Sunday, May 12, 2013

Best Beaches In Tahoe - Sand Harbor

Sand Harbor – (Northeast corner of Tahoe)
Parking – Plenty, but always a good idea to get there early!
Fee - $12 per vehicle
Dogs – Sorry, not allowed, not even in vehicles!
Boat Launch – Yes

Tahoe has many classic, all-natural beaches with tons of sand and crystal-clear water, which, in August, can warm up to an almost tolerable temperature in the 60s.
Some of the classiest beaches of all are at Sand Harbor State Park off Highway 28 on the Nevada side of the lake about 3 miles south of Incline Village.

Sand Harbor is made up of a point of rocks and trees and sand that poke out into Lake Tahoe in a more prominent way than any other place on the shoreline. There is one very long beach facing south, a small and a medium beach facing north, and many little cozy areas tucked into hundreds of giant boulders that look like they were sprinkled onto the area by the Boulder gods.

Talk about clear water

Because of the way the the south-facing beach is protected, the water is often warmer, and you will likely see more people swimming at Sand Harbor than at any other beach on Tahoe.

The park has multiple restroom facilities, a store, and meeting areas that large groups can  rent, making it very comfortable.

Perhaps the most famous aspect of the park is its outdoor stage and natural amphitheater where the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival is held everysummer. This year it is A Midsummer Night's Dream. Click here to get your tickets now.
 There is no other theatrical experience like it in the world. You sit under the stars watching your favorite of the Bard's delights.
Shakespeare on the beach is a great experience.

Behind the stage is the lake. Visible 20 miles away are the snow-capped mountains of the Desolation Wilderness looming over the West Shore.

Look closely down by the waterline, just right of center, and you
will see the rock slide at Emerald Bay (the gray triangle).
This is where the mountain slid away in 1955. 

There's a reason why Mt. Tallac is one of the most photographed mountains on the planet...

If you turn and look northwest, you can see the mountains of Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley.
In the distance to the northwest are Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley.

The boat-watching is great. Motor boats with skiers, sailboats and kayaks.

Kayaking Crystal Bay is like magic.

Sand Harbor is a unique and gorgeous spot that - sappy cliche here, but it's true - will give you a spiritual renewal. Highly recommended.


  1. Great blog for planning our first Tahoe trip! We've got Maggie's Peak and Kiva Beach on our list since our furry hiker is coming along. Keeping our fingers crossed we'll find parking this weekend! Thanks for all the good info:)

    1. Good to hear you're coming. You can find parking if you begin your day EARLY.
      You'll have a great time!