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Travel Guide of Lake Tahoe in United States by Influencers and Travelers

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the United States. Lying at 6,225 ft, it straddles the state line between California and Nevada, west of Carson City.

Pictures and Stories of Lake Tahoe from Influencers

20 pictures of Lake Tahoe from Ethan Dow, Justin W, Tim Mossholder and other travelers

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How to visit Lake Tahoe ?

To reach Lake Tahoe, you can fly into Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) in Nevada or Sacramento International Airport (SMF) in California. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service like the South Tahoe Airporter or North Lake Tahoe Express, depending on which side of the lake you plan to visit.

When planning your trip, it is essential to book any necessary permits, guided tours, or equipment rentals in advance. For instance, if you plan to hike in Desolation Wilderness, you will need to secure a permit beforehand. During peak seasons, reservations for popular activities like boat rentals and guided tours can fill up quickly.

Costs can vary depending on the season and your preferred activities. Expect to pay around $100 to $200 per night for accommodations, and budget for food, activities, and transportation. Some popular activities include skiing or snowboarding during the winter months, which may cost around $100 to $150 for lift tickets and rentals, while water sports like kayaking or paddleboarding can range from $20 to $50 per hour.

There are countless things to do at Lake Tahoe. Some of the best activities include hiking the Rubicon Trail, mountain biking on the Flume Trail, exploring Emerald Bay State Park, or taking a scenic cruise around the lake. During the winter, visitors can enjoy skiing and snowboarding at resorts like Heavenly, Northstar, and Squaw Valley.

For dining options, consider the following suggestions. In South Lake Tahoe, try the popular Base Camp Pizza Co. for delicious gourmet pizzas or the Fresh Ketch for fresh seafood with a lakeside view. In North Lake Tahoe, visit Gar Woods Grill & Pier for mouth-watering steaks or Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge, which offers a great menu and beautiful lake views.

When it comes to accommodation, there are plenty of options to suit different budgets and preferences. For a luxurious stay, consider the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe or the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort. For more budget-friendly options, try the Basecamp Hotel or the Tahoe Beach & Ski Club.

Off the beaten path:

For an unusual and memorable experience, explore Lake Tahoe's hidden Castle in the Sky, also known as Vikingsholm. This stunning 38-room mansion is located at the head of Emerald Bay and is considered one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States. Accessible only by boat or a steep one-mile hike, visiting Vikingsholm offers a unique adventure and a glimpse into Lake Tahoe's rich history. During the summer months, guided tours are available, providing an opportunity to learn more about the history and architecture of this fascinating landmark.

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   More Travel spots to explore around Lake Tahoe

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Discover more travel spots to explore around Lake Tahoe

  🌊‍ Ocean spots     🏖️ Shore spots     ⛰️ Hill station spots     🌲 Nature reserve spots     🏞️ Reservoir spots     🌲 Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests spots     🏞️ Waterway spots     🚢 Pier spots     🏖️ Beach spots     ❄️ Fjord spots     🚢 Dock spots     🏞️ Loch spots     ⛰️ Mountain spots     ⛰️ Mountain range spots     🏞️ Mountain river spots     Stand up paddle surfing spots     🤿 Underwater spots     🏖️ Archipelago spots     🐾 Wildlife spots     🏖️ Bay spots     🌉 Bridge spots     🏖️ Coast spots     🏘️ Cottage spots     Extreme sport spots     Flipping spots     🌲 Forest spots     ❄️ Glacial landform spots     ⛰️ Highland spots     🏞️ Lake spots  

Learn More about Lake Tahoe


Lake Tahoe, 350 km northeast of San Francisco, and 300 km north of Yosemite National Park.
You can travel another 400 km further north in California before arriving in Oregon.


Lake Tahoe is the largest mountain lake in North America and the third deepest at 493 meters. Quite large, 35 km from North to South and 19 km from East to West, it has the particularity of straddling two states and on its eastern shore, you will be in Nevada.

A magnificent lake! 300 days of sunshine per year, we are well in California, but be careful here we are at 1850 meters of altitude and even if it is good, even hot in the sun, the bottom of the air remains fresh and the water never exceeds the 20 degrees. The water comes from the melting snow and ice of the surrounding mountains.

