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Lake Tahoe: Summer Fun

Summer is in full swing here in Lake Tahoe, which means the lake is the perfect temperature for activities and the trails are all open for hiking.

This time of year is also when we get a lot of friends and family who want to come up and visit. As locals, we become tour guides for everyone who wants to see the great sites our home has to offer. Here are a couple of my favorite places to take my friends and family.

Hikes along the East Shore

thunderbird beach, Lake Tahoe

Thunderbird Beach, Lake Tahoe's East Shore | Photo courtesy of the author.

The East side of Lake Tahoe (East Shore) gets the most sun, so the snow melts the quickest. This makes it perfect for early spring and summer hiking, because all trails are easily accessible. The water on this side of the lake is my favorite as it tends to resemble Caribbean- like waters; the shades of blue changing with the depth of the water.

Chimney Beach, Thunderbird Beach, and Skunk Harbor are some of my favorite beaches, with easy downhill but intense uphill climbs (well worth it, in my opinion). You can find parking for these off the side of Hwy 28 - some have parking lots and others are along the shoulder of the highway. When parking here, be sure to park completely to the right of the white line, and check for “No Parking” signs. Check out Hidden Beach too; it’s a relatively easy walk in and out.

The water is crisp and refreshing around the lake so if you are feeling up to it, JUMP IN!

Emerald Bay

emerald bay lake tahoe

View of Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

One of the most photographed places in Tahoe; you will never be disappointed by a visit to Emerald Bay. You can’t miss Eagle Falls. It flows right into the bay that is home to Vikingsholm Castle and an island that was used as a teahouse once upon a time.

Take some time to walk down the Vikingsholm Trail, which is a two-mile round trip hike that leads you down to the castle. They open the castle to the public for tours in summer. You might even get to see the Tahoe Queen come around the bay. It's a two hour cruise on a paddleboat that gives you an on-the-water tour of Emerald Bay - check out their tours (link for Tahoe queen)!

Honestly, I could write out a list 30 pages long of my favorite things to do, but these are always a must when being a tour guide. If you go, let me know what you think in the comments below!

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Cristen Filburn

A Southern California native, Cristen and her young family now call the Sierra Nevada home. Follow her adventures on her personal blog.

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