Travel Tips for your Lake Tahoe Weekend Trip
One of the best ways to beat the heat and get away from the summer crowds is to head up…way up, to Lake Tahoe.
Just a few hours from the Bay Area by car or a quick 1.5 hour flight from LA to Reno, NV, the crystal clear waters of one of the deepest lakes in the U.S. will not disappoint. I kept thinking about that song from Disney's Aladdin, "But now from way up here, its crystal clear, now I'm in a whole new world with you."
Lake Tahoe in the summertime truly is a whole new world. I had never been, besides once when I was a baby, so it was extra fun to go back when it was wasn’t cold and snowing. It was actually pretty hot and hazy due to the many wildfires nearby, but the views were still quite breathtaking.
Tahoe Travel Tip:
If you are driving from the Bay Area, it's best to leave before 12 noon on a Friday or after traffic around 7pm, if you can. (Yes, the Bay Area traffic rivals LA traffic. Save yourself the headache!)
We headed up on Highway 89 to North Lake Tahoe and King's Beach to meet up with The Wild Society, the only kayak outfitter on the North side of the lake who rents CLEAR kayaks.
You don’t need to bring anything but swimwear, sunscreen, hat, a camera, and a water bottle/snacks. They supply the rest for you! Expect to get wet!
The Wild Society provides waterproof JBL Music Speaker, Snorkel and Mask, Binoculars, First Aid Kid, Dry Bag, Phone dry case, and more! Courtesy @the.wild.society
The lake is so crystal clear, having a clear kayak was such a bonus and quite novel because you could actually see the sand bottom at some spots. I didn’t see many fish, but it could have been that I was pretty focused on just paddling.
WHERE TO GO ON LAKE tahoe:
The best time to go to Crystal Cove is in the mornings and early afternoons as there is usually no wind, but we ended up getting there around 3pm (had to get a morning tennis match in!).
To get to Crystal Cove, you paddle left from the dock ramp area and hug the coastline to the rocky point. It looks deceivingly close, but with wind and a little current, it can take some muscle to get to.
Once you are in that area, you can find a little rock outcrop to lounge on or jump off of, snorkel, or just chill. Most of the beaches were roped off as private property, so be mindful if you try to paddle to shore. I would give yourself at least 2-3 hours to really enjoy the scenery and take the whole experience in.
One thing I really wish I could have done was the night paddle tour, which is something available in the summer time on select dates. If you get to go, you are in for a treat as the night sky will be a show in itself.
Try to book it around a full moon (for optimum light) or during a moonless night when the August Perseid meteor showers are happening. I would love to hear your experience if you go!
The Wild Society Crystal Clear Kayaks
Kings Beach, North Lake Tahoe, CA
IN A RAFT DOWN BY THE RIVER:
Another fun way to experience local flavor and chill out is to float down the Truckee River.
We were there with a big group, which made it more fun. It's pretty shallow, and at some places, there is literally only six inches of water. There are a few little rapid areas, which were *maybe* a grade 1. As our safety guide mentioned: “if you fall out of the boat, just stand up.” Bring lots of sunscreen, a waterproof music speaker, a stocked cooler, and a good attitude.
It's a pretty lively, social party atmosphere with lots of laughter and libations. You can cruise up to the many little rocky sandbars dispersed along this five mile swath of the river, and meet and mingle with the local folk and tourists alike.
Truckee River Rafting Co
185 W River Rd, Tahoe City, CA
Truckee River Rafting
175 W River Road, Tahoe City, C