Summer has come to Tahoe, which means the temperatures are rising and the beaches are filling up. With 72 miles of shoreline, Lake Tahoe is without a doubt the biggest place to take a dip – but it’s not the only one! Lucky for us, Tahoe is surrounded by multiple lakes and rivers, and there are plenty of activities to enjoy while you’re cool off in them. Whether you’re ready to try out some new watersports or simply find a new place to take a dip, read on for our top picks of Water Activities to Keep Cool this summer!
Surf a Wake
Have you ever tried wake surfing? Quickly becoming the most popular boating sport, you’re bound to have seen many surfers riding waves behind boats on Tahoe. In general, wake surfing is a lot easier to do than wakeboarding or water skiing because it’s easier to get up on the board. Rather than being towed by a rope, you position the board on the wake put out by the boat, and get to ride an endless wave. If you’re ready to try, you can rent a boat complete with surfboards, tow lines, and all the safety equipment needed from Blue Wave Boat Rentals. They even have chartered boats available with drivers who know the best ways to teach newbies how to get up on the board, find their rhythm, and surf the wake like a pro in no time!
Dip a Paddle
Looking for some human-powered ways to get out on the water? Get out and test your paddle skills on a stand-up paddleboard or kayak. The Tahoe Water Trail is a 72-mile water route along the shoreline, complete with a guide to public launch and landing sites, wayfinding signage, paddle routes to match your ability and interests, navigation tools, and water safety tips to help you have a safe and fun paddle adventure. There is a section of the lake for all levels of experience – whether this is your first time or you’re a seasoned paddler. And there are plenty of places to rent gear from if you – or your rental house – don’t have your own. Check out Willards Sports Shop, or Tahoe City Kayak for all your rental needs.
Float the River
If you’re in the mood for a leisurely cool down, you can just inflate your favorite tube or giant floatie flamingo and let the ripples of the Truckee River take you away. The best section to float is from Tahoe City to River Ranch, a five-mile stretch with a few swift sections but no raging rapids. Make sure to drop a car at the end, where you can enjoy cocktails and fresh eats on the River Ranch Patio.
Take an Alpine Plunge
Is there anything better than jumping into an ice-cold lake after a long hike? We love the abundance of trails around the Tahoe basin, but summer heat can make for some sweaty summits. While Lake Tahoe is certainly the most talked-about lake in region, did you know there are actually hundreds of alpine lakes that span the Desolation Wilderness, State Parks, and National Forest Lands surrounding Lake Tahoe? If you’re looking for a day hike that ends with a great spot for swimming, check out Eagle Lake, which passes the famous Eagle Falls near Emerald bay, or from the East shore hike up to Marlette Lake, or even a loop to Spooner Lake. Remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen before hitting the trail!