While skiing and snowboarding take center stage when the snow starts to fall, there are still plenty of other exhilarating ways to enjoy time in the outdoors this winter. From the serene crunch of snowshoes underfoot to the rhythmic glide of cross-country skis along our miles of groomed trails to gliding across the ice with the whole family, Tahoe offers exciting options beyond our ski resort’s slopes. It’s time to book your visit to enjoy Tahoe’s winter wonderland!
Look to the Lake for Winter Fun
While there are lots of great trails to snowshoe, one of our favorite spots is on the snowy beaches of Lake Tahoe. From Commons Beach in Tahoe City to Sand Harbor State Park in Incline Village, the lake makes a gorgeous backdrop for any snowy stroll. Or, head off on the trails for a snowshoe to Spooner Lake on their maintained trails in Spooner Meadow and up to Marlette Lake. This area is great for beginners, so feel free to bring the whole family. Or, if you’d like to let someone else make the plans, book a guided snowshoe tour (including sunset and full moon tours) with Tahoe Adventure Company.
Glide Through Nature
Next up on our list is Nordic Skiing. With Cross Country ski centers sprinkled throughout North Lake Tahoe, you won’t have to travel far to get out on the snow. From Tahoe XC to Royal Gorge to the trails around Northstar and through the Tahoe City Winter Sports Park, you’ll have plenty of groomed trails to choose from with sweeping winter vistas along the way. Whether you’re a beginner picking up a new sport or an expert wanting to experience Tahoe’s finest trails, you’ll love Tahoe’s pristine winter beauty and miles of trails.
Ice Skating with the Whole Family
For some family-friendly winter fun, make your way to one of Tahoe’s ice skating rinks. Whether you’re taking the little ones for their first time or your family are all seasoned skaters, Tahoe’s outdoor rinks offer the perfect snow-covered backdrop. Take a spin at the Tahoe City Winter Sports Park’s ice rink, where you can find skate rentals for the whole family, and afterwards head inside to warm up and grab a bite at Café Zenon. Over in the Village at Northstar, their 9,000 square foot ice rink might just be our favorite. With ice skating in the heart of the village surrounded by firepits where you can enjoy your favorite après ski beverage, this might just be the perfect spot to end a winter’s day.
Looking for an Indoor Adventure
Maybe “the weather outside is frightful” and you’re looking for something to do inside? The Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema is the perfect spot. With gourmet popcorn along with beer and wine available for purchase, you’ll be sure to enjoy your movie showing of the newest ski film or Hollywood blockbuster.
The fall colors and sunny days are here in North Lake Tahoe and we’re enjoying the last of our beautiful autumn weather. But, as the nights get colder and our fireplaces blaze, we can’t help but get excited for this month’s ski resort openings. As the first dustings of snow hit the mountain tops, we start to dream about powder turns, lodge lunch breaks and après beers with friends because winter is almost here! Whether you’re a seasoned 100+ days per season skier or you’ve decided this is the season to learn, get excited because the 23/24 ski season in North Lake Tahoe kicks off this month.
Blackjack to Black Diamonds
Towering over Reno, Nevada on one side and Lake Tahoe on the other, Mt. Rose Ski Resort’s summit elevation at 9,700 feet means it gets the first snow each year. Make plans to drive the Mt. Rose Highway and take in the views along the way. With a November 9th opening date, you’ll be making turns across their 1,200 acres before you know it. If you’re looking for an après ski destination, Incline Village has some great options for you from fine dining to breweries.
Nevada’s other North Tahoe resort sits above Incline Village and is known for its small resort charm and epic Lake Tahoe views. If you haven’t skied here yet, this is the year to make some turns at community-owned and affordable Diamond Peak. Their opening date, weather depending, is set for December 7th.
California Powder Cruisin’
Over on the California side of the lake, ski resorts are ramping up for another snowy ski season. Nestled between Truckee and the shores of North Lake Tahoe, Northstar California has announced a November 17th start to their season, as long as the weather cooperates. Recently, Northstar was named the “premier family destination” by Travel + Leisure magazine. So, make plans to bring the whole family to enjoy this family-friendly winter wonderland. In other news, the new My Epic app means that your phone becomes your lift ticket so be sure to download the app before your day of skiing at Northstar.
