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Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

star-4.5
976 Reviews
Lake Tahoe, California, USA

The Basics

Much of the world discovered Lake Tahoe when the Squaw Valley ski resort hosted the 1960 winter Olympics, and it has been a favorite destination ever since. Lake Tahoe is split into two sections—North Lake, which includes the towns of Truckee and Tahoe City, and South Lake, which includes the city of South Lake Tahoe.

Head to Tahoe for world-class skiing and snowboarding at resorts like Heavenly Mountain, Sugar Bowl, and Kirkwood. In addition to downhill skiing, the area offers snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and other wintery fun. In the summer, the area is popular for kayaking, boating, stand-up paddleboarding, and Jet Skiing. The surrounding area is a popular camping spot and offers hiking and biking paths.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Lake Tahoe

star-5
Fabulous time
Beth_S, Jul 2021
Half-Day Self-Guided Electric Bike Tour | Lake Tahoe's Iconic East Shore Trail
Fabulous time. Staff was very friendly and took the time to explain the trail and how to best use the bikes. Will definitely do it again on a return visit to Lake Tahoe
star-4
Nice Cruise
Teresa_B, Apr 2021
Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II
This was our first trip to Lake Tahoe. We enjoyed the relaxing cruise and finding out the history of the beautiful lake. It was a nice sunny day, and the snow covered mountains made some beautiful memorable pictures. Only criticism I have is while social distancing is still a must with this pandemic, there were way too many people on the boat. I witnessed some uncomfortable exchanges of words between some people because there was not enough seating for groups of people to be six feet apart.
star-4
Nice, But Some Things Could Change
PNW, Jul 2021
Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II
Overall I think the cruise was really awesome and I loved learning about the area, however, I think it was a little too crowded(especially in this COVID time) and requiring to have a printed a ticket is outdated and inconvenient. There should be a way to scan a phone. Like I said, I liked the tour, but the things I mentioned should be addressed.
star-4
Boat Ride
Todd_R, Jun 2021
Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II
The boat ride was great. The crowed conditions, not so much. When I bought my tickets it said social distancing was required. The boat was packed. Way to may people to stay 6 feet apart.
star-5
Great experience
Ricardo_G, Jul 2021
Half-Day Self-Guided Electric Bike Tour | Lake Tahoe's Iconic East Shore Trail
Great service and the E-bikes were amazing. Highly recommend this excursion. Very safe ride with a ton of scenic spots along the way.
star-5
Awesome experience
Jacque_O, Jul 2021
Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley
Awesome trip. Fantastic driver, very informative. Would recommend this to everyone. Loved hearing all about the history of the area in other towns.
star-5
Great experience
Tony_C, Jul 2021
Full-Day Self-Guided Electric Bike Tour | Lake Tahoe's Iconic East Shore Trail
The equipment was in great shape and worked well. Amazing views on the bike trail. Great customer service
star-5
What a beautiful way to see Lake Tahoe
Liz_M, Jun 2021
Half-Day Self-Guided Electric Bike Tour | Lake Tahoe's Iconic East Shore Trail
Loved this !! Absolutely beautiful and so much fun . Would do this again next time I am in Lake Tahoe .
star-4
Ride tour of Lake Tahoe
Larry_S, Jun 2021
Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley
We enjoyed this tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable and gave us some ideas on what we should see during our visit. I wish we could have made a few more stops where we could have gotten out and looked around but I realize that parking is almost impossible everywhere. I would recommend this tour to anyone who is a first time visitor who needs some tips on how to navigate the area. I would suggest that the driver keep a cooler with water to sell on very hot days.
star-5
Highly recommend
Juanita_N, May 2021
Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay Cruise on M.S. Dixie II
It was the best experience. The staff was so friendly. Plenty of space felt safe with COVID and people were responsible. Diversity of ages, families and ethnicity. Would highly recommend!
star-5
Great service
Shimei_Y, Jul 2021
Half-Day Self-Guided Electric Bike Tour | Lake Tahoe's Iconic East Shore Trail
Employees are very friendly and professional. I enjoyed my bike riding trip. The view is very impressive
star-5
Amazing experience!!!
Erin_C, Jun 2021
Half-Day Self-Guided Electric Bike Tour | Lake Tahoe's Iconic East Shore Trail
The bikes were a blast!!! So easy to use. We were able to experience all the beauty of Lake Tahoe without being exhausted.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The lake’s elevation is 6,225 feet (1,897 meters), and mountain resorts sit even higher, so prepare for altitude sickness by staying hydrated.

  • The sun is strong in the mountains—wear sun protection year round.

  • Snow chains are usually required in bad weather unless you have a 4WD vehicle with snow tires; checkpoints are set up on mountain passes, and the highway patrol enforces snow chain regulations.

  • You can purchase snow chains from licensed vendors who set up on the sides of the roads.

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How to Get There

Reno-Tahoe International Airport, the closest major airport, is about 60 miles (95 km) from South Lake Tahoe and 37 miles (60 km) from Truckee. There is also a smaller Truckee Tahoe Airport. To reach the lake by car, take Interstate 80 from San Francisco and Sacramento, US 50 from Sacramento, or US 395 from Yosemite National Park.

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Trip ideas

Lake Tahoe Ski Resort Guide

Lake Tahoe Ski Resort Guide


When to Get There

Ski season is generally late November–April; winter holidays and long weekends such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Fourth of July, are the most crowded. There are very few roads through the mountains and around the lake, so traffic can get backed up. Spring and fall offer fewer crowds and a more relaxing environment, though some business close during these shoulder seasons.

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Truckee River

During the summer, if you’ve had your fill of lake activities, head to the Truckee River, located between the lake and the quaint, historic town of Truckee. You can spend your time river rafting, or exploring the walking and biking paths run along the riverbank, next to State Route 89.

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