This route that takes us to the south of Lake Tahoe has a distance of 58 miles (1 hour and 15 minutes approximately). The arrival at Lake Tahoe is a succession of curves with spectacular views of the largest freshwater lake in the US, this area in winter is the center of the sky, but in summer it is just as I arrive since the lake has a large number of Incredible (artificial) beaches where you can swim, do water sports or trekking.
Lake Tahoe is among the State of Nevada and the State of California, this dividing line between the two states is known as Stateline. The area facing the State of Nevada is full of casinos, (something that spoils the landscape a lot, frankly dispensable) and the area facing the State of California is where the largest number of beaches and areas where you can do a large number of water activities.
The main street is Hwy 50, this is where you will see almost all the hotels, shops and leisure activities, this area is close to the Stateline. In Heavenly Village, there are a large number of restaurants, shops, and cinemas, food rush hours are preferably avoidable. If you want to have spectacular views of the lake, from here you can take the Heavenly Gondola (15-minute ride).
If you go by car, you can do a route around the entire circumference of the lake in 2-3 days. Some of the stops that I liked the most were in the south and west of the lake (the eastern area is much less exploited and has less activity). The best beaches south of the lake are Pope Beach, Kiva Beach, Baldwin Beach, or Lakeside Beach, all of these have an approximate cost of $ 6 per person per day, any of them are worth it, they are located on Hwy 89 (Emerald Bay Rd).
Another spectacular lake that is in the south of Lake Tahoe is Fallen Leaf Lake, where you can do trekking routes or just take a drive (much better than the first option), and next to it is Tallac Historic.
In the Southwest area of the lake is Emerald Bay, a true spectacle of nature, from here you will have incredible views of the lake, one of the mandatory stops is Inspiration Point, avoid rush hours by all means (11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 00 hours) to make them stop and enjoy the atmosphere because hopefully, you will take a photo with unknown people and elbows.
In the Northwest area of the lake, there is Tahoe City, it is interesting to make a stop and take a walk along the main street, the interest is more architectural and aesthetic of the buildings that there are than what you can find commercially, quite expensive for true. Take advantage of the fact that you go up here to spend half a day at Donner Memorial Park, in this park is Donner Lake where you can various water activities (the average cost of an hour by canoe and/or water bike is around $ 20).
In addition to the beaches, it is highly recommended to do a trekking route, you have several on the south and west shore of Lake Tahoe :
Difficulty – Moderate
- Grass Lake (4 miles)
- Lake Aloha (12 miles)
- Mt Tallac Via Glen Alpine trail (12 miles)
- Mt Tallc Via Mt. Tallc Trail (10 miles)
- Cascade Falls (1.5 miles)
- Eagle Falls to Eagle Lake (2 miles)
- Lake Genevieve (9 miles)
- Rubicon Point Trail (6 miles)
- Vikingsholm Trail (2 miles)
- Granite Lake (2 miles)
Difficulty – Easy
- Lam Watah Trail (2 miles)
Almost all of these routes depart from the Emerald Bay area, being able to go through the Cascade and Eagle lakes. The north and west of the lake also have cool routes :
Difultad – Moderate
- Tahoe Meadows Trail (2 miles)
- Chimney Beach (1.2 miles)
- Brockway Summit to Martis Peak (10 miles)
- Secret Cove (0.5 miles)
- Marlette Lake (10 miles)
- Prey Meadows – Skunk Harbor (3 miles)
- TRT – North from Spooner Lake (10 miles)
- TRT – South to Genoa Peak (8 miles)
Difficulty – Easy
- Spooner Lake (2 miles)
- Stateline Lookout (1 mile)
Difficulty – High
- Mt. Rose Summit (12 miles), for this route you have to be very well prepared physically.
For activities like rafting in Tahoe City you can go to Truckee River Rafting; If you want to rent bikes at Willard’s Sport Shop ( Tahoe City), Anderson’s Bike Rentals and Camp Richardson (in South Lake Tahoe), and West Shore Sports (Homewood), you can find prices from $ 10 per hour to $ 30 per day. And if you have time to spare, a cruise is a very good option, almost all of them depart from the south of the lake, some of the companies that manage cruises: Action Watersports, Camp Richardson, Lakeside Marina, Safari Rose Yacht Cruises Tahoe Bleu Wave Cruises.\
Getting to Lake Tahoe is one of the best options on your route through California, it is well worth spending a few days here.