Next up is Palisades Tahoe who has announced an expected opening date of November 22nd, as long as the snowfall and conditions cooperate. Whether you’re excited to make some turns or just want to take in the views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountains with a scenic winter aerial tram ride to High Camp, Palisades Tahoe is the place to be. If you haven’t already gotten the chance to ride it, the Base to Base gondola between Alpine Lodge and the Village at Palisades Tahoe offers 6,000 skiable acres to explore…making it the largest ski resort in California!
Fall has arrived in North Lake Tahoe and it might just be the best season of the year. October brings a perfect blend of sunny days, cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. With so much to experience, you’ll want to squeeze in at least two activities a day. One of our favorite fall dual activity days combines bike riding and beer tasting. Read on for some of our favorite pairings.
Alibi Ale Works & the Flume Trail
If you haven’t ridden the Flume Trail before, you are in for a spectacular ride. And, if it is already one of your favorite rides, you know why we recommend this trail for a North Tahoe fall afternoon. With truly breathtaking views, this single-track trail snakes its way along steep granite cliffs. Whether you take the shuttle to the top and cruise down the trail or earn your turns by riding both up and down, you’ll be rewarded with a well-maintained trail and sweeping views of Lake Tahoe. At the end of the ride, head over to one of Alibi Ale Works’ two Incline Village locations. Try a Kolsch, Pale Ale, IPA or Porter, which they always have on tap, or one of their limited-edition beers or special barrel aged selections.
Truckee Breweries & the Sawtooth Trail
If you’re looking to spend a fun fall day in Truckee, combine a ride on the Sawtooth Trail with a visit to one of the local breweries. The Sawtooth Trail is about a 9-mile-long single-track loop. It’s a mixed-use trail and is rated beginner/intermediate for mountain biking. You can access it from the Sierra Meadows neighborhood in Truckee and enjoy views of the Truckee River Canyon along the way. Next up, you’ve got some important choices to make…which Truckee brewery do you choose? Will you pick FiftyFifty Brewing Company on Brockway Road or stop at one of Truckee Brewing Company’s two tasting rooms or hit up Alibi Ale Works again at their historic downtown Truckee location? Regardless of what you choose, you’ll be guaranteed a tasty fall day. Cheers!
Tahoe National Brewing Co. & the Truckee River Bike Path
For those that are looking for a more leisurely bike ride, we recommend pairing the Tahoe National Brewing Co. with a ride along the Truckee River Bike Path. Start in the Village at Palisades Tahoe and get ready for a gentle cruise on a paved path hugging the Truckee River along the way. This ride will be a relaxing, leaf peeping cruise, so bring along your friends regardless of their biking ability. Once you get to Tahoe City, it’s time for a beer. Why not choose the EZ-PZ IPA after your relaxed bike cruise?
For more inspiration for those of you who prefer paddleboarding, kayaking or hiking instead of riding a bike, check out the North Lake Tahoe Ale Trail. This map and video series is full of great ideas for a North Lake Tahoe sport and beer day.
As the warm summer days end, we can’t help but get excited for our favorite season. Fall in Tahoe means we can still enjoy most of our favorite warm weather activities, but without the summer crowds and with the leaves showing off their seasonal colors. And, remember, as the days get cooler, it makes for the ideal hiking weather. Autumn hiking is the perfect way to excite all of your senses — the crunch of fallen leaves, the smell of pine and earth in the air and the beautiful colors and vistas along the way. Book your fall stay now to enjoy everything North Lake Tahoe has to offer this time of year. You won’t be disappointed!
Mount Rose Peak Trail
Photo: Mount Rose
Whether you hike or simply drive up the Mount Rose Highway, you’ll find fall colors along the way. The drive features willows and aspens to delight any leaf peeper. For the avid hiker, we recommend Mountain Rose Peak Trail. This challenging 10.7-mile loop takes about 6-7 hours to complete so make sure you’re prepared with food, water and warm clothing. The hike may be hard but the views, fall colors, and tumbling waterfall will entertain you along the way.
