Five secluded Tahoe beaches to hit this summer
This hike into the Tahoe Basin gives you Tahoe views without Tahoe crowds. Benjamin Spillman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dotting Lake Tahoe are some renowned beaches to bask on each summer, but there are lesser known local hotspots to take advantage of too. An abundance of secluded beaches reside on the east shore, but most require a decent hike to reach.
Here are some sandy stretches that are easier to access, versus others requiring creative parking, lengthy trail navigating and, at times, an imposed appreciation of the human form in all its glory.
Avoid the typical Tahoe beach inundation this summer, and head to these off-radar respites to cool off.
Skylandia State Park Beach
A little over a mile outside of Tahoe City on the west shore, this great local’s spot for swimming, pier jumping and lounging, picnicking, biking and hiking encompasses 24 acres of Lake Tahoe’s west shore. Head to Lake Forest Road, off of Highway 28, to get there.
Tahoe’s perpetually cool waters feel even more refreshing after a hike to reach them. For this experience, navigate around the lines attempting to enter Sand Harbor, then head about 2.6 miles south to a Forest Service Parking lot on the east side of Highway 28. Try and get there early to ensure parking in the small lot. From there, you’ll head to the Chimney Beach trailhead on the west side of the highway. It’s just over two miles roundtrip to and from the beach, but a reasonable hike for most visitors. A lone chimney from a long-gone cabin marks your arrival. This is a dog friendly beach and hike, as long as they’re on a leash, and there are many an expansive rock to rest on, plus a sandy beach. Be warned though; at times, the proffered views may also include a nude sunbather.
Moon Dunes Beach
In Tahoe Vista, on the lake’s north shore, this beach offers striking scenery sprinkled with gnarly tree remnants, and is perfect for swimming or kayaking. An easy jaunt from North Lake Boulevard, where street parking is available, this stretch feels removed from the surrounding summertime hustle and bustle.
On Tahoe’s bustling south shore is a beach and picnic area that’s usually far less populated than its neighbors. Leashed dogs are also welcome at this sandy stretch a little over a mile west of Camp Richardson on highway 89, and three miles north of South Lake Tahoe’s “Y”, the intersection of highways 50 and 89. Turn into the Tallac Historic Site, and meander down to the expanse of beach before you. Turn to gaze at the throngs of people at other areas just down the way as you relax in your folding chair, occasionally cooling off in the water.
About three miles north of Spooner Summit and the intersection of highways 28 and 50 is a green gate marking a trailhead that leads to some very secluded lakefront. Park, safely and legally, along the highway. This 1.5 mile hike with about 500 feet of elevation change — down to get there, but up after your day in the sun — does require some stamina, but you reap the rewards once you arrive at the picturesque beach. You’ll also witness some Comstock history along the way, with remnants of an old railroad used to transport timber to Virginia City during the mining boom still evident. To begin, find the trailhead by the green gate, then keep right at the fork in the trail to reach the beach.