Lake Tahoe, located on the border of Nevada and California, is a breathtaking destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Surrounded by panoramic mountain vistas, Lake Tahoe also has pristine crystal clear waters.
Lake Tahoe offers a myriad of tahoe summer activities and things to do that cater to all interests and age groups. In this Lake Tahoe summer travel guide, we have compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in Lake Tahoe in summer to ensure you have an unforgettable Lake Tahoe trip.
1. Emerald Bay State Park
Emerald Bay State Park, situated on the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe, is a must-see destination for its stunning views and picturesque hiking trails. This preserved area offers some of the most breathtaking lookout points in all of Tahoe, making it a popular choice among Lake Tahoe things to do in summer.
The park features numerous hiking trails that cater to different skill levels, from easy walks to more challenging climbs. For a relatively easy hike, consider taking the 1-mile trail to the historic Vikingsholm mansion. More experienced hikers may want to tackle the more strenuous Rubicon Trail, which offers spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
If you prefer to explore the beauty of Emerald Bay from the water, consider taking a scenic boat tour. Several companies offer guided tours that provide fascinating insights into the history and ecology of the area while showcasing the bay’s stunning beauty.
2. Heavenly Mountain Resort
Heavenly Mountain Resort is a popular destination for both winter sports enthusiasts and Lake Tahoe summer activities lovers. In the summer months, the resort transforms into an adventure park, offering a range of exciting attractions for visitors.
One of the highlights of visiting Heavenly Mountain Resort during the summer is the scenic gondola ride. The 2.4-mile journey takes you 2,800 feet above the lake, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and shimmering Lake Tahoe below.
The resort’s adventure park includes thrilling attractions such as zip lines, a mountain coaster, a climbing wall, and ropes courses. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply looking for family-friendly fun, Heavenly Mountain Resort has something for everyone.
3. Donner Summit
Rich in history and natural beauty, Donner Summit is a must-visit destination for those seeking Lake Tahoe things to do. The area offers a fascinating glimpse into the tragic story of the Donner Party and provides a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking and rock climbing.
Visitors can explore the remnants of the old Donner Summit Train Tunnels, which date back to the 1860s. The nearby Donner Memorial State Park also offers a museum and visitor center that delves into the region’s rich history.
Donner Summit boasts numerous hiking trails that cater to all skill levels, from leisurely strolls to challenging climbs. A popular trail is the Pacific Crest Trail, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
4. El Dorado Beach
El Dorado Beach, located in South Lake Tahoe, is a popular destination for beachgoers seeking Lake Tahoe summer activities. The beach is easily accessible to the public and offers a range of recreational activities, such as swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.
During the summer months, El Dorado Beach hosts the popular ‘Live At Lakeview’ concert series. This free event features live music performances from local and national acts. It’s the perfect way to spend a summer evening by the lake.
El Dorado Beach also serves as a prime location for special events throughout the year, such as Fourth of July fireworks and New Year’s Eve celebrations. Be sure to check the local event calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.
Vikingsholm, located at the head of Emerald Bay, is a historic mansion dating back to 1929. This architectural marvel is a must-see attraction for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike.
Guided tours of Vikingsholm are available during the summer months. They offer visitors a unique opportunity to explore the mansion’s interior and learn about its fascinating history.
The area surrounding Vikingsholm features several hiking trails that provide stunning views of Emerald Bay. The 1-mile trail from the parking lot to the mansion is a popular choice among visitors.
6. Chimney Beach
Chimney Beach is a popular destination for dog owners, as it is one of the few dog-friendly beaches in the area. Dogs must be leashed at all times, and owners must clean up after their pets.
Visitors can access Chimney Beach via a short trail from the parking area. The path winds through a forested area, offering glimpses of the lake below before opening up to the sandy shore.
7. Lake Tahoe Boat Tours
Exploring Lake Tahoe via boat tours is one of the most popular Lake Tahoe things to do in summer. Several companies offer guided tours, private charters, and boat rentals. With a variety of options, you can choose the perfect method for your needs and interests.
Scenic boat tours provide a unique perspective of Lake Tahoe’s beauty, as well as fascinating insights into the ecology of the area. Many tours also include stops at popular attractions, such as Emerald Bay and Fannette Island.
If you prefer to explore the lake at your own pace, consider renting a boat for the day. Boat rentals are available at various locations around the lake, with options ranging from small powerboats to luxury yachts.
8. Squaw Valley
Squaw Valley, a world-renowned ski and snowboarding resort, is also a fantastic destination for Lake Tahoe summer activities. The resort offers an array of outdoor adventures and attractions that cater to all interests and skill levels.
Squaw Valley’s aerial tram is a must-visit attraction, offering unparalleled views of the surrounding valleys. The tram operates from September to May, allowing visitors to experience the beauty of the area during both winter and summer seasons.
The resort’s extensive network of hiking and biking trails provides endless opportunities for outdoor exploration. Choose from leisurely nature walks, challenging mountain climbs, or exhilarating downhill mountain biking adventures.
9. Lower Eagle Falls
Lower Eagle Falls, located near Emerald Bay, is a stunning waterfall that offers picturesque views and serene hiking trails. The falls can be accessed via a short hike, making it a popular destination for visitors seeking a tranquil outdoor experience.
The trail to Lower Eagle Falls is relatively easy, providing access to the waterfall and surrounding natural beauty. From the falls, visitors can also enjoy views of South Lake Tahoe and the shimmering lake below.
Lower Eagle Falls is a popular spot for watching the sunset, as the setting sun casts a warm glow over the waterfall and surrounding landscape. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking scenery.
10. Tahoe Rim Trail
The Tahoe Rim Trail is a 165-mile loop that encircles Lake Tahoe. Adventurous hikers can experience the lake’s beauty from every angle. The trail traverses sandy beaches, towering mountain peaks, and dense forests.
The Tahoe Rim Trail can be hiked in sections or as a complete loop for experienced backpackers. The trail is well-maintained and offers a range of difficulty levels, making it suitable for both novice and experienced hikers.
Certain sections of the trail are open to mountain biking, providing cyclists with a unique way to explore the Lake Tahoe area. Be sure to check trail regulations and restrictions before embarking on your ride.
Lake Tahoe offers an abundance of Tahoe summer activities and things to do that cater to all tastes and interests. From the pristine waters of Emerald Bay to the exhilarating attractions of Heavenly Mountain Resort, your Lake Tahoe trip is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience. Plan your visit, book your stay, and discover the endless wonders of this enchanting destination.