Photo: North Lake Tahoe of Spooner Summit
This hike, accessed from the east shore of Lake Tahoe, is perfect for those wanting to get out and enjoy the fall colors without spending the whole day on the trail. At just over two miles, this hike is perfect for the whole family to get out and enjoy the beautiful views and fall weather. The flat Spooner Lake Trail offers several benches along the way to rest and enjoy the lake and surrounding mountains. For those that like to fish, this is a popular fishing spot to try your luck at catching a trout, including the native Lahontan cutthroat trout.
Five Lakes Trail
Photo: Palisades Tahoe
Another one of our favorite fall hiking trailheads is located on the Alpine Meadows Road. You might be scared off by the steep incline at the start (1200 feet in less than 2 miles), but you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views and gorgeous fall colors. The peaceful lakes combined with autumn colors makes the Five Lakes Trail the ideal sport for a vigorous fall mountain hike. This 5-mile roundtrip hike into the Granite Chief Wilderness has views of Alpine Meadows and the surrounding mountains and offers you the chance to explore the smaller trails meandering between the five pristine lakes. Pick your favorite lakeside rock to kickback and enjoy the view.
Leaf Peeping with Shopping Bags?
Photo: North Lake Tahoe of downtown Tahoe City
Maybe instead of hiking you want to get an early start on Christmas shopping and enjoy some fall colors along the way? Tahoe City’s shops won’t disappoint. Whether you’re on the hunt for locally made jewelry, a new outfit to wear out on the slopes this ski season or a brand new ebike to hit the trails and enjoy the fall weather, Tahoe City has it all. After you’re done shopping, grab a coffee and head down to Commons Beach to look out at the fall colors surrounding Lake Tahoe.
Sun on your shoulders, stars in your eyes, the wind in your hair and smile on your face. If this is your summer vacation dream, then Tahoe can make it a reality. Summer is a magical time here with so many amazing outdoor activities right at your doorstep, from hiking to kayaking to golfing. One new sport that has come onto the scene in the last couple of summers is e-biking. It’s the perfect blend of adventure and scenic beauty and makes Tahoe adventuring more accessible with its motor assistance technology. It’s time to book your stay, reserve an e-bike and make your way to Tahoe for a weekend of summer fun!
Tahoe’s e-Bike Trails
From the Olympic Valley to Incline Village and everywhere in between, Tahoe has a variety of paved bike trails perfect for e-bikers of all levels. For gentle terrain and river views, a great leisurely option is the Truckee River Bike Path which winds its way from the Olympic Valley to Tahoe City. Continue on the Tahoe City Lakeside Bike Path once you get to Tahoe City to make a day of cruising and taking in the views of the Truckee River and Lake Tahoe. Stop in at one of Tahoe City’s restaurants for a takeaway lunch and then eat somewhere along the way.
Another spot that’s perfect for e-biking is Tahoe’s East Shore Trail in Incline Village. The 3-mile trail, known as “America’s Most Beautiful Bikeway”, is a beautiful trail with breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe. Grab some snacks or enjoy breakfast at the Tunnel Creek Cafe before heading out on the trail. Be sure to stop along the way to learn about the East Shore’s history, geology and flora and fauna at one of the 25 interpretive panels. You can make it a two-sport day by renting a paddleboard or kayak once you get to Sand Harbor.
For a longer adventure, check out the West Lake Tahoe Bike Path. This 10-mile cruise starts in Tahoe City and winds its way down to Meeks Bay with views and great stops along the way. For history buffs, you can stop along the way and tour the early 1900s Hellman-Erman Mansion at Sugar Pine Point Park.
For those that are looking to rent a bike for a couple hours or even for your entire stay, our area has several rental shops with friendly and knowledgeable staff to get you set up. These shops carry both comfort e-bikes for paved paths or, for the more extreme athlete, electric mountain bikes for rental or purchase.
Some of our favorites are Olympic Bike Shop in Tahoe City, Northstar California which has miles of trails of its own, Vista Trail Bikes which is perfectly located if you’re riding the Tahoe East Shore Trail or stop by Tahoe Ebikes if you’re staying in Kings Beach. Remember, before you head out, make sure the trail you choose allows e-biking as some don’t. But, most importantly, have fun!
