The days are getting longer and the weather is warming up as summer is just around the corner. The Tahoe area offers plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy activities for all interests and abilities. In preparation of the upcoming season, we asked several locals about their favorite part of summer in Tahoe.
Incline Village resident Brad Flora suggests a variety of activities from the 4th of July celebration in Incline Village, the Kings Beach fireworks display on July 3rd and Truckee Thursdays, to beach volleyball and exploring the lesser-traveled shores of Lake Tahoe.
“A perfect summer day for me consists of exploring Tahoe’s pristine beaches. The vast amount of untouched shoreline with the mountainous backdrop creates an experience like no other,” said Flora. “I often find myself struck in awe by the natural beauty that I’m fully engulfed in.”
Enjoy beaches, watersports
The East Shore of Tahoe offers some more secluded stretches of shoreline. While the more popular beaches such as Sand Harbor and Hidden Beach can get crowded, especially on weekends, a short hike over the boulders along the shore can open up a variety of hidden coves and secluded spots.
Another way to find solitude at the lake is by getting out on the water. Kayaking and paddleboarding are fantastic ways to explore the shores from a different point of view.
“I love paddleboarding,” said Payton Roberts of Incline Village. “There’s nothing like being on the water.”
Tahoe City Downtown Association
Free summer music
Contrast the solitude found on the East Shore by joining the community for some of Tahoe’s best events. Truckee Thursdays is a great opportunity to get out and meet local business owners and community members while enjoying live music and street food. Beginning June 12 and continuing weekly through Aug. 21, the streets of historic downtown Truckee transform into a street fair.
Head to Kings Beach every Friday night from June 27 to Aug. 29 for Music on the Beach showcasing some of Tahoe’s favorite local musicians. Live music also can be enjoyed on Sunday’s from June 22 to Sept. 7 on Commons Beach in Tahoe City, and Music in the Park takes place on Wednesdays at Truckee River Regional Park.
Mountain bike the scenic trails
Lisa Nigon of Truckee enjoys getting dirty on the area’s many mountain biking trails. Both cross-country and downhill riders can find something to enjoy in the region.
The Tahoe Rim Trail has several great sections that offer stunning views of the lake. Biking is only permitted on even dates, so be sure to pay attention before hitting the trail.
The Flume Trail offers 4.5 miles of single track with 1,000 feet of elevation change. The trail is accessible as an out-and-back ride or a shuttle is provided by Flume Trail Mountain Bike Shuttle at the Tunnel Creek Café.
The Emigrant Trail just outside of Truckee is a fast rolling, cross-country trail that is a good way to put some miles on the bike.
For those willing to pay for a lift, Northstar offers more than 100 miles of trails for bikers of all abilities starting on June 6. From the adrenaline pumping downhill of LiveWire to rolling fire roads and a skill development area there’s something for everyone.
Just an hour north of Truckee is one of the more popular trails in the region. Boasting 5,000 vertical feet of descent in 15 miles, the Downieville Downhill is hailed as one of the most demanding bike trails in the nation. Shuttles are provided by most of the local bike shops in the area. This is a trail that should be on every mountain biker’s checklist.
Enjoy the wilderness on foot
If two-wheel travel isn’t for you, there are plenty of other ways to get out and enjoy the Tahoe scenery. Hiking is an option almost everywhere in the area.
Mark Tennyson of Tahoe City suggests checking out Desolation Wilderness and the Tahoe Rim Trail. The Tahoe Rim Trail is 165 miles of trails that circumnavigates Lake Tahoe.
The Tahoe Rim Trail Association offers a shuttle-assisted, segment-hiking program on Thursdays throughout the summer for those who want to tackle the entire trail in separate sections. Additionally, guided through hikes are offered by the association. More experienced hikers and backpackers often plan their own overnight trips.
Desolation Wilderness is more than 63,000 acres of sub-alpine and alpine forest southwest of Lake Tahoe. Back-country lakes, granite peaks and scenic waterfalls are just some of the beautiful sights to be found in the wilderness boundary. Both the Tahoe Rim Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail traverse through the wilderness area. Because it’s one of the most highly trafficked wilderness areas in the nation, it’s important to practice Leave No Trace principles and follow all rules and regulations. Permits are required for both overnight and day use and during the busiest months a quota system is used to prevent crowding in the most popular campsite areas.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list of things to do, it’s a good start to get inspired. This summer make it a goal to try something new, discover a place you haven’t been and push your limits.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy summer in Tahoe and Truckee? Share your favorites at facebook.com/TheTahoeWeekly.
3rd of July fireworks & 4th of July festivities
Truckee Thursdays mid-June to mid-August
East Shore beaches
Sand Harbor & Hidden Beach
Find some solitude
Kayaking & paddleboarding on Lake Tahoe
Free, summer concerts starting mid-June | Kings Beach, Truckee, Tahoe City & Olympic Valley
Tahoe Rim Trail (even days only), Flume Trail, Emigrant Trail, Northstar & Downieville Downhill
Desolation Wilderness, Tahoe Trim Trail & Pacific Crest Trail