Once in a while, I like to remember trips I have taken. After all, as the saying goes, remembering is reliving.
The other day I found myself going through pictures of Lake Tahoe. I am still in awe because of the many gorgeous spots we were able to witness. The turquoise waters, snow-covered mountains, verdant pines and puffy clouds left an indelible mark on my memory.
It has been a while since I have produced an article dedicated to pictures. Of course, my posts tend to be photo heavy but there is something soothing about seeing pictures of a place, without other distractions, and dreaming of going or revisiting.
So, I want to take this opportunity to present you with Lake Tahoe pictures!
Where is Lake Tahoe
Before starting our photo show, it would be a good idea to discuss certain details about Tahoe. It is a popular place in California but, yes, I know, not everybody that reads this site is a resident of the state.
Lake Tahoe is a freshwater lake located in the Sierra Nevada. It is shared between the states of California (2/3) and Nevada (1/3). Because of its elevation, it is considered an alpine lake.
The lake is located northwest of San Francisco and Sacramento. Picturing the coast, the lake is aligned in terms of longitude with Mendocino.
The lake is located 200 miles from San Francisco (4 hours) and 500 miles from Los Angeles (7 to 8 hours).
Lake Tahoe Facts
This is no ordinary lake. Here are some reasons why Lake Tahoe is special:
- Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America
- It is the second deepest lake in the United States
- It has a length of 22 miles and a width of 12 miles
- To circumnavigate the lake, you have to drive 72 miles
- The lake never freezes
- Fannette Island on Emerald Bay is the only island on the lake
- Tahoe is known for its ski resorts, water activities, hiking, biking and gambling (remember part of the shore is in Nevada)
- Mark Twain described the clarity of the lake on one of his books
Lake Tahoe Pictures – California
We will start by taking a look at pictures of the places I visited on the California side.
We stopped by the Taylor Creek Visitor Center to walk the Rainbow Trail. We were in town during the time Kokanee Salmon travel upstream to mate (we saw tons of them).
In addition, we had the opportunity to walk around the largest meadow/marsh in the area.
This is by far the most popular spot in Lake Tahoe.
If you take a look at a map of the lake you are going to notice “an arm” popping out the shore close to the town of South Lake Tahoe. Well, that is gorgeous Emerald Bay!
For unbelievable views of this spot, stop by Inspiration Point.
If you want to take a more in-depth look at the bay (and you should), plan to walk the Vikingsholm Trail. This trail starts from the stone observation area above the bay and takes you to an authentic replica of a Viking Castle. Magnificent views of the bay will follow you at all times.
D.L Bliss State Park
This park is located on the western shore of the lake, north of Emerald Bay and offers camping sites, beaches and hiking trails (one of the most popular is the Rubicon Trail).
Sugar Pine Point State Park
Another park offering camping facilities, a nature center, a beach and several water activities. I was particularly pleased to check out the pier and the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion.
In Tahoe City, I spotted several piers behind a small shopping center. We parked the car and were able to take in turquoise water and cabins flanked by yellow trees. If you want to find this place, go to the Tahoe Gal embarkation point.
Lake Tahoe Pictures – Nevada
Are you tired of Lake Tahoe pictures yet? I imagine you want to continue exploring this place. Here are photos of the places I visited on the Nevada side.
This “hidden” beach can only be accessed by a 1.6-mile long trail. It is considered an easy trail but you should be vigilant if you intend to do it with kids.
Now, the trailhead is easy to miss (there is no sign pointing to it). On Highway 28, about two miles north of Highway 50, you are going to find parking space on a turnout along the road. The right spot to start the hike is marked by a green gate.
Secret Cove Beach / Harbor
There is no sign pointing to the beach but you are going to see an actual parking lot (north of Skunk Harbor). The gorgeous emerald colored water is going to be noticeable right away. Take in the breathtaking views before attempting the hike down.
If you want to check out gorgeous views without breaking a sweat, Sand Harbor is the place for you. I completely adored this place. There is so much to see and you have tons of facilities. It is another spot to spend the entire day.
Photo Taking Recommendations
I have provided several ideas for those who want to go on a photo safari around Lake Tahoe. Here are some suggestions to make the most of the trip.
- The Tahoe area can get very congested during times of the year. Start your day early if you want to take pictures without people
- Also, I will recommend going to Emerald Bay first thing in the morning. Parking is very limited in the area. We had to leave the first time we drove by
- Be careful when parking on the street. I saw people parking in dangerous spots (blind curves) or getting tickets after parking on restricted areas
- Some of the best views of the lake are inside state parks. Therefore, bring some cash to pay the fees. One ticket will grant you all day access to the parks in one state. Because of that, it is a good idea to check the parks in California one day and the parks in Nevada the following day. You will pay a fee on the first park you visit on that day and keep proof of payment (on your windshield) when accessing other parks in the state. Just remember a ticket bought in Nevada will not work to access a park in California and vice versa
- Check out the parks operating hours. Some close during winter
Lake Tahoe Resources
Visit the following websites for information on where to eat and stay on your sightseeing trip:
- My post about driving around Lake Tahoe showcases the best spots to check out on the Nevada side
- Official Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus
- Tahoe South
- Go Tahoe North
More Lake Escapes
California is a land of lakes. If you enjoy these bodies of water, check out these posts:
In summary, Lake Tahoe is a magical place that deserves some time for exploration. Hope these photos have left a positive impression on the place!
What do you think about these Lake Tahoe pictures? California or Nevada?
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This post is part of Wordless Wednesday at Image-In-Ing, Our World Tuesday, Faraway Files at Oregon Girl Around the World, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, Follow Me Friday at Feet Do Travel and Weekend Wanderlust at Travel Latte.