While July might be one of the busiest months in North Tahoe, there are countless reasons for so many people wanting to spend their summer days here. From hiking tree-lined trails to kayaking over crystal blue water to lakeside outdoor concerts to taking in the beauty of the sunset over Lake Tahoe, there’s so much to do all day, every day, all summer long! July means that the halfway point of summer is already here and it’s time to finish making your summer plans. There are still lots of lazy summer days on the horizon just waiting to be spent in Tahoe. And, what better way to spend a sunny Tahoe day, but on one of the gorgeous beaches that dot the shoreline of Lake Tahoe. Read on for some of our favorites.
Tahoe Vista/Carnelian Bay
While Moon Dune Beach may attract a crowd because of its gorgeous white sand and beautiful views, it remains one of our favorite places to spend the day. Make your way to Tahoe Vista early to grab one of the limited parking spots along the highway. You’ll have to leave your 4-legged friend at home and make sure you bring your own water and snacks for your relaxing day at the beach.
For those of you that do want your furry friend to enjoy some lake time, the closest beach that allows dogs is Carnelian West Beach. You can also enjoy a picnic lunch or a sunset dinner because this beach has picnic tables and BYO charcoal barbeques for public use. Or, after a day at this beach, head over to Garwoods for one of their famous Wet Woody cocktails. Cheers!
Photo: Eagle Rock looking towards Tahoe City
We’ve mentioned this beach numerous times in our blog because there really is something for everyone here…it’s right there in its name. Commons Beach is a four-acre beach park located in the heart of downtown Tahoe City. Bring the whole family for a day of fun, enjoying the children’s playgrounds, grassy lawns and swimming area. You can even bring your bikes to ride along the Lakeside Trail. Or, better yet, make plans to visit on a Sunday evening to enjoy the free weekly concert. Don’t forget your cooler and favorite beach chair.
Photo: Evan Waterhouse at Sugarpine State Park
If your summer vacation plans include a relaxing and scenic stay on Lake Tahoe’s west shore, you have some fantastic beach options. Let’s start at the small public beach next to Chambers Landing. While there are no services, you can enjoy some time sunbathing and swimming before walking over the Chambers Landing to enjoy a lakeside lunch or an evening beverage.
For those that like to break a sweat during their day of lakeside relaxation, Sugar Pine Point State Park is a “trailhead” for standup paddle boarding and kayaking along the Lake Tahoe Water Trail as well as a hiking trailhead for the many miles of hiking trails in the park. Or better yet, plan
It’s June which means it’s time for lazy days on the shores of the lake, e-biking down the east shore, hiking Tahoe’s gorgeous trails, tubing down the Truckee River, leisurely afternoons of shopping and late evening sunsets lighting the sky with alpenglow. There is nothing like summer in Tahoe and it’s finally here. Not only does our area offer endless outdoor adventures but it also transforms into a vibrant hub of summer events. Have you made your vacation rental reservations yet? If not, you’ll want to keep summer events in mind when you plan your trip to Tahoe. We’ve put together a sampling of some of our favorites.
Calling all Music Lovers
Concerts at Commons Beach: What says summer more than Tahoe City’s weekly Sunday evening event? Bring your chair, the whole family and your cooler stocked with food and drinks, then kick back and enjoy the tunes and lake views.
Bluesdays Concerts: Summer Tuesdays in the Olympic Valley mean Bluesdays in The Village at Palisades Tahoe. Mark your calendar for this fun, free and family-friendly concert series. Come early to shop and eat or even do some hiking before the music starts.
Tahoe’s Summer Cultural Events
Photo: The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival [/caption]
Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival: This year’s summer lineup on the lakefront stage includes the Little Shop of Horrors, Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, Young Shakespeare putting on As You Like It, Sierra Nevada Ballet and more. Check out the calendar and get your tickets soon. Watch the moon rise over Lake Tahoe and enjoy an evening of entertainment.
Lake Tahoe Dance Festival: This 11th annual July event includes outdoor dance performances throughout North Lake Tahoe. From a sunset performance including hour d’oeuvres and drinks in Incline Village to a bring-your-own-chair dance performance at Truckee’s West End Beach to the Opening Night Gala in Tahoe City, you’ll be wowed by talented dancers performing with gorgeous Tahoe views all around.
