Photograph Bonsai Rock

Added by Lisa Bao

The scenic and dynamic landscape makes this a great location to catch the sunset. The still water from the enclosed harbor allows you to see just how blue Lake Tahoe can get. There are several different vantage points that will offer uniquely beautiful photo opportunities.

Bonsai Rock is a popular attraction for photographers as it is a unique boulder with tiny trees growing out of it, enclosed next to the shoreline. This makes it a beautiful place to enjoy a scenic sunset, as well as play with some long exposure photography.

It's located on the east side of Lake Tahoe on the Nevada side of the lake, just south of Sand Harbor, and about 20 miles north of South Lake Tahoe. If you're coming from the NE, pass Sand Harbor and continue for about 1 mile and look for a couple of pull outs on the right (they're not marked).

From the road, you should be able to see down to the beach. Walk along the road about a couple hundred feet until you find a trail to start walking down. There are a couple of paths, but the best one is the sandy trail. It’s a steep, but very short hike on sand and rocks, so probably best to wear shoes and not sandals. It takes about 5 minutes to get down to the beach.

It's best to bring a wide angle lens as well as an ND filter to get a smooth water effect. A polarizing filter also helps to cut through the water. I find that shooting the bonsai rock from a lower perspectives gives the rock more size, height, and dramatic effect.

Tips:
  • If you're going in the winter, the mountains in the back will be snow-capped
  • If you're going in the summer, there are low tides that expose more of the white sand and smaller rocks below the water
  • Be sure to get there at least an hour before sunset to find a good spot as it's a popular location and can get crowded
Read More

Tags

Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Beach
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Groups
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 2 years ago

Scenic and Dynamic Landscape

The scenic and dynamic landscape makes this an excellent location for photography. The still water from the enclosed harbor allowed me to see just how blue Lake Tahoe can get. I viewed Bonsai Rock from a high vantage point.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

Gorgeous, Serene

A wonderful experience at sunrise. Perhaps the finest view on the shores of Lake Tahoe other than Emerald Bay.

Stay Nearby

Incline Village, Nevada

Lake Tahoe Townhome Walk To Dining & Hyatt!

•• Due to COVID-related restrictions in Incline Village, many amenities are currently not available, including beaches and public recreation spaces. Beaches outside of Incline Village may be open; ...

From $421/night

Incline Village, Nevada

Updated Condo With 3 Private Beaches!

•• Due to COVID-related restrictions in Incline Village, many amenities are currently not available, including beaches and public recreation spaces. Beaches outside of Incline Village may be open; ...

From $446/night

Incline Village, Nevada

Incline Village Gem: Walk To Beach, Near Slopes!

•• Due to COVID-related restrictions in Incline Village, many amenities are currently not available, including beaches and public recreation spaces. Beaches outside of Incline Village may be open; ...

From $97/night

Incline Village, Nevada

Luxury Home W/ Hot Tub & Sauna – 1 Block To Beach!

•• Due to COVID-related restrictions in Incline Village, many amenities are currently not available, including beaches and public recreation spaces. Beaches outside of Incline Village may be open; ...

From $721/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Photograph a Sunset at Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe

    While Sand Harbor Park is a popular summer destination, the sunsets from this spot are breathtaking year round and you will have less company in the winter. The park is located right off of Highway 28 and has an admission fee of $7. There is a par...

  • SUP from Sand Harbor

    My favorite is to take a trip from Sand Harbor State Beach to Thunderbird Lodge along the East Shore in Lake Tahoe. Start by traveling to Sand Harbor State Beach, park in the parking lot and bring your equipment to the sandy shore. Hop on your ...

  • Relax at Sand Harbor

    This is what you would call a family beach. It is clean, beautiful, and well maintained. The admission price for vehicles has gone up quite a bit, but based on the economy and the fact that this park remains clean and glass-free, you really cannot...

  • Surf Lake Tahoe at Sand Harbor

    Surfing Lake Tahoe is a rare opportunity which only happens when there is a lot of wind. It's nothing like surfing in the ocean. There are mountains in the background, the water is fresh, and generally the waves are small. You can see if there are...