Explore Big Blue’s Lake Tahoe Water Trail

New signs have been installed around Lake Tahoe to help users navigate by water. | Courtesy Lake Tahoe Water Trail

The Lake Tahoe Water Trail offers the chance for water enthusiasts to get up and personal with Big Blue.

There’s a trail on the water? Yes, it’s a mapped 72-mile water route along the shoreline with public launch/landing sites, and navigation tools to safely guide paddleboarders, kayakers and other water enthusiasts along Lake Tahoe’s forested coastline and miles of sandy beaches. Whether looking to access waterfront attractions or to get lost in the wildness of nature, users will find it along the Water Trail.

As the only paddling source for Lake Tahoe, the LakeTahoeWaterTrail.org, maps and wayfinding signage will help users find paddle routes to match every ability and curiosity levels.

Users will also find water safety and Tahoe Keeper aquatic invasive species prevention tips, paddle shops, lodging and places to take dogs. The downloadable Day Trip Maps include details about parking, on-site facilities and amenities, as well as public beach access to nearby hiking trails, historic sites, lodging and campgrounds.

Essential for all boaters and fishermen, the large collectible color waterproof Map & Guide includes underwater and land topography, latitude/longitude coordinates, GPS waypoints, shoreline services and points of interest.

The Water Trail leads users to towering rock faces and old growth forests, historic sites, bird-watching sanctuaries, picnics on the beach or a lakeside bistro.

Water Safety & Stewardship Tips

  • It’s a big, deep lake and cold, even on the hottest day of summer. Be prepared for an emergency.
  • Check weather and marine forecasts.
  • Beware of cold-water shock and hypothermia. Dress for water temperature.
  • Always wear a life jacket and SUP leash.
  • Carry a whistle and flashlight, and a cell phone.
  • Know how to self-rescue.
  • Notify someone of your itinerary.
  • Boating regulations require all adults to carry a life vest and all children 12 years old and younger must wear a life vest in all vessels, including kayaks and SUPs.
  • Camping is allowed only in designated campgrounds.
  • Fires are permitted only in established campgrounds or day use areas. Check fire restrictions.
  • Respect private property.
  • Dispose of waste properly, including dog poop bags.
  • Leave what you find. Take only photos. Leave No Trace.
  • Respect and enjoy wildlife from afar.
  • Watch your step. The small fragile Tahoe Yellow Cress mustard plant only grows on the sandy beaches of Lake Tahoe and nowhere else in the world. Please avoid walking or dragging boats and boards over any shoreline vegetation.
  • Before launching, make sure gear is Clean, Drained and Dry to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species that can ruin the clarity and health of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding lakes. Learn how to self-inspect and decontaminate gear at com or rent gear from a local paddle shop.