Photograph Lake Tahoe’s Inspiration Point

Added by Brandon Dewey

Lake Tahoe’s Inspiration Point has the best view of Emerald Bay and faces East making it ideal for photographing the the sun rising over Lake Tahoe!

Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay is a national natural landmark and is one of the prettiest parts of the lake.  Inspiration Point is located along route 89 on the Southwest side of Tahoe about 10 miles from South Lake Tahoe or about 33 miles South from Truckee.  It is very easy to get to, and its high vantage point allows photographers to see all of Emerald Bay as it leads into Lake Tahoe.  Inspiration Point has a pull off allowing photographers to safely park while taking pictures and is large enough to accommodate 5-6 vehicles.   Inspiration Point faces East making it ideal for photographing the sun rising over Lake Tahoe. The sun will rise behind the Sierra Mountains which if timed right can help create a beautiful sunstar. Fannette Island, which lies in Emerald Bay, makes a great focal point when photographing the bay.  During the morning, if the wind is calm, photographers are able to capture some of the lovely sunrise colors as they are reflected in the lake.  For some photography tips to help you improve your images click here.  

If you’re looking for a hike after watching an amazing sunrise, Eagle Falls is located about 200 feet up 89 for the pull off and has a great short hike to the base of the falls, which has some great swimming holes.  

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Handicap Accessible


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Overall rating: 

Easy stop with beautiful views!

Must do in Tahoe. Gorgeous view of the lake. Easy parking (sometimes it can fill up though). Beautiful all times of the day, all times of the year! Stop here, but be sure to explore more around the area too, whether it's Eagle Falls for a quick stop, or a hike in Desolation Wilderness!


Definitely try to go early in the day or on a weekend. It was very crowded during the weekend. Still a beautiful view!

Awesome place for photos or a date night.

I stopped in Tahoe after a 3 backpacking trip in the Sierras and was looking for some place to shoot the sunset and used the directions here to shoot Emerald Bay. The area around Emerald Bay is cool drive and the directions on here are spot on. Highly recommend going early and exploring the area.

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