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What is there to do in the Lake Tahoe area in the summer?

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What is there to do in the Lake Tahoe area in the summer?

Thinking of combining Lake Tahoe with a trip to San Francisco this July. Would like some adventure type things--hiking, whitewater rafting, etc. Any suggestions?

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1. Re: What is there to do in the Lake Tahoe area in the summer?

Wow, that's an open question. I suggest a good guidebook.

Not whitewater rafting, the lake is pretty still, :~) but you can innertube on the Truckee River from North Lake Tahoe for a short ride. Take a cable car ride to the top of the mountain from Squaw Valley. Ride the gondola to the top at Heavenly. Visit the Tallac Historic Site, take some cruises across the lake, with our without lunch or dinner. Drive all around the lake. Rent some of those paddle thingies and get out on the lake, Lie on the sand. Gamble. at the casinos on the Nevada side.

Climb all the way up to the Pacific Crest Trail, if you dare.

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2. Re: What is there to do in the Lake Tahoe area in the summer?

From the South

In South Lake Tahoe you can shop and eat at the village area or visit Zephyr Cove for lake cruises and watercraft rentals or walk an hang out on the beach.

You can take a sight seeing ride on the Heavenly Gondola.

Other great beaches in SLT are Pope, Camp Richardson and Baldwin. All of these are past the Y, which is really, now a four way light but habits are hard to break!

You should visit the Tallac site.


If you like fish take a look at the Stream Profile Chamber:


Hikes to take from South Lake Tahoe are the Moraine Trail, which is a fairly easy hike of 1 mile (one-way). It’s a relatively flat trail through the forest and along the shore of Fallen Leaf Lake. Take Highway 89 north approximately 3 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Road. Continue approximately 2/3 of a mile to Fallen Leaf Campground. Drive through the campground and park just before campsite #75 on the right. There is no fee for day use. Look for the trailhead sign near the parking area.

Another hike is Angora Lakes, though the area south of the lake was affected by the fire you should be able to hike to the lake. It is an easy hike, and hikers are rewarded with several lakes. I know in the summer you can rent rowboats or just swim and lay around on the sandy beach. It’s only ½ mile and the scenery when you get there is great. The lake is surrounded by cliffs and giant rocks. Take Highway 89 north approximately 3 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Lake Road and turn left. Turn left at the first paved road. Continue to Forest Service Road 12N14 and turn right. Watch for bicyclists along this road. Continue past Angora Lookout to the road's end at the parking lot.

Continuing north on 89:

Vikingsholm at Emerald Bay – short side hike to Eagle Falls or Cascade Lake & Falls


Eagle Falls / Eagle Lake Trail starts at Eagle Falls Picnic Area, highway 89 across from Emerald Bay. Permits are required on this hike and a self-registration station is at the trailhead. The hike is only about 2 miles round trip to Eagle Lake (only about 1/3 mile to the falls); the terrain varies from steep to flat and crosses beautiful Eagle Falls on a steel footbridge.

Emerald Bay - Vikingsholm Trail starts at the parking area on the north side of Emerald Bay, on Highway 89. It's a wide, well-maintained trail, but fairly steep, about 2½ miles round trip. At the bottom of the trail is a picnic area, as well as world-famous Vikingsholm, a replica of a Scandinavian castle.

Cascade Lake & Falls – Turn into the Bayview Campground across from Emerald Bay Inspiration Point, drive to the end and park at the trailhead. Take the trail that veers left. Spectacular views of the 200-foot high falls and Cascade Lake can be seen from this short trail.

Further north on 89 you can find any or all of the following:

DL Bliss – nice beach but very hard to get into during the summer so if you go get really early start.

Meeks Bay – great beach, during the summer there is a grill shack right on the beach. Paddle boats and tricycles available for rent. Beautiful views of the lake. We go there almost every day when we visit.

Sugar Pine Point – Beautiful grounds and daily tours of the Ehrman Mansion


Chambers Landing – It has 2 beach sections. During the summer months, one part is roped off as private and the other part is open to the public. Not really great sand, and the shore is rocky. The best part is the dock with the historic Chambers Bar at the end. This place will be hopping on that weekend. Many people boat in and the dock is like a party at happy hour, reduced Chambers Punch prices.

You can also rent bikes in Tahoma or Homewood and ride along the bike path that runs from Tahoe City southward all the way to just south of Sugar Pine (the path ends/begins just prior to Meeks Bay)

In Tahoe City you can continue around the lake or head north on 89 toward Squaw Valley.

If you head east from Tahoe city toward the north shore:

At Carnelian Bay stop in at Garwoods for a Wet Woody – Rum drink.

When you arrive at the state line, you can take a brief detour to see the old fire lookout. Turn north on Reservoir Road, which is next to the Biltmore. Then turn right onto Lakeview Ave. Continue on this road, if it forks stay left and do not turn onto Tuscarora. It will bend back before you reach the parking area for the short walk to the lookout. The lookout provides you with really beautiful views of the area and lake.

At Incline the beach at the Hyatt is very nice. So is the dock. Sometimes they serve drinks on the dock. They also have an activity desk on the beach so you can rent stuff or schedule a sail etc. This side of the lake gets really rough after about 2:30 so water sports or sails should be scheduled early or late after the lake settles down.

As you continue on the north, side of the lake Sand Harbor is just outside Incline and is a great Beach. In the summer, you can get tickets for a Shakespeare play. The scenery for the plays cannot be beat. http://www.laketahoeshakespeare.com/

Also during the summer you can take a tour of the Thunderbird lodge:


If you turn left in Tahoe City and go north on 89 instead:

You can try river rafting out of Tahoe City. Take an ice chest full of your favorite beverage and food supplies. Rafting is completely weather dependent. Some years when there is too much or too little snow the rafting season is affected. Check to see when rafting begins. Here’s a link to one of the companies with an online coupon:


You can also rent bikes and ride the bike path along the Truckee. Have lunch at the River Ranch and watch the rafters maneuver their way out of the rapids.

Continuing north on 89 takes you toward Squaw Valley.

Wander around the village.

You can take the tram up to High Camp for a great day of hanging around, hiking around or ice-skating.


If you continue north 89 past Squaw Valley, you will come to the town of Truckee.

There is white water rafting nearby. Here is just one tour:


Santa Cruz...
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3. Re: What is there to do in the Lake Tahoe area in the summer?

I think suzie-travels has answered your question. Now many days do you have? <grin> Have fun choosing.

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4. Re: What is there to do in the Lake Tahoe area in the summer?

Wow...thanks for all the great replies. I will definitely be checking out all of these.

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5. Re: What is there to do in the Lake Tahoe area in the summer?

Wow, suzie-travels really gave some great ideas there that I haven't tried! Looking forward to those this summer! Thanks suz!

Ya gotta swim in the lake! I love Pope Beach for clear, clear water, and 4 colors of blue looking out over the lake. There's a shelf that goes way out for swimming. In the afternoon, when the water is a little choppy, we like to swim at Nevada Beach on the Nevada side just north of South Lake Tahoe. We can "body surf" and no rip tides to worry about :).

Now, whitewater rafting is my thang! Come down to Coloma, near Placerville, about an hour down Highway 50 towards Sacramento, and go rafting on the South Fork American River! My daughter has been rafting since she was 8, she's now 13, and we can't get enough! There are lots of companies there - google whitewater rafting south fork american river and you'll get lots of entries. My favorite guides are at American Whitewater Expeditions. You can do a half-day, or all-day trip, great lunches included on the all-day trips. Fun, fun, fun!

6. Re: What is there to do in the Lake Tahoe area in the summer?

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