Something for Foodies
Photo: Tahoe City Food & Wine Classic[/caption]
Tahoe City Food and Wine Classic – On June 10th check in at Boatworks Mall or the Siren Arts Building between 12:30 and 3:00pm to receive your glass, wristband and, most importantly, your map of all of the pouring stations. Enjoy a delicious afternoon of fine wine and fun.
Looking for fresh ingredients to cook a summer feast? The Tahoe City Farmers Market has already kicked off for the season. Catch it until October 19th on Thursdays at Commons Beach. Over in Truckee, buy your food at both the Truckee Certified Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays and the Truckee Saturday Farmers Market.
Because of Tahoe’s 300+ days of sunshine, kayaking can be a year-round activity. But, as spring and summer arrive and the days get longer, there’s nothing like a warm sunny day out on the water. Whether you have your own double seater for you and your favorite kayaking buddy or rent a kayak for a day on the lake, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous turquoise water and a unique viewpoint to take in the scenery. Did you know there are kayaking trails all along the shores of Lake Tahoe including 20 “trailheads” to launch your boat? Read on to find out where to kayak in North Lake Tahoe and how to get outfitted for a day on the lake.
West Shore Kayak Trails
Kayaking West Shore Tahoe, Photo by Stephanie Sparling[/caption]
The West Shore of Lake Tahoe is home to three kayak launch sites. Once you’re ready for your day on the lake, launch from Kaspian Campground, Meeks Bay or D.L. Bliss State Park. The Kaspian launch site is the perfect starting point for a two-sport day. After an afternoon of kayaking, secure your boat and take the 1-mile roundtrip hike to Eagle Rock for sweeping views of Lake Tahoe.
Another option is to launch from Meeks Bay and head north on your paddle. If you’re ready for a break as you paddle pass Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park, you can land your boat on the beautiful sandy beach for a picnic or to explore the Erman Mansion and the interpretive trails.
If you launch from D.L. Bliss State Park in the morning (the parking lot is often full by mid-morning), you can paddle in the morning sun and then return to enjoy time swimming or hiking or even spend the night in their campground.
Looking for more kayak trails in North Lake Tahoe? Explore the Lake Tahoe Water Trail website for more trip ideas. They offer maps for every part of the lake including day trips from Tahoe City, the North Shore’s six launch sites from Carnelian Bay to Kings Beach, and 15.9 miles of turquoise “trails” launching from Sand Harbor.
Kayak Rentals on the West Shore
Eagle Rock, Photo by Elliot Gilfix[/caption]
With rentals available throughout the Tahoe area, you’ll have an easy time getting out on the water with all the gear you need for a fun-filled day.
South of Tahoma, Meeks Bay Resort offers single and double kayak rentals. If you’re headed out to explore the West Shore’s kayak trails and need the gear to do it, this is an ideal location to rent a boat to explore the lake. From a quick 1-mile paddle to Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park to a longer 3-mile journey to D.L. Bliss State Park, Meeks Bay is the perfect basecamp.
Looking for something extra unique? Clearly Tahoe offers clear kayak rentals for a DIY adventure where you’ll be taking in the views around you as well as under your feet. Or, sign up for one of their guided tours, including their amazing nighttime LED kayak experience!
There’s nothing like watching a sunset over Lake Tahoe. The beautiful alpenglow over the Sierras and the reflections on the water make for a picturesque and peaceful way to end the day. In the winter, with the early sunsets, you can end your day of skiing and stop in Tahoe City for a sunset before heading to dinner. Or after a day of summer fun, make your way to a beach or make dinner reservations lakeside to enjoy the beauty of a long summer day coming to an end. We’ve listed sunset viewing spots and lakeside restaurants all around North Lake Tahoe for whatever season you choose.
Photo: Tahoe City Downtown Association
With so much to do in Tahoe City – biking the trail along the lake, shopping, visiting a museum or catching a movie at the Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema – it’s likely you’ll find yourself here after a day in North Lake Tahoe. If you have a blanket and picnic basket, Commons Beach is the perfect spot to end your day. Whether you snowshoe out to the beach in the winter or stay at the beach after a long day in the sun, this is a fantastic viewpoint.