If you come in winter you can ski and you should not forget the chains for the car and be careful in spring the snow can persist until April.
Two nights in the area are a minimum to have time to arrive, to walk around the lake, to enjoy the beaches and the beautiful walks, to go for a bike ride, and why not some water activities like Kayak or Paddle.

But with a good day, you can easily discover its main points of interest, but you can spend more time there without getting bored.

Everything is beautiful at Lake Tahoe, the water is incredibly blue and pure, it is said that fish can be seen at a depth of 22 meters.
The forest that surrounds it is magnificent, there are beautiful sandy beaches, the hikes are pure happiness, the houses on its shores are luxurious and make your dream and the lake offers, of course, all the possible water activities.


The first thing to do, as is often the case, is to go to the Visitor Center to get a detailed map and the details of the hikes, beaches, and bike paths.
A panoramic road goes around the lake and is already a nice drive if you are in a hurry.

In many places, the walks allow magnificent views, like at Inspiration Point to admire the Emerald Bay.

At Inspiration Point, before Emerald Bay, park your car across the street and drive up to the campground parking lot for perhaps the most beautiful ride on the lake, up to the Cascade Lake waterfall, and enjoy an amazing view of both Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe from the top.

Another nice walk along the lake at Fallen Leaf, before Emerald Bay coming from South Lake Tahoe, park well past the campground and walk to the marina. Beautiful houses on the lake.

Frequently Asked Questions by Travelers planning a trip to Lake Tahoe

What are the activities at Lake Tahoe?

Summer activities at Lake Tahoe :

  • Hiking
There are many trails to hike. Among the most popular are Eagle Falls, Angora Trail, Rubicon Trail, Desolation Wilderness, etc.

Enjoy hiking, but also biking (several adapted routes including the famous Truckee River Bike Trail) or horseback riding.

  • Water Recreation
In the towns bordering the lake, several companies offer kayak, jet-ski, paddle, and boat rentals. 
Some companies also offer multi-day cruises on the waters of Tahoe.

  • Beaches and swimming
Relax and swim at Tahoe's beaches, including Zephyr Cove Beach, Commons Beach, Pope Beach, Nevada Beach, Baldwin Beach, Fallen Leaf Lake, and more.

  • Climbing
Climbers can tackle the surrounding cliffs with many routes including Bear's reach The Line, Black September, etc.

  • Golf
Lake Tahoe is home to many golf courses, from large luxury courses to smaller facilities. In the northern part of the state, you'll find championship courses designed by some of the biggest names in golf. It's a great opportunity to work on your swing in a beautiful natural setting with a view of the mountains!

Winter activities at Lake Tahoe :
Skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowmobiling: winter sports fans can have a blast here with trails for all levels at nearly a dozen resorts including Heavenly Mountain, Northstar, Sugar Bowl, Homewood, Squaw Valley, etc.

Activities in all seasons
Don't forget to try out the many restaurants for a gourmet break around the lake, or indulge in a few hours of shopping in the various villages.

You will also find interesting museums and historical sites, such as the South Lake Tahoe Historical Society and Museum or the Tallac Historic Site.

  • The long Tahoe Rim Trail loops around the lake for almost 265 km, between forests and cliffs, not to mention the tapered ridges of the Sierra Nevada. It is possible to hike the entire trail or just certain portions. Part of this trail is part of the famous Pacific Crest Trail.

  • Don't miss the stunning beauty of Emerald Bay State Park, located on the western shore of the lake. With its dense forests, granite cliffs, and jagged shores lined with different shades of blue and green, it's a real treat for the eyes! You will find Fannette Island in the middle of the water, and the Vikingsholm castle not to be missed.

  • The scenic Lake Tahoe Scenic Drive (109 km) circles the lake, passing through California and Nevada, offering beautiful scenery as well as a few stops in the small villages and towns along the way.

  • The Heavenly Gondola takes you to the top, almost on top of the world, with an observation deck offering stunning views of the lake and mountains.

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