Fourth of July is probably one of the busiest and most fun times to be up at Tahoe. This year, several places around the lake will setting off fireworks in celebration of Independence Day, and there are several different ways to watch them light up the night.
South Lake Tahoe’s Star Spangled Fourth Lights on the Lake, on July 4th, is one of the largest Independence Day fireworks shows in the west and is usually spectacular. It’s synchronized to music, runs approximately 30 minutes long and features a wide variety of patterns, lights, designs and shapes. Additionally, Incline Village will be having fireworks on the 4th of July including the Red, White, and Tahoe Blue festival from July 2-4, and Tahoe City will be setting off fireworks from Commons Beach on Lake Tahoe’s West Shore.
There are many areas around the lake to view the fireworks and many of the beaches fill up very quickly. So plan to come early for good parking and to spend the entire day in one area. Nevada Beach is probably the most popular place to view both the Incline and South Shore lights. The beach offers charcoal grills and picnic tables and is great for picnics. Baldwin Beach offers firework views facing east towards South Shore. This beach offers public parking, restroom facilities, picnic areas, fire pits and barbecue grills. Other great places to watch the lights are Regan and El Dorado Beaches. These two narrow beaches offer a front row seat to the fireworks display. Tallac Historic Site will host the Valhalla Arts and Music Festival with a holiday BBQ. It is one of the quieter locations to view the firework display with views facing east across Lake Tahoe.
For more of a treat, book a cruise on the lake aboard the M.S. Dixie II or the Tahoe Queen. Both boats offer a special 4th of July Dinner Cruise and take passengers nearly right up to the South Shore fireworks. Many people will take their boats or kayaks to South Shore or Emerald Bay to view the fireworks. So many boats go, that it can sometimes cause a traffic jam and it can take hours to get back to your dock or car. If you are a kayaker, prepare for this and bring adequate lighting.
For the more adventurous, and for a view of nearly every fireworks display in the area including Tahoe, Reno, Sparks and Carson City, hike up to the summit of Mt. Rose and spend the night at the top. Be prepared with warm clothing, a sleeping bag and food. Also, because of the dry areas around the lake, personal fireworks are illegal. From the top of the peak this year you can view the Star Spangled Sparks celebration on the 4th and fireworks from the top of the Nugget Hotel and Casino. The Reno fireworks will take place this year at the Reno Aces baseball stadium after their evening game.