Looking for a romantic dinner spot with a sunset view? Christy Hill’s location can’t be beat. With huge windows looking out over Lake Tahoe, you can take in the sunset over a gourmet meal and a glass of wine. And if you’re lucky, after the sun goes down you can watch the moon rise over the Sierras.
Carnelian Bay & Agate Bay
Photo: North Lake Tahoe Business Association
For a quintessential North Lake Tahoe experience, catch a sunset over the lake while enjoying a World Famous Wet Woody at Gar Woods. Whether you dine indoors or outside on the deck, you’ll have a fantastic night with unbeatable sunset views. Want more fun after the sun goes down? Check their website for weekly live music and other events.
Maybe you’re looking for an outdoor experience instead? Make your way down the road three miles and take a seat on the sand at Moon Dune beach. One of the most beautiful beaches in North Lake Tahoe, it’s not to be beat and is a fantastic spot to end a fun-filled Tahoe day.
If you’ve spent your day on the Nevada side of the lake, you can enjoy a beautiful evening sunset. Our favorite spot to enjoy both a day at the beach and a cotton candy sunset is at Sand Harbor. Get there early to secure a parking spot and stay late to enjoy the gorgeous light of the day coming to a close. Pack a dinner and dine at one of the picnic tables under the cedars and Jeffrey pines before calling it a night.
If you don’t want to make your own dinner, make reservations at Incline Village’s lakefront dining destination, Lone Eagle Grille. Start your night with cocktail service at their lakefront fire pit and then enjoy a meal made of in-season ingredients paired with a wine from their extensive wine list.
In case you didn’t already know, Palisades Tahoe is known as the Spring Skiing Capital. Titles aside, North Lake Tahoe’s ski areas are the place to be once the sunny days and soft snow hit. While it might feel like we’re in the middle of the winter right now, goggle tans and après ski lounging on a snow beach are just around the corner. As the season warms up, we wanted to help you put together you spring skiing bucket list to make the most of the end of the ski season.
Ice Bar and Golf at Alpine Meadows
Photo: Palisades Tahoe
One of our favorite “spring only” locales is Alpine Meadow’s Ice Bar. Tucked away at the base of the Sherwood Chair. This on-the-snow bar is both weather and snow dependent. Open during that perfect combination of sunny weather and snow still covering the backside, you’ll want to make sure you stop for a drink and a bratwurst if you see it open.
For extra dual sport fun, try to time your visit to the ice bar on the Annual Snow Golf Tournament day. Arrive early to secure your foursome’s spot for the 37th year of the top-to-bottom 9-hole course. Celebrate your team’s low score with live music on the sundeck and raffle prizes.
Sunshine and Sweets at Palisades Tahoe
Photo: Palisades Tahoe
Now it may seem obvious based on the name, but Palisades Tahoe’s Sun Bowl run is one of the very best locations for sunny spring laps. Accessed from the Headwall Express, this black diamond-rated run gets perfectly soft as the sun warms it up. Whether you hit it on a “slush bump” day or when it has been perfectly groomed, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous views of Lake Tahoe and a sunny southern exposure.
After your legs are burning and you’re ready for some afternoon après, it’s time for a sweet treat. Wildflour, hidden away in their downstairs location and only open during the ski season, is both the perfect way to start and end a day at Palisades Tahoe. They’ve got coffee and pastries and delicious pizza bagels, but do not leave without buying one (or a dozen) of their famous chocolate chip cookies. Their scratch made cookies are simply the best reward for a day of skiing.
Dual Sports at Homewood
Warm Tahoe spring days mean that you can take advantage of world-class spring skiing and enjoy the world-renowned Lake Tahoe…in the same day! Our favorite dual sport day involves make your way down the west shore to Homewood. Celebrated as the ski resort “where the mountains meet the lake”, it’s the perfect stop for your morning of carving turns. Then it’s time to trade in your ski gear for a wetsuit, board and paddle. Did you know that Homewood is just 280 steps from lift-to-lake? After a paddle on the lake, it’ll be time for some lakeside après. Watching the alpenglow light up Lake Tahoe and the Sierras with cotton candy colors might just be the perfect ending to a perfect spring day.