a semi-private bay surrounded by tall rocks that guarantee some amount of coverage from prying eyes. Because of the time and effort it takes to get here, and the signs warning that “nude sunbathers may be present”, many people stay away. In addition, because of the distance, visitors to the cove get to the parking lot early, bring their own picnic lunches and gear, and stay the entire day.
Nudity is not a big issue here. You can strip down to nothing or not. Most people will go topless and let their children run around in the water and sand with no clothes on. A few other beach goers have deep, dark tans with no tan lines in sight. What everyone should wear are shoes or sandals. The crushed granite sand of the beach can heat up to high temperatures in the summer sun that will burn tender toes or other naked parts.
So, if you are not shy and don’t mind a bit of a walk, Secret Cove is not only hush-hush, but beautiful as well. Cover up with some sunscreen and become part of that beauty. Actually, there’s nothing like swimming in cold, blue water without a swimsuit.
Photo Courtesy of [Sadie_Girl]