Sunday, September 22, 2013

Best Beaches In Tahoe - Kiva Beach

Kiva Beach - (Southwest corner of Tahoe)
Parking - Not very much, get there early!
Fee - NONE! More reason to get there early.
Dogs - YES! More reason to get there early! Note: Bring a leash! (More below.)
Boat Launch - No, unless your boat is a kayak, paddleboard, or canoe that you can carry to the water.

There are few places where dogs can frolic in Lake Tahoe. When one of them happens to be a spectacular beach, you can bet it is popular. When there is also no parking fee, you know where the crowds are going to be.
Because of these factors, Kiva Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the lake. Located east of Baldwin Beach and west of Camp Richardson and in the Tallac Historic Site, it is close to South Lake Tahoe. Even during slow periods, Kiva often has lots of people when the other beaches are mostly empty.
As always, if you plug, "Kiva Beach, South Lake Tahoe" into Google Maps, you'll get the appropriate picture. However, Google puts the little marker pin on the straight section of narrow beach. The most beautiful portion of the beach is the curved area to the west. Walk around, you'll find it.
So lets go back to Kiva's raison d'ĂȘtre: Dogs.
Dogs are allowed, but there are some rules. They have to be on a leash. Yes, you'll see dogs running free, and you'll be tempted to let yours join them. But be aware that if a ranger shows up, you'll pay a hefty fine, rumored to be in the $200 range. The rules even say you have to have your dog on a leash when it's in the water. You be the judge.
It goes without saying that you must pick up after your dog.
Dogs are also not allowed on the meadow behind the beach. Too ecologically-sensitive. (The meadow, not the dogs.)
As for the beach? It is a beautiful crescent of sand with great swimming and awesome views, very much like its neighbor Baldwin Beach, which doesn't allow dogs, and does charge for parking.

Bottom line: If you want to bring your dog to the beach, and you want it to be beautiful, Kiva rules like no other.

Turn off the highway at this sign. It is about a quarter mile west of the Camp Richardson Hotel.

You will drive in and come to a fork in the road with this sign. Take the left fork.

The left fork road brings you to an oblong oval parking lot. On the west side is a somewhat inconspicuous trail.
That's your path to doggie heaven.

Pay attention to the dog rules.

The trail goes back about 100 yards to the water.
The beach you probably want - the large, crescent-shaped beach - is on your left.
To your right is a much narrower beach that makes for a nice walk down
toward Valhalla and Camp Rich.
The backdrop to Kiva Beach is Mt. Tallac on the left of this photo and Maggies Peaks
to the right. Yes, your thought about the name origin is accurate. Maggie was a shapely maiden.

Kiva Beach rocks for dogs. But of course, there is always a flip side. If you have young kids who are afraid of dogs, drive down to Baldwin Beach and pony up for the parking fee. See my previous post on Baldwin Beach.

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