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Tahoe City, California

Tahoe City, California has many activities for outdoor adventurers. From scenic trails to must-visit attractions, there's something for everyone. Popular attractions in and near the area include the Emerald Bay State Park, Donner Memorial State Park, and the Tahoe City Golf Course. For those who enjoy hiking, the Tahoe Rim Trail provides stunning views of the lake and surrounding area. The Donner Summit Trail offers a more challenging experience, with its steep inclines and rocky terrain. For a more leisurely experience, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are popular activities on the lake. An abundance of wildlife can be spotted in and around the area, including bald eagles, ospreys, and mule deer. Whatever your outdoor interests, Tahoe City has something for you. Explore the best trails and outdoor activities in and near the area for a truly memorable experience.

Top Spots in and near Tahoe City

  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Capture the Milky Way over Emerald Bay

    4.5
    There is a reason Emerald Bay is one of the most photographed places in the world and that is because of its stunning beauty! I am sure you have experienced it during the day, but the bay really comes alive at night. The Milky Way reaches over all of Emerald Bay and it is a sight to see! Head out...
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  • Washoe County, Nevada

    Sand Harbor Nature Trail

    4.5
    0.54 mi / 33 ft gain
    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 parking lot that fills up quickly in the summer, so a...
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  • Truckee, California

    Donner Lake Public Docks

    4.5
    In the northwest corner of Donner Lake, there are public docks run by the Truckee Donner Recreation & Parks district. It's free to lay out your towels and hang out, but there is a fee for launching boats on the ramp. Come over in the late afternoon, enjoy the sunset, and go for a swim as the ...
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  • Sand Harbor, Nevada

    Surf Lake Tahoe at Sand Harbor

    5.0
    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 waves on the drive there (if driving counter-cloc...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Rock Climb at Eagle Lake Cliffs

    4 mi
    To Access Eagle Lake Cliffs Crag, head to the West Shore of South Lake Tahoe. You’ll want to park at Emerald Bay Parking Lot and head to the trail register. It’s almost always packed, so come early, or plan to park on the road and walk. Sign yourself and your party number in for the day access pa...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Rock Climb the 90ft. Wall

    5.0
    Park at the Eagle Creek Canyon parking lot. If it's full, park alongside the Hwy 89, right at the entrance of the Eagle Creek Canyon parking pullout. Both parking areas fill up quickly, so if those two are full, park across the street at Emerald Bay Vikingsholm Trail parking lot. That area can fi...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Eagle Falls & Eagle Lake Loop

    4.4
    2.39 mi / 617 ft gain
    Eagle Falls Trail is located off Highway 89 and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in California. Eagle Falls is one of the most popular short hikes in Lake Tahoe because of its beautiful cascading waterfalls, lush green scenery, and trees. Alongside one of the bluest pristine...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Middle Velma Lake via Eagle Falls Trailhead

    4.5
    9.18 mi / 2251 ft gain
    Hiking or backpacking to the Velma Lakes area is a must do if you want to explore and escape the summer crowds of South Tahoe. There are 3 lakes, Upper, Middle, and Lower Velma Lake. The trek out to Middle Velma is 9+ miles roundtrip, but you can add to it depending on how many other lakes you wa...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Eagle Lake Trail

    4.0
    2.35 mi / 571 ft gain
    The trailhead starts (and ends) by the beautiful Emerald Bay of Lake Tahoe, and goes west. The trail is well-marked and composed of mostly granite steps. Once you get to the lake, you can swim: it's cold but beautiful. If you keep following the path to the wooded areas (to the left), there are s...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Eagle Falls Vista Loop

    0.56 mi / 138 ft gain
    Eagle falls is a short walk from the main Emerald Bay vista point. The top of the falls are cool to look at themselves, with great views of the lake. 
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  • New Washoe City, Nevada

    Sand Harbor Beach

    4.8
    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 complain. The beach gets pretty crowded and they ...
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  • New Washoe City, Nevada

    SUP from Sand Harbor

    4.5
    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 board and begin heading south along the East Shore...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Photograph Lake Tahoe’s Inspiration Point

    4.7
    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 va...
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  • Glenbrook, Nevada

    Catch a Sunset at Cave Rock

    4.7
    0.8 mi / 127 ft gain
    This short hike is just off of highway 50 and provides one of the best views of Lake Tahoe. From South Lake Tahoe, head north on Highway 50 past Zephyr cove until you see Cave Rock Drive. Take this road until it dead ends and park in the small gravel lot. After following the trail out of the park...
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  • Truckee, California

    Hike the Truckee Tunnels

    5.0
    To get here, drive along Donner Pass Rd. There is a turnoff about 100 yards away from the Donner Summit Bridge where you can park. The hike begins at a plaque for the China Wall- a large retaining wall built by Chinese railroad workers. Hike up the trail towards the tunnels. Some spots may requi...
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  • Carson City, Nevada

    Hike the Spooner Lake Loop

    2.2 mi / 150 ft gain
    The Spooner Lake Loop is perfect for any ages since there is basically no elevation gain and many benches along the trail to rest. The trail offers many educational signs describing the history, and flora and fauna of the area. This man made lake is perfect for the kids and pup. They will love th...
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