Spring is an amazing season at Lake Tahoe. As the snow melts, the outdoors begin to open up to all kinds of fun. The crowds drop and the temperatures rise. From biking to hiking, there's a ton to do. And, often, it'll feel like you have the whole lake to yourself.
Ride a bike
Without a big snow year, many of the trails around the lake, both paved and unpaved, are already open. The South Shore's famous Pope-Baldwin bike path is totally clear, as are many of the lower mountain biking trails like Corral Loop and Powerline Trail. On the North Shore, there's plenty of riding from Tahoe City to Incline Village. The trail along the Lower Truckee is also open.
Need a bike? Rentals are nearly in full swing. Anderson's Bike Rental on the South Shore and Olympic Bike Shop in Tahoe City are open. Many of the shops are switching from winter to summer with brand new lines of mountain bikes, road bikes and cruisers. If you need a tune-up, head in to your local shop now because busy season is coming early this year.
Conditions on the lake can hardly get any better. With barely any wind, the water has been ideal for standup paddling and kayaking. The spring runoff has added a few inches, making it easier to launch and land man-powered craft.
Wildlife waking up from winter is especially active. Bears, coyotes and dozens of species of birds can be seen along the shoreline. The osprey and eagles are building their nests in Emerald Bay and the Canadian geese, some with cute little babies, are cruising through the area on their way south.
Though most of the lakefront concessions have yet to open, rentals are available at South Tahoe Standup Paddle and Adrift on the North Shore. If you're looking to buy, shops will be filling up with new inventory in the coming weeks.
Hike a new trail
Many of the alpine lakes above Lake Tahoe are beginning to thaw or have already thawed. Some of the larger bodies of water like Fallen Leaf Lake, Spooner Lake and Echo Lakes are melted and surrounded by budding flora. Though there's still snow up high, trails around these lakes are clear.
Backpackers have already begun to traverse into Desolation Wilderness. Looking for something shorter? The area's many waterfalls are at their peak. Eagle Falls, Horsetail Falls, Glen Alpine Falls and Cascade Falls make great day hike destinations.
Hit the beach
The water is still pretty cold, but on a warm day a quick dip will pair well with a few hours in the sun. Since it's shoulder season, it may feel like you have the lake to yourself. For a full list of public beaches at the lake, download this app.
As the winds tend to pick up in the afternoon, the mornings seem to be the best for some time on the sand. If you can only make it out later in the day, check out some of the protected coves on the East Shore like Skunk Harbor or Chimney Beach. Though it's tempting, please do not build fires, as there's an especially high risk of forest fires this year.