Lake Tahoe Travel Guide

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Providing Local Insight, Reviews, and Travel Information Since 1998

Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, straddled by the California-Nevada state line,  Lake Tahoe is a special resort destination that can cater to just about any interest.

Whether you prefer an extreme hike in Desolation Wilderness Area, parasailing over the lake’s beautiful, blue-sapphire water, or playing a few hands of black jack and catching a show at one of Lake Tahoe’s popular casinos, Lake Tahoe is a great choice.

Lake Tahoe is 22 miles in length and 12 miles wide with approximately 72 miles of shoreline. Because of varying building codes and the natural environment, the makeup of the lake’s shoreline varies greatly. Here is a quick primer:

South Lake Tahoe – The lake’s south shore is very populated with lots of housing, restaurants, motels, resorts and retail shops. It is also next to the Stateline, NV where you will find the bulk of the casinos. The southwest section of the lake, though, becomes more recreational with beautiful beaches and a number of entrance points that lead into the Desolation Wilderness Area.

West Lake Tahoe – Since much of the west shore and its surrounding areas are owned by California State Parks or U.S. Forest Service, it is less developed and more protected than other areas of the lake – making it popular for outdoor enthusiasts. Dotted along the west lake’s shoreline are small towns and villages that cater to outdoor recreation.

North Lake Tahoe – Home to Kings Beach and Incline Village, the north shore has a similar makeup to south shore, but is far less glitzy, and, in my opinion, more beach-friendly with fewer resorts and casinos.  During peak tourists season in the summer, expect heavy use of the beaches.

East Lake Tahoe –  More rugged than the other shores,  the bulk of the Nevada side of the lake has far fewer people and services.  Well, that is with the exception of Zephyr Cove, Stateline and Incline Village of course.

For more about the lake’s geology, visit the Forest Service’s website.

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