I was so enchanted by North Lake Tahoe, that I started scheming on where’d I’d like to live! The water sparkles an enticing shade of blue, and the forest and mountains surrounding the lake are chock full of trails and outdoor adventures.
This article was created in partnership with North Lake Tahoe, California. All photography by Emily Sierra Photography.
On the lake
Lake Tahoe is beautiful no doubt, but the best way to enjoy the lake is to actually be on the lake.
Kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddleboarding (SUP) are all excellent ways to get some human-powered exploration on the lake. One step further though, we took out some clear kayaks from Wild Society in Kings Beach, and paddled over large boulders and white sands. To me, there is no better way to glide over the transparent, turquoise waters than a kayak with a window to the lake’s floor. From Kings Beach, it took us some stiff paddling to reach the highly Instagrammable rocky lakeshore, but was well worth the effort! You can also launch from other points across North Shore for different paddling experiences.
Pro tip: prepare a playlist to play through the bluetooth speaker on the kayak.
Aboard a chartered sailboat, we sailed over the largest alpine lake in North America. We watched a storm roll over the mountains in the distance; one that actually left behind a dusting of snow! Opposite, the sun was setting and we sipped Prosecco and enjoyed light snacks. With a swift breeze, we traveled over the waves and found ourselves mesmerized by the moving water and surrounding landscapes. Our captain from Tahoe Sailing Charters was down-to-earth and we loved hearing about his family’s worldly travels and love for Lake Tahoe.
Pro tip: bring a camera strap so that you don’t lose your photos overboard.
Off the lake
The recreation in the mountains around North Lake Tahoe might be just as exciting as that on the lake. These are two of the best ways to explore North Lake Tahoe off the lake.
The Flume Trail is a bucket list experience for any mountain biker. Though, seeking something a little more laid-back, we rented bikes and took to the freshly designed East Shore Trail. The paved trail follows Tahoe’s east shore, passing impossibly blue vistas and overlooking coves where waves splash on massive granite boulders. The trail finishes at Sand Harbor State Park, worthy of the $2 fee to explore the water’s edge on bike.
Pro tip: pack a swimsuit and hop in the water at Sand Harbor before biking back.
Via what? If you’re not familiar, a via ferrata is a fixed climbing route in which you constantly trace a cable up and along a cliffside. This was definitely one of the safest ways I’ve experienced an adrenaline rush! Aside from the gentle climbing, there were moments when we were essentially tight-rope walking between rock walls! Fortunately, Alpenglow Expeditions in Squaw Valley has another route, and are working to set even more routes. The next time I visit, I will be excited and ready for more via! You can’t go wrong staying at the Village at Squaw Valley either. The hotel is super close to mountain activities, shopping, restaurants, and one of the hippest coffee shops in the area!
Pro tip: bring your GoPro to mount on your helmet. You don’t want to miss out capturing this adventure!These experiences were only a sampling of what we could discover in the North Tahoe area. I can’t wait to get back and dive deeper into the lake and the trees!