Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay is most impressive when viewed from the road above the lake.
At Lake Tahoe, any season of the year, a steady stream of
travelers arrives to vacation in the mountains or on the lake –
generally, on skis or in a boat. Lake Tahoe is famous for it’s clear,
cold deep blue waters reflecting the surrounding forested mountain
peaks. At the south end, several large South Lake Tahoe resorts and
casinos offer Vegas-like gambling vacations in a stunning setting. Ski
all day, play all night.
Reliably deep and powdery snow makes winter skiing and snowboarding at
Lake Tahoe a magnet for travelers. Many of the ski resorts are
year-round resorts with plenty of activities for warm-season
visitors. Tahoe ski resorts are famous – Squaw Valley, Dodge
Ridge, Kirkwood, Heavenly, Northstar, Sugar Bowl, Sierra-at-Tahoe,
Alpine Meadows and several others.
In summer, the focus is the lake and nearby hiking trails. Powerboats, ferries, kayaks, canoes, and jet skis are readily
available. The water is always cold but hot summer sun and
cloudless skies offset the chill. The Pacific Crest Trail runs
north/south just west of the lake.
Some of the highlights of this destination include:
Attractions: Donner Pass, Vikingsholm Castle, Ehrman Mansion
Towns: Tahoe City, Truckee, Incline Village (Nevada), South Lake Tahoe
Lakes and Rivers: Lake Tahoe, Donner Lake
Beaches: Emerald Bay
National Forests: Tahoe National Forest, El Dorado National Forest
State Parks: Emerald Bay State Park, Sugar Pine Point State Park, Burton Creek State Park
Lake Tahoe is one of the most stunning natural destinations in
California with year-round appeal. Spring and fall in the Lake Tahoe
area offers hiking, river boating, kayaking, river rafting, cycling and
just plain gawking at the scenery of the Tahoe area. Summer adds the
possibility of swimming and water-skiing, as well as camping at the
numerous Lake Tahoe area parks and private campgrounds. In winter, Lake
Tahoe is transformed into one of the world’s premier ski and snowboard
playground. Combined with the Nevada-side casino resorts and the
nightlife they offer, it is easy to love Tahoe.
Located in the High Sierra, elevations in the area range from 7000’ to
more than 8000’ so Lake Tahoe area weather is often significantly
cooler than California’s coast and central valleys. In winter,
heavy snows may close roads or require chains so it is wise to check
weather forecasts and road conditions before starting.
Surrounded by three national forests, Tahoe, Eldorado, and Toiyabe, the
Tahoe area is perfect for scenic drives around Lake Tahoe and into the
nearby mountains. The two main routes to the Lake Tahoe area are
Interstate 80 and Highway 50 so our scenic routes may start at either
end of the lake.
SCENIC DRIVES: Starting from I-80, take 89 south (or first head into the town of
Truckee for supplies and then take 267 south) to do a loop around the
lake, taking time to stop at the numerous vista points, trailheads,
state parks and public beaches. Sugar Pine Point State Park
offers a view of privileged life on the Lake in the 1920’s through
tours of a lakeside estate. Emerald Bay is one of the most
photographed spots showcasing the legendary watercolor and clarity of
SIDETRIPS: 89 continues south to connect with Highway 50. Take 50 or 88 or 89 to enjoy the scenery as you pass from peaks to
valleys. The area is home to many ski resorts but it remains
pristine enough to provide habitat for a wide range of